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Record Numbers of Catfish Caught at Challenge

Record Numbers of Catfish Caught at Challenge

May 11, 2013 by

5/11/13 Huntley, MT – The Montana Catfish Association hosted the 7th Annual Yellowstone Challenge Catfish tournament this past weekend in Huntley. After a long and grueling winter, the anglers were anxious to get out on the water and compete against some familiar faces. Several talented out of town teams, coupled with an abundance of veteran local anglers battled for the right to call themselves Yellowstone Challenge champs. This was perhaps the most star-studded cast in Montana Cats history, with over 19 individual catfish championships scattered throughout the field.

The weekend festivities got underway with the catfish social and calcutta on Friday night in Huntley. Pryor Creek Bar was packed to the gills with locals and competitors shooting the breeze, bidding, and having an all around good time. The morning brought beautiful tournament weather. The temps were in the mid 70’s most of the day and the wind from the previous day had all but vanished. One thing that didn’t vanish was the drastic river fluctuations from the previous few weeks. The river rose nearly 2.5 feet from the previous week and that created havoc with pre-tournament strategy. Pre-fishing was rendered useless from previous weeks and the teams that could adjust the best on the water were sure to prosper.

Everyone eagerly anticipated the 7:00 weigh-ins. This was far and away the largest and most boisterous crowd in tournament history. Team after team brought their fish to the stage, with the anticipation building towards the end. When the dust settled, local anglers out of Billings, Eric Wolff and Jordan Hoagland, stole the show and claimed their first Challenge championship with a monster four fish basket tipping the scales at just under 33 lbs. Coming off a third place finish in last year’s event, this duo utilized cut minnows and a meticulous approach to top the rest of the formidable field. Veteran tournament anglers Brenner Flaten of Wright, WY and Chad Dawson of Dickinson, ND earned runner-up status with a 30.70 lb. basket of Yellowstone River hogs. Brenner and Chad had finished in the top six the previous two years and caught over 30 cats on the day.

Local anglers Perry Jones and Paul Waller wrapped up third place. After placing in the top ten three times in previous tournaments but never finishing higher than ninth, these boys expressed tremendous excitement as they finally reached the elusive top three status. The father/son combo and past tournament champions Gerald and Robert Tallent of Forsyth claimed the fourth place prize. The Tallent’s still hold the tournament record for weight with 33.09 lbs, when they claimed the 2011 crown. Rounding out the top five was Blake and Brady Gauer of Park City. These huge weights got the crowd going but not quite as much as youngster Eli Dupea. The ten year old took home the $100 cash prize for largest Catfish, tipping the scales at 12.33. His cat is the fourth largest ever caught in the Yellowstone Challenge.

Overall the tournament boasted 93% of tournament teams weighing fish, with over 60% of those teams catching over 15 lbs. It was a record setting weekend for one of the largest jet boat fishing tournaments in the nation. The anglers kept impeccable care of their fish, which allowed tournament organizers to release all fish back safely into the Yellowstone. The Montana Catfish Association would like to thank the fisherman and the Huntley community for making this work. We would also like to thank our wonderful sponsors who made this happen: Riverside Marine and Cycle (Miles City, MT), Briggs Distributing – Coors Light, Townsquare Media – The Hawk 95.5 FM and Cat Country 102.9 FM, The Minnow Bucket, All Awards (Lewistown, MT), Pryor Creek Bar and Café, KR Rauch Trucking, and Western Ranch Supply. The 2013 MT Cats Circuit now moves on to stage two. We hope to see you all in Glasgow for the 14th Annual Milk River Catfish Classic.


Pictures for this event can be found here.

big fish

Eli Dupea 12.33 lbs. Big Fish Award

complete results

1. Eric Wolff, Billings, MT. – Jordan Hoagland, Billings, MT. 32.98 lbs.
2. Brenner Flaten, Wright, WY. – Chad Dawson, Dickinson, ND. 30.70 lbs.
3. Paul Waller, Billings, MT. – Perry Jones, Billings, MT. 28.63 lbs.
4. Robert Tallent, Forsyth, MT. – Gerald Tallent, Forsyth, MT. 26.74 lbs.
5. Blake Gauer, Park City, MT. – Brady Gauer, Park City, MT. 26.22 lbs.
6. Wade Bomar, Billings, MT. – Chris Simpson, Billings, MT. 25.96 lbs.
7. Timber Kolodejchuk, Forsyth, MT. – Arlen Kolodejchuk, Forsyth, MT. 25.18 lbs.
8. Troy Cotter, Sidney, MT. – Mike Licking, Sidney, MT. 24.98 lbs.
9. Bobby Wise, Billings, MT. – Robert Wise, Billings, MT. 23.90 lbs.
10. Dan Dupea, Billings, MT. – Eli Dupea, Billings, MT. 23.36 lbs.
11. Tom Ringo ( Ballantine, MT) & Nick Christman (Worden, MT)
22.67 lbs.
12. Mark Striegel (Pompeys Pillar, MT) & Tyler Striegel (Ballantine, MT)
22.66 lbs.
13. Michael Gordon (Belgrade, MT) & Gage Gordon (Belgrade, MT)
22.48 lbs.
14. Rod Seder (Billings, MT) & Kurt Weber (Billings, MT)
20.25 lbs.
15. Scott Schmidt (Sidney, MT) & Josh Beagle (Sidney, MT)
19.20 lbs.
16. Larry Green (Billings, MT) & Jesse Ketchem (Billings, MT)
18.67 lbs.
17. Steve Harris Sr. (Sidney, MT) & Steve Harris Jr. (Sidney, MT)
18.02 lbs.
18. Austin Oblander (Ballantine, MT) & Scott Swanson (Laurel, MT)
16.87 lbs.
19. Jonathan Stark (Billings, MT) & Justin Ridgeway (Billings, MT)
16.38 lbs.
20. Rick Davis (Billings, MT) & Siler Giles (Billings, MT)
16.24 lbs.
21. Kent Hagen (Billings, MT) & Wylie Worneke (Columbus, MT)
15.81 lbs.
22. Phil White (Billings, MT) & Scott Rogina (Billings, MT)
15.70 lbs.
23. Edward Seider (Billings, MT ) & Jim Smith (Billings, MT)
15.56 lbs.
24. Paxton Lambrecht (Shepherd, MT) & Ray Lambrecht (Shepherd, MT)
15.35 lbs.
25. Jake Shuster (Billings, MT) & Art Adame (Ballentine, MT)
15.22 lbs.
26. Zac Bushman (Billings, MT ) & Matthew Bushman (Billings, MT)
15.14 lbs.
27. Brady Mueller (Sidney, MT) & Derek Carda (Sidney, MT)
14.73 lbs.
28. Trent Emmett (Billings, MT) & Todd Harmon (Laurel, MT)
14.68 lbs.
29. Matthew Theis (Billings, MT) & Richard Theis (Billings, MT)
13.80 lbs.
30. Wes Urbaniak (Billings, MT) & Ramon Dyba (Miles City, MT)
13.06 lbs.
31. Ronald W. Horton (Billings, MT) & Mathew T. Horton (Billings, MT)
13.00 lbs.
32. Jeremiah Hopstad (Billings, MT) & Justin King (Sidney, MT)
12.62 lbs.
33. Charles Ferguson (Big Timber, MT) & Will Grundhauser (Billings, MT)
12.38 lbs.
34. Ralph Kottke (Billings, MT) & Mitchell Kottke (Billings, MT)
12.01 lbs.
35. Jeff Unterseher (Glendive, MT) & Ben Unterseher (Glasgow, MT)
11.89 lbs.
36. Kevin Howie (Billings, MT) & Travis Kennedy (Billings, MT)
11.52 lbs.
37. Levi Walter (Billings, MT) & Dan Walter (Shepherd, MT)
11.48 lbs.
38. Robert Bright (Laurel, MT) & Jerry Wallery (Park City, MT)
8.79 lbs.
39. George Stuckers (Sidney, MT) & Nick Rookhiizen (Billings, MT)
7.32 lbs.
40. Eddie White (Billings, MT) & Ann Peterson (Billings, MT)
7.05 lbs.
41. Nicholas Fortier (Billings, MT) & Randy Franco (Billings, MT)
6.70 lbs.
42. Jeff Kilwein (Billings, MT) & Frank Cook (Billings, MT)
4.95 lbs.
43. Mike Yorgason (Billings, MT) & Troy Burris (Billings, MT)
4.82 lbs.
44. Larry Allred (Shepherd, MT) & Wallace Bradberry (Billings, MT)
0 lb.
Levi Krehmeyer (Gillette, WY) & Travis Larsen (Gillette, WY)
0 lb.
Blayze Mikkelson (Shepherd, MT) & Kolter Leep (Billings, MT)
0 lb.
Donald Lee (Huntley, MT) & Kendal Lee (Huntley, MT)
0 lb.
Gary Cantrell (Billings, MT) & Spencer Cantrell (Billings, MT)
0 lb.
49. Clyde Lees (Billings, MT) & Trice Lees (Park City, MT) 0 lb.

Posted in: Yellowstone Challenge