Anglers come out for Dick Bell Catfish Tournament

Justin Kratz, chair of the Dick Bell Catfish Tournament committee, with youth category winner Delvin Bigwood. The tournament was held Saturday, June 4 on the Red and Bois de Sioux rivers.

The Red and Bois de Sioux rivers hosted anglers of all ages Saturday, June 5. The Red River Area Sportsmen’s Club (RRASC) sponsored the 22nd Annual Dick Bell Catfish Tournament.

Catches could qualify for two categories. There was a youth division and a division offering prize money for the five catfish with the largest weights.

“As in the past, this was a catch and release tournament,” RRASC President Greg Gerou said. “All the ‘cats’ went back into the river.”

Tournament participants could fish anywhere along the Red and Bois de Sioux rivers, Gerou said. The tournament was open from 7-11 a.m., with all fish needing to be presented before the event concluded.

“A big thank you goes to Justin Kratz, who chaired the event. He has been the chair for a number of years and has done a great job running the tournament,” Gerou said.

Gerou’s tournament work included taking pictures and helping to weigh fish. Cindie Van Tassel, who helped with registering participants, and Wayne Beyer, who prepared equipment, were also among the volunteers.

“Catfish are king on the Red River,” Beyer previously wrote. “It’s not uncommon for our campgrounds to host fishermen from Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas seeking a weekend getaway by catching channel catfish.”

There was one entry in this year’s youth division, Gerou said. Delvin Bigwood received the first place trophy and a $50 check from the RRASC. Bigwood caught a 15-ounce catfish.

“For our prize division, there were 16 entries. Many of the participants were weighing fish,” Gerou said.

Prize money amounts were determined by the number of entries, with a breakdown from first to fifth place. Ten percent of the money went toward the North Dakota Game and Fish Department to assist with fisheries development, particularly on the Red River.

“The RRASC also adds $100 to the first place total,” Gerou said.

Prize winners included:

  • Michael Graves, first place, with a 6 pound, 11 ounce catfish, worth $40.50 and the $100 from the RRASC, for $140.50 total
  • Rich Kellog, second place, with a 5 pound, 5 ounce catfish worth $33.75
  • Brady Graves, third place, with a 4 pound, 7 ounce catfish worth $27
  • Josh Weibusch, fourth place, with a 4 pound, 6 ounce catfish worth $20.25
  • Kristopher Kratz, fifth place, with a 3 pound, 2 ounce catfish worth $13.50

“Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who participated in the event,” Gerou said.

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