Inaugural Yellowstone Challenge a Success
May 19, 2007 by Montana Cats Staff
The Yellowstone Challenge marked the first ever Catfish tournament in the Billings region. Local anglers who participated in the inaugural tournament were eager to get out on the water to catch some huge cats and capture bragging rights. 42 teams in all (mostly local) braved the high water conditions for an afternoon of good fun and competition. The field was essentially split, with half the field fishing from shore and the other half from boat.Read More
Field Staff Compete in Nebraska Tourney
May 05, 2007 by MT Cats Staff
Nebraska 5/5/07– Brenner & Jason Flaten recently competed in the 10th annual Lake McConaughy Catfish Classic held in Western Nebraska. The tournament field was made up of 53 teams comprised of mainly Colorado and local Nebraska anglers. This was a boat or shore event and was limited to the ten heaviest catfish. The Montana based team made the trek to Nebraska on Wednesday so they could get in a few days of preparation for the event. The pre-fishing days were spent mapping out a plan and putting the fish on a pattern. The days leading up to the tournament and the day of the tourney, were mainly rain-soaked and overcast.
With a plan intact, we began Saturday morning with a ton of anticipation. However, it did not take long to realize that the fish were in a little different mood that day compared to the pre-fishing we had done. Action was slow throughout the majority of the tournament hours. We were bringing in a catfish about once an hour, and anybody that knows anything about tournament fishing knows that isn’t very good! We knew fishing was slow when we were putting our baits in the very same places we had been a week ago and nothing seemed to be working. Those same places were yielding fish after fish of over six pounds just a week earlier. We put ourselves in a difficult situation and we felt confident that our plan would work, when it backfired, there really wasn’t a whole lot we could do about it. We had set up a pick up point with a local resident a day earlier, and that pickup point was at least five miles down river from where we had started the day. When we arrived at the pickup point there was only one hour remaining in the tournament. We were sitting on a limit of catfish at the time, but not anymore than 30 pounds. We had caught 16 catfish in the nine hour period we had been walking that stretch. We knew it would take a lot more than that just to crack the top ten.
So we got dropped off at the place we started in the morning and plan B jumped into motion. While pre-fishing the previous day, we had located a spot on a different section of the river that was very productive and we felt that we could milk a couple out before the time ran out on us. A few wash-board gravel roads and a 1/4 tank of gas later we had arrived at plan B. With only twenty five minutes left to do our fishing it proved to be a smart move. In the twenty five minutes we landed five cats , four of them would be included in our 10 fish limit at the end of the day. Three of the fish were well over five pounds and we managed to catch them all within 15 minutes of each other. Arriving at the weigh-in station, without a minute to spare, we were feeling a little bit of relief. We knew we didn’t reach our goal , but glad we stayed after it when things were not going as planned. Our ten fish limit ended up being a respectable 48.14 lbs., good enough for 8th place overall.Read More
19th Annual Cats Incredible
September 10, 2006 by MT Cats Staff
East Grand Forks, MN 9/10/06 – Anticipation surrounded the 2006 Cats Incredible tournament as Montana Cats made a return trip to the annual event held on the mighty Red River of the North. Nate Molstad and Brady Flaten competed on behalf of Montana Cats for the 06′ version of the tournament. The competition was stiff, as many of the 150 teams were comprised of the top Catfish anglers in the region. The weather was tricky. It’s been a very dry summer, which in recent weeks, led to a very tough bite due to the low water conditions.
Two days prior to the tournament, however, monsoon like rains pumped new life into the Red River Valley. Stable weather was not in the cards, which at times can lead to a very intriguing bite. Jason & Brady Flaten finished in 33rd place the previous year, so this year was sure to be an improvement…..right? Not so fast my friend. Pre-fishing was mainly used to scout new areas and get a “feel” for the river. We entered the tournament with a plan and we were sticking to it. After day 1, however, we struggled to meet the 5 fish limit; ending up with 3 fish, missing out on two slot fish.Read More
Montana Cats Fish Red River Catfish League Tourney
July 22, 2006 by Montana Cats Staff
East Grand Forks, MN 7/22/06 – The Red River of the North is widely considered the premier Channel Catfish water in the world. The Red didn’t disappoint as the Montana Cats Pro Staff, along with Montana Cats member Steve Harris, made the seven hour trek across North Dakota to compete in the annual Red River Valley Catfish Club Tournament. Brady Flaten and Steve Harris made up the first team and the brother combination of Jason and Brenner Flaten comprised the second. Conditions weren’t ideal with low waters, extreme temperatures and the fish in post-spawn mode which provided numerous challenges for the Montana anglers. Pre-fishing proved puzzling as the fish weren’t necessarily congregated in one specific area. Both teams, however, enjoyed great success pre-fishing on Friday, boating numerous fish over the 10 pound mark. Confidence was high and anticipation great. Strategy would prove to be a huge aspect in this and every Red River tournament. Three fish would be weighed with one of those fish having to be under the 24” mark. Due to state regulations there would also be no sorting or culling fish in the live well. This would force anglers to make the tough decision on whether not to keep or release the fish after landing it. 35 teams took off from the South landing at 7:00 A.M. and had to return by 3:00 P.M. The team of Brady Flaten and Steve Harris, however, didn’t need the full allotted time weighing their three fish in at 10:30. The strategy of not putting anything in the live well less than 15 pounds before noon turned out to be successful. Brady and Steve turned back 3 other fish over 10 pounds before finally boating their final fish of 16.8 lbs. Three fish consisting of 16.8, 15.8 & 3.6 totaled 36.2 lbs good enough for 4th place. Brenner and Jason Flaten turned in a fish of 14.2 and 3.2 for a tournament total of 17.2 lbs. Boat trouble and the tough decision of turning a fish of 9 lbs back summed up the day for the brother combo. The Red River Valley Catfish Club put on an outstanding tournament and a good time was enjoyed by all. If you have any questions about this tournament or the Red River in general, please feel free to post on the message board.Read More
3rd Annual Savage Fire Dept. Catfish Tournament
June 10, 2006 by Montana Cats Staff
Savage 6/10/06- The Yellowstone River is the longest free flowing river in the lower 48 States and it boasts some of Montana’s best Catfishing. It was put to the test this Saturday during the 3rd Annual Savage Fire Dept. Catfish Tournament. The folks at the Savage have put forth a ton of effort to get this fishing extravaganza organized and running. This years event included a pre-tournament social, Calcutta, fishing tournament, catfish feed and numerous door prizes. The tournament rules allowed teams of 1-3 and the quirky rule of targeting 12 to 18″ Cats (5 fish limit). Normally this would not be a difficult task, however, the Yellowstone has an average fish size much larger than that. It was a rainy afternoon with as much as 1 1/2 inches of rain falling on the contestants heads. Most teams weighed fish but staying under the slot limit was difficult for many. 39 teams braved the wind and rain to fish for the mighty Channel Cat. Brady Flaten, Brenner Flaten & Jason Flaten, fishing in a 2006 River Pro, were able to find the right combination. They finished with a 5 fish total weighing 7.74 pounds, which was good enough for the tournament title. This tournament was well run and a good time was had by all. Montana Cats recommends anyone interested in a good time and meeting some friendly people to pencil in the second weekend of June, 2007 for Savage, MT.Read More