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Milk River Catfish Classic Timeline

| April 2000 | Brenner Flaten and Luke Morehouse develop a plan for a catfish tournament to be held in mid-May on the Milk River in Glasgow. The entire rules and regulations are discussed and finalized in their high school Algebra class. Luke was a Freshman at the time and Brenner was a Sophomore. Entry Fee is set at only $20 per team with an optional $10 for the big fish pot, where it stayed for six years. The tournament was a 100 % payout event and it still remains to this day.

| May 20th, 2000 | The Inaugural Milk River Catfish Classic is stationed out of the Glasgow Civic Center Parking lot, with weigh-ins taking place in the bed of a pickup truck. Fish are weighed individually with a hand held digital scale. The initial tournament consists of 12 teams made up of mainly family and close friends.

| May 24th, 2000 | The Classic receives their first ever media coverage, when an article is featured in the weekly Wednesday edition of The Glasgow Courier.

| May 19th, 2001 | The Classic sees growth to 21 teams in only its second year. Weigh-ins are moved to outside city limits inside Clarence George’s shop. All tournament fish are weighed in baskets on the current bulk digital scale still used today.

| January 2002 | World famous In-Fisherman features the Milk River Catfish Classic in their “Select Catfish Tournaments” article within the annual Catfish Insider Guide publication.

| May 18th, 2002 | 30 teams enter the 3rd Annual Classic as weigh-ins remain outside city limits at Clarence George’s shop.

| May 31st, 2003 | 25 teams enter the Cat Classic. Weigh-in headquarters are moved down to the river bank on Keith and Mary Morehouse’s property to allow quick release of the fish back into the Milk River.

| Jan 9th, 2004 | Montana FWP approves the submitted tournament application and the Milk River Catfish Classic becomes official.

| June 5th, 2004 | 29 teams sign up for the 5th annual event. The Cat Classic moves to the first weekend of June for the first time, where it will stay for years to come.
Weigh-ins are moved to the Glasgow Stockyards parking lot on the day of the event due to extreme muddy conditions on the Milk River bank. Weigh-ins take place in heavy rain without cover for the last time, as a canopy over the stage is now provided for all future years. Brenner and Jason Flaten become the first team to win back-to-back titles in tournament history.

| May 2005 | Key sponsors are on board for the first time to help the Classic grow to new heights. Sponsors include numerous local businesses and the well-known tackle supply company, Catfish Connection.

| June 3rd, 2005 | The Milk River Catfish Classic is featured on the front page of the Good Evening Glasgow for the first time.

| June 4th, 2005 | Stands as maybe the most important year of the Classic in terms of overall changes. The tournament sees massive growth from the previous years. Tournament co-founders Brenner Flaten and Luke Morehouse decide to stop fishing the tournament and concentrate all their efforts towards running the annual event. Team limit is originally set at 40, but is lifted due to the increased local popularity. 48 teams would eventually take part in the 6th Annual event. Weigh-ins are moved to their current downtown Glasgow location, where a record number of people show up and witness a record breaking stringer of fish by Adam Morehouse and Kirk Boyer. Dave Fuller sets the all-time tournament record with his 12.4 lb. big fish.

| May 2006 | The Nemont Beverage Corporation and Busch Light become the Catfish Classic’s top-flight sponsor. Their continued support and local radio advertisement has been essential to the growth of the Classic.

| June 3rd, 2006 | Cat Classic fills the current 60-team limit for the first time. Entry fee is raised to the current $50

| June 1st, 2007 | Friday night festivities are added to the Classic for the first time. The Montana Bar begins hosting the annual community social and the Calcutta of all 60 fishing teams.

| June 2nd, 2007 | The Milk River is near flood stage for the 8th Annual, forcing anglers to take extra precaution and completely change fishing plans. The Montana Catfish Association hosts the first ever catfish seminar in the state’s history. More teams choose to fish from a boat than ever before. Jerry and Nate Molstad ignore the high-water conditions and set an all-time tournament record with a 5-fish limit of 34.9 lbs.

| June 7th, 2008 | Tournament Director Brenner Flaten is featured on the Montana Outdoor Radio Show’s Saturday morning broadcast to discuss the Cat Classic and the growth of catfishing in Eastern Montana with the “Captain”.
Tournament begins at 5:00 p.m. for the first time to allow an extra half hour of fishing. Montana Fish and Game begins assisting at the weigh-ins and now weigh, measure, and tag every catfish before they are returned to the Milk River.

| April 24th, 2009 | The 60-team field is filled quicker than ever before, over six weeks in advance of the tournament.

| June 5th, 2009 | In only its third year, The Montana Bar nears maximum capacity for the Friday night community social and Calcutta of the fishing teams. The Calcutta sees a steady increase once again, and is now well over $12,000.

| June 6th, 2009 | Cat Classic celebrates its 10th Anniversary. Weigh-ins are moved inside the Valley Event Center for the first time due to cold/wet weather conditions. Montana’s FWP Video Productions, out of Helena, show up in Glasgow and get outstanding footage of the fisherman during tournament hours as well as the entertaining midnight weigh-ins. The footage is then aired in early July as an outdoor clip across Montana’s TV stations. The Traveling Trophy makes its debut and goes home with Jerry and Nate Molstad, who become only the 2nd team in tournament history to win two titles.

| June 5th, 2010 | Tournament field is bumped to 80 teams for the first time to accommodate massive growth and popularity. Payouts stay at 110%, and now total over $5,000 in guaranteed cash and prizes.

| May 24th, 2011 | Official decision is made to move the tournament to July 16th, 2011 due to drastic flood waters within tournament boundaries.

| June 2nd, 2012 | Young teens, Gage Gordon, Belgrade, MT. and MacKenzie Reid, Bozeman, MT., rock the MT Cats Universe with two new Circuit Records. Their 17.64 lb. cat is the largest ever caught at a MT Cats circuit tournament. Their five fish limit of 51.60 lbs. is also a new standard. (HOWEVER, THIS PERFORMANCE HAS SINCE BEEN STRICKEN FROM THE RECORD BOOKS BY LIFETIME BAN)

| June 1st, 2013 | Jerry and Nate Molstad form a modern-day dynasty by capturing their 4th Milk River Catfish Classic title in a seven year span.

| June 6th, 2014 | Live Music entertainment is welcomed to the Cat Classic Calcutta night for the very first time. The band Trouble Expected, out of Miles City, MT. will always be the first in a long-line of music entertainers that will be welcomed to Glasgow’s famous front street.

| June 7th, 2014 | Gage Gordon, Belgrade, MT. and MacKenzie Reid, Bozeman, MT. are caught fishing outside tournament boundaries and disqualified from the tournament. This was their 2nd similar rules infraction at a circuit event. The anglers receive a lifetime ban from ALL Montana Cats Circuit events and had ALL previous performances wiped from the official record books.

| June 16th, 2014 | 16th Annual Cat Classic fills its 80-team field only nine (9) days after the 15th Annual tournament. A full 355 days in advance! Simply amazing.

| June 6th, 2015 | Nemont TV brings the first FULL television coverage to the catfish classic. A camera crew is sent out on the boat throughout tournament hours and is present at the midnight weigh-ins to catch outstanding footage and replay it on local TV for 12 months.

| June 4th, 2016 | KLTZ/KLAN radio carries the Cat Classic for the first time. Offering listeners fishermen interviews, updates, and midnight weigh-in coverage.

| Jan 5th, 2017 | Despite a new registration process only two years into existence that doesn’t allow teams outside of the previous year’s Top 40 to sign-up before January 2nd, the 18th Annual Cat Classic fills its 80-team field just three (3) days after the opening of registration. A NEW Record.

| June 3rd, 2017 | Bo Boreson, of Cayuga, Indiana breaks the all-time tournament record for biggest catfish. Bo’s Jumbo Whiskers weighs in at 13.87 lbs. The 2nd largest ever weigh in at a Montana Cats Circuit event. Nate Molstad, Havre, MT, and Jerry Molstad, Glasgow, MT., also set a new standard at the Cat Classic and on the Montana Cats Circuit by securing their 5th career tournament title.

| June 2nd, 2018 | A Montana Cats Circuit record SIX (6) cats are weighed in over 10 lbs. during the 19th Annual Cat Classic.  After 15 years of including tributary creeks within tournament boundaries; 2018 marked the first time since 2003 that the Cat Classic was contested solely on the banks of the main river channel.  It will remain that way from this point forward.  When the dust settled Jason Flaten and Cole Plouffe teamed up to reclaim Cat Classic titles.  It is Flaten's 3rd and Plouffe's 2nd.  

| June 1st, 2019 | The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce teams up with the Catfish Classic to bring an all NEW annual event to Glasgow.  The Inaugural "Milk River Catfish Days" provides fun for the whole family as two days of events are planned in downtown Glasgow.  The event is a huge success and there are plans to keep it going moving forward.  The 20th Annual Cat Classic provided unbelievable fishing.  A record breaking EIGHT teams weighed in 30+ lbs.  A record tying twenty-eight teams weigh in 20+ lbs.  A Cat Classic record 78 teams out of 80 weigh-in fish!  Steve Harris Sr., Sidney, and Steve Lowrey, Fairview, become the first official "non-local" champion in tournament history. 

| June 6th, 2020 | The site of the "Famous Midnight Weigh-Ins" is moved from it's traditional location to a new area.  The North parking lot of the Elks hosted it's first weigh-ins and the plans are to remain there in future years.   

| Jan 3rd, 2022 | In just 35 hours, the 23rd Annual Milk River Catfish Classic filled it's 80 team capacity.  A NEW record. 

| Jan 2nd, 2023 | In just 19 hours 44 minutes, the 24th Annual Milk River Catfish Classic filled it's 80 team capacity.  Breaking the previous year's record. 

| June 3rd, 2023 | Excessive spring/early summer rains lead to river and feeder creek swelling.  The Friday night's festivites, including the Calcutta, were moved inside the Elks Lodge due to storm warnings and the tournament is promptly held in record flows throughout much of the tournament boundaries. (5,000 CFS in Tampico). By comparison, previous record flow in Tampico was 2,800 in 2010 & 2012.