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5th Annual Savage Fire Department

5th Annual Savage Fire Department

June 09, 2008 by

6/9/2008- The 5th Annual Savage Volunteer Fire Department Catfish Tournament scheduled for the second weekend in June filled the 60 team limit a week early this year. Unlike many fishing tournaments that highlight targeting the biggest fish, this one has an additional challenge. Each 3-man-team may only weigh fish between 12-18 inches. This slot limit is an additional hurdle to cross, often times requiring anglers to change their traditional fishing techniques or locations. The tournament weekend kicked off with the Friday night Calcutta/social. This is a time when fishermen can bid on tournament teams while enjoying conversation, fresh grilled burgers, or cold refreshments.

Following the Calcutta, tournament action began at 7 AM Saturday and weigh-ins conclude at 3:30. One team stood out above the rest when it came time to weigh the days catch. Matt Reynolds, Lance Kuylen and Troy Cotter braved the high waters, mosquitoes, and swarms of gnats with an impressive 5.98 lb stringer. Keith Nelson, Duane Smith and Lee Moore came in a close second place finishing only .15 lbs behind the leaders. Tourney vet Kevin Bentz led his team of Augie Bentz and Dave McKinney to a third place finish. Field staff members Brady Flaten, Brenner Flaten, and Tyler George earned a respectable 4th place finish with 5.515 lbs.

Pat Reynolds and the Savage Volunteer Fire Department continue to put on an exceptional catfish tournament. Montana Catfish Association commends Miller and the S.V.F.D for expressing concern for conservation in addition to organizing such a great catfish event. Another thanks goes out to the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks for aiding in measuring and weighing our catches. Final results are listed below. Team interviews and picture links will be up soon so keep checking back for continued coverage of this great event.

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9th Annual Milk River Catfish Classic

9th Annual Milk River Catfish Classic

June 07, 2008 by

Who would take home the 9th Annual Catfish Classic championship…..rookies, tourney vets or past champions? Relatively stable weather and good river flows were sure to provide plenty of drama and huge Channel Cats for the traditional downtown midnight weigh-ins. One of the unique challenges this tournament poses, is the astounding amount of river miles within the tournament boundaries.

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Local anglers win 2nd Annual Yellowstone Challenge

Local anglers win 2nd Annual Yellowstone Challenge

May 10, 2008 by

The annual Yellowstone Challenge is in the books and there were many impressive stringers recorded on this beautiful 65-degree day. A record 51 teams set out on the section of Yellowstone River stretching from the mouth of the Bighorn River to the East bridge in Billings. Bank and shore anglers were allowed to compete; as most teams experienced mixed results throughout the day, encountering a somewhat sporadic bite. Billings anglers, Ryan Smith and Kevin Van Donsel, took home the championship with an impressive four fish limit of 30.4 lbs., earning themselves a check for $700. They would also take home the Big Fish Prize, a large backyard grill valued at $300, for their Channel Cat weighing in at 10.4 lbs.

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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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