20th Annual Cats Incredible
September 12, 2007 by MT Cats Staff
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.Read More
High, Muddy Water Highlights Savage Tourney
June 09, 2007 by MT Cats Staff
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.Read More
Record Rain has HUGE effect on 8th Annual Cat Classic
June 02, 2007 by Montana Cats Staff
When catfisherman talk about 6.5 inches they are usually referring to the size of their sucker minnows, not the amount of rain that fell in the month of May in the Glasgow area. The record rainfall had a HUGE effect on the fishing conditions, with the river reaching near flood stage in much of the tournament boundaryRead More
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