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Tournament Catfishing…..in the snow?

Tournament Catfishing…..in the snow?

May 05, 2008 by

Lewellen, NE 5/3/08 – Montana Cats field staff members, Brenner and Jason Flaten, recently competed in the 11th Annual Lake McConaughy Catfish Classic held in Western Nebraska. The tournament is quickly turning into a huge event and it is growing on a yearly basis. The event includes a Calcutta and social on Friday night, as well as the tournament on Saturday.

This years tournament, however, provided a challenge to the anglers unlike any other year, with temperatures dipping into the 30’s in the two days leading up to the tourney. A massive snow storm fell in the Lewellen area on Friday, leaving nearly 6-8 inches on the ground, and dropping water temperatures in the river to the mid 30’s. This didn’t seem to scare away the avid catfish anglers though, as a record 55 teams entered in the 10-hour one-day cattin’ tourney. As you would expect, the catfish were a bit tight-lipped throughout the entire tournament, as only 12 of the 55 teams were able to land fish. No team was able to catch their limit of ten catfish, and the 1st place squad was only able to boat seven cats. The Championship team, Tater and Buck Johnson, were able to find the right combination and topped the leader board with 20.46 lbs. Tater and Buck fished Lake McConaughy, as did the other eleven teams that were able to land fish. No team fishing the North Platte River even caught a catfish.

Brenner had this to say on the tournament, “We knew we were in trouble when we showed up to our main spot in the morning and we couldn’t fish effectively because there was too much ICE floating down the river, that’s not a situation we typically prepare for.” “We were spending a lot of time just trying to keep our baits positioned, because the ice was just catching our lines. The water temp was 34 degrees, which doesn’t exactly trigger feeding. We threw everything at them and we just couldn’t get them to bite.”

The guys at the Oregon Trail Trading Post in Lewellen, NE do a tremendous job with this event and you can expect even more growth into the future. Montana Cats has already penciled in the tournament for 2009. Congratulations to all of the top ten and good luck for the rest of your catfishing season!

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Montana Cats, Crazy in Nebraska

Montana Cats, Crazy in Nebraska

April 05, 2008 by

Imperial, NE 4/5/08 – The Montana Cats field staff put together a team this past weekend for a tournament in South-Western Nebraska. The 1st Annual Izaak Walton League Catfish Tournament on Enders Reservoir, located near Imperial, was a great success and the team of Brenner and Jason Flaten, both of Wright Wyoming, came away with the top prize.

Fourteen teams would set out on beautiful 1,700 acre Enders Reservoir at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. The team of Flaten/Flaten used a variety of baits throughout tournament hours, while fishing numerous spots, helping them land nine catfish on the day. The action, by no means, was non-stop, as the team was boating about one fish every hour, however, their 5 fish-limit weight of 22 lbs. 15 oz. outdistanced the competition by just under 4 lbs. When asked about their keys to a successful day on the water, Brenner Flaten said, “The River Pro was essential for us at this tournament, some of the water we wanted to fish was real shallow, and without the aid of a jet boat it would not have been possible to get back there. I also think having a variety of fresh baits always helps in tournaments.” The duo had their limit at noon, and spent the last three hours trying to improve their stringer. Six teams would catch their limit of five catfish on this beautiful sunny 65 degree day. The second place team boated a five fish limit of 19 pounds.

The tournament paid out the top three teams in the tournament, the calcutta, as well as the big fish pot. The Flaten’s came away with just over $1,000 for their efforts, as they also took home the big fish pot and calcutta. The Izaak Walton league will now use the money derived from this inaugural event to put on two kids fishing days during the summer. These kids fishing days have been very successful on Enders in the past, and the money will help provide free tackle, apparel, and bait to all youth involved. It’s nice to see the proceeds from this event going to such a great cause! The event is sure to experience growth into the future and the field staff members will most likely return for many years to come.

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Montana Cats 2008 Outlook

Montana Cats 2008 Outlook

March 21, 2008 by

3/21/08- Yes…..it’s that time once again. Break out your tackle and round up some of your favorite bait, its catfishing time! As the month of March comes to a close, the ice is beginning to break loose on Montana’s lakes and rivers. When April arrives, the bite will be heating up and it will be time to go out and look for some monster cats. With that in mind we would like to update you on the direction of the website, association and tournament schedule for the 2008 season.

2007 was a great year that included positive progress for the Montana Catfish Association. The website continued to grow at a rapid pace and the message board activity reached an all-time high. The Montana Cats field staff also expanded to five members in 2007, with the inclusion of Nate Molstad and Steve Harris. Steve and Nate bring a wealth of experience and a love for the sport of catfishing to the current staff.

We are open to suggestions on improving the association now and in the future. Look for memberships to become available by 2009. We are also seeking ways to improve and expand our website. We hope to include Podcast interviews and Youtube video on the site this year. Video footage of fishing trips, tournament weigh-ins as well as podcast interviews of tournament participants will be a way to increase web traffic and improve viewers online experience. We also hope to update the tackle section to include reviews on: catfish reels, hooks and boats. The Cat Waters section will be updated to include the: Powder River, Tongue River/Reservoir, and Missouri River. We also hope to include a new apparel section that will include: caps, t-shirts, decals, etc.

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20th Annual Cats Incredible

20th Annual Cats Incredible

September 12, 2007 by

East Grand Forks, MN 9/12/07- Two teams from Montana recently competed in the prestigious Cats Incredible tournament held on the Red River along the border of Minnesota/North Dakota. The teams of Brady Flaten/Jason Molstad and Jerry Molstad/Nate Molstad, looking to prepare themselves for the tough competition and conditions, traveled over on Tuesday evening with a mission in mind. They spent three full days pre-fishing and mapping out a plan. Pre-tournament fishing yielded mixed results for the two squads. Brady and Jason felt they had the fish on a pattern. Their Wednesday through Friday total resulted in 6 fish over 10 lbs., 2 over 19, and 1 over 21. Nate and Jerry ,however, were experiencing some difficulties on the water and fishing was unbearably slow.

The tides soon turned as the first day of the tournament approached. 150 boats were just about to invade a 35 mile stretch of river. The anticipation was high for all the tournament anglers involved. The opportunity to take home the first place prize of $4,000 was at stake. It was time to “get it on”!

Day one was a bag of mixed results. Fishing was down from the start (as compared to previous years) and the weights were not overwhelming. Nate and Jerry’s first day, however, total was just that….impressive! Their 36 lb. limit of 5 cats was good enough for a 4th place day one standing (150 teams). Brady and Jason were drained after a grueling day on the water; which yielded only three slot fish for a total weight of 11 lbs. They stood in the middle of the pack after day 1.

Day two would prove pivotal in determining which team would be walking away with the grand prize, as well as those that were determined to move up the leader board. Jerry and Nate knew they would have to put together another impressive day to stay in the big money and Brady and Jason knew it would take a Herculean effort to sneak into the top 35. When it was all said and done, the two Montana teams were not able to put together the second day result they were desperately hoping for. For the second straight day, Brady and Jason would boat their three slot fish early, only to miss out on the cats that could make the difference. Jerry and Nate boated two slots during the second day pushing their total to 39.52 lbs. good enough for 41st place, finishing just outside the money.

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High, Muddy Water Highlights Savage Tourney

High, Muddy Water Highlights Savage Tourney

June 09, 2007 by

Savage 6/9/07- The 4th Annual Savage Volunteer Fire Dept. Catfish Tournament took center stage in Eastern-Montana on June 9th, 2007. Like many of the other catfish tourneys in the region, the event again had an all-time high in teams and filled the capacity 50-team field a week in advance. What teams didn’t expect, was the massive rain-fall leading up to the event and the sudden change in the water conditions. This created an all new challenge for all 150 participants in the event. The weekend kicked off with the popular Friday night Calcutta held at the fire hall in downtown Savage. The Calcutta provided a great atmosphere that allowed teams to gather around and tell fishing stories and talk tactics, all the while enjoying a fresh burger or hot dog right off the grill! This years Calcutta pot did not disappoint and continues to grow ever year, it managed to grow to just over $10,000 this year.

It was a beautiful sunny day for this years tourney, providing the first day of sun for the area in nearly five days. The team captained by Chuck Reynolds was able to find the winning combination and win the tournament title! The team stuck with one spot throughout the day and was able to milk 7.175 lbs., a truly impressive stringer of 12-18 inch catfish. The team of Bill Jones, Phil Hageman, and Kent O’Donnell used a different approach to claim their second straight runner-up finish in the event. Putting a run-and-gun approach into play, the three-man team hit multiple spots throughout the day. Bill Jones added. “We would pull up on a spot, and pull one or two fish out, than the action would slow, and it would be time to move on.” The approach seems to be working well, because back to back top 2 finishes is very impressive. The Big Fish Award winner was Chad Maher, who landed a 7.425 lb. hawg, good enough for a $200 check. Overall, the number of teams bringing in their limit was down, however, the tournament was still very much a success.

Jim Miller and the Volunteer Savage Fire Dept. continue to put on a tremendous event that continues to grow on a yearly basis. The Montana Catfish Association truly appreciates people like Jim that help provide more opportunities for the catfish angler in the state of Montana. Jim had this to say, “Next year we are looking at some potential growth, I would like to see the boundaries be lengthened and the number of teams increased.” Take a look at the final results from the weekend as well as pictures from the entire event.

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