Sidney, MT 7/9/11 – The 3rd Annual Monster Cat Roundup took place in Sidney, Montana over the weekend. The festivities were once again kicked off on Friday night with the social and calcutta of the fishing teams at the Ranger Lounge. A record number of people showed up to bid on their favorite anglers and enjoy some good fishing conversation. Jerry Andreason and Jessie Williams with Good Ol’ Boys Auctioneering put on a show with the calcutta and provided some good entertainment for the crowd. Tournament director, Steve Harris, of the Montana Catfish Association, presented the rules and regulations. As the opening night came to a close there was some nervous anticipation in the air and plenty of excitement to get it all started.
There was a lot of uncertainty leading up to this year’s event. Due to the massive amounts of mountain snowpack and the extreme spring rains, the Yellowstone River was flowing at “action” flood stage. This was cause for concern for a lot of the local tournament veterans. Tournament team numbers were slightly down from last year do to this very reason, however, sixteen additional teams signed up in the three days leading up to the event bringing the total to twenty-five. The twenty-five teams proved that the high water should not be scaring away any teams in the future. In what has become customary on the Montana Cats tournament circuit, the high water turned on the BIG fish. The fishing was outstanding.
In arguably, one of the finest days in Montana Cats circuit history, tournament records were smashed and nearly the entire field had a basket of fish to show off. The top ten leader board had weights worthy of top three finishes the past two years as they all weighed in over sixteen lbs. Despite the outstanding fishing, there were three teams that got it done better than anyone else on this hot summer day. Local angler, Justin King, teamed up with Jer Hopstad, out of Thornton, CO., to weigh-in a record smashing 36.44 lbs. The five fish limit is the second highest weight ever recorded in a Montana Cats event. The duo targeted flooded vegetation and used jumbo shrimp to help them land five cats all tipping the scales at over 6.5 lbs. Jer’s 10.16 lb. cat helped catapult them to the top of the leader board. It proved to be the second largest catfish of the day and the third largest cat ever weighed in at the Roundup. The big cat netted them an additional $50.00, bringing their total tournament purse to $1,790.00. Taking runner-up honors was the successful tournament veteran crew of Chad and Brandon Mueller, out of Sidney. They would fall just under three lbs. short with an outstanding limit of 33.75 lbs. The impressive basket of fish put $1,045.00 in their pockets. This is Chad’s second runner-up finish in three years. Rounding out the top three was Corey Nay and Kenny Erickson, out of Sidney. Corey and Kenny brought in a limit worthy of a tournament championship, as they too smashed the previous tourney record. The local squad weighed in 32.46 lbs., and a large portion of that total weight was provided in the early morning hours when Kenny hooked into the largest cat ever weighed in at the Roundup. His 10.52 lb. pig not only provided them the boost for a top three finish, but it knocked off the previous record of 10.2 lbs. set in 2009. In turn, the team was able to cash in on the record big fish pot and this years big fish award worth a grand total of $930.00. In addition to the cash awards, the top two teams and big fish award winner were presented with breath taking trophies and plaques provided by All Awards out of Lewiston, Montana.
By the time all the anglers had weighed in and the awards were being presented it was quite a sight to take a look at the leader board. Twenty-two of the twenty-five teams weighed in fish and three catfish broke the magical ten-pound barrier. The weigh-ins and award presentation provided fun for the whole family and gave the anglers an opportunity to discuss what happened on the water throughout the day. There is no doubt that this years impressive weights gave the tournament anglers a lot to talk about. Immediately following the weigh-ins, the Ranger Lounge hosted an angler feed and social for all involved in the event. At the feed, Steve Harris held drawings for three door prizes. All three door prizes were catfish rod and reel combos and generously donated by area sponsors. Chuck Buxbaum donated one of the combos in memory of his close friend and long time catfish tournament partner, Gregg Burns.
This years outstanding weights and the local support the community of Sidney continues to provide bodes well for this event well into the future. A large thank you should be reserved for Steve and Ashley Harris for their dedication to the sport of catfishing and their efforts in providing a fun competitive catfish tournament for the area. This event is very professional and we invite you all to find out for yourselves when the 4th annual Roundup returns on Saturday July 14th, 2012. The 2011 circuit is halfway done and heads to Glasgow, Montana next weekend for the 12th Annual Milk River Catfish Classic. The eighty-team catfishing showdown should not disappoint. Please enjoy this weekends full results below, complete with podcast interviews with many of our top teams. Stay tuned for the event photos in the coming days.
Pictures for this event can be found here.
Justin King and Jer Hopstad (Tournament Champions)
Chad Mueller and Brandon Mueller (Runner-Up)
Corey Nay and Kenny Erickson (3rd Place and Big Fish Winners)
Eric Steinbeisser and Russ Kluesner (8th Place)
Chad Dawson (10th Place team member)
Chuck Thiel (13th Place)
Steve and Ashley Harris (Co-Tournament Directors)
|Kenny Erickson||10.52 lbs.||Big Fish Award|
|Jer Hopstad||10.16 lbs.||2nd Biggest Fish Award|
|Darin Eschenbacher||10.10 lbs.||Notable|
|Russ Kluesner||9.25 lbs.||Notable|
|1.||Jer Hopstad, Thornton, CO. – Justin King, Sidney, MT.||36.44 lbs.|
|2.||Chad Mueller, Sidney, MT. – Brandon Mueller, Sidney, MT.||33.75 lbs.|
|3.||Corey Nay, Sidney, MT. – Kenny Erickson, Sidney, MT.||32.46 lbs.|
|4.||Trent Hansen, Glendive, MT. – Faron Hansen, Glendive, MT.||25.50 lbs.|
|5.||Troy Cotter, Sidney, MT. – Heather Cotter, Sidney, MT.||21.00 lbs.|
|6.||Troy Hafele, Glendive, MT. – Darin Eschenbacher, Savage, MT.||20.89 lbs.|
|7.||Chris Petersen, Savage, MT. – Mark Otoole, Sidney, MT.||18.60 lbs.|
|8.||Eric Steinbeisser, Sidney, MT. – Russ Kluesner, Sidney, MT.||18.03 lbs.|
|9.||Jim Kelly, Three Forks, MT. – Rod Buxbaum, Sidney, MT.||17.64 lbs.|
|10.||Brenner Flaten, Wright, WY. – Chad Dawson, Glasgow, MT.||16.22 lbs.|
|11.||Mike Gordon, Belgrade, MT. – Gage Gordon, Belgrade, MT.||15.97 lbs.|
|12.||Dick Propp, Sidney, MT. – Kelvin Buxbaum, Sidney, MT.||15.79 lbs.|
|13.||Chuck Thiel, Savage, MT. – Jesi Thiel, Savage, MT.||15.11 lbs.|
|14.||Chuck Buxbaum, Sidney, MT. – Fred Buxbaum Sidney, MT.||14.64 lbs.|
|15.||Stacy Fullmer, Sidney, MT. – Valerie Fullmer, Sidney, MT.||14.18 lbs.|
|16.||Tracy Petrie, Sidney, MT. – Todd Peterson, Sidney, MT.||13.42 lbs.|
|17.||Justin Jones Sidney, MT. – Logan Jones, Sidney, MT.||11.96 lbs.|
|18.||Steve Harris Sr., Sidney, MT. – Chad Nelson, Sidney, MT.||11.45 lbs.|
|19.||Larry Mindt, Sidney, MT. – Beth Mindt, Sidney, MT.||11.11 lbs.|
|20.||Chad Held, Fairview, MT. – Kelly Gustafson, Sidney, MT.||9.06 lbs.|
|21.||John Nelson, Sidney, MT. – Lori Nelson, Sidney, MT.||7.78 lbs.|
|22.||Verne Cashman, Sidney, MT. – Cody Gibson, Sidney, MT.||5.28 lbs.|
|23.||Kirk Sanders, Sidney, MT. – Melissa Sanders, Sidney, MT.||0 lbs.|
|Tyler Malkuch, Sidney, MT. – Mandy Malkuch, Sidney, MT.||0 lbs.|
|25.||Dustin Fulwiler, Gillette, WY. – Phil Gingery, Glendive, MT.||0 lbs.|
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