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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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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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