|Baumgartner and McConnell place 1st in catfish tourney|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
A team from Holyoke took home the top prize in the annual Southwest Ike’s Catfish Tourney held Saturday, April 7 at Enders Lake in Enders, Neb.
Houston McConnell and Reid Baumgartner had no trouble placing first as they hauled in 23 pounds, 2 ounces of catfish, 11 pounds more than the second-place team.
The effort netted the Holyoke team the first place cash prize of $790.
Placing second was a team from Champion, Neb., Charlie and Brandon Beard, who pulled in 12 pounds, 2 ounces and the second-place prize of $470.
In third were Tom Zishovsky of Breckenridge and Mark Balderston of Fairplay, who caught an even 12 pounds of catfish. They took home $315.
The McConnell/Baumgartner team also had the biggest individual catfish caught in the contest at 12 pounds, 3 ounces, so they also took home the “big fish” pot, said contest coordinator Tom Elder of Imperial, Neb.
The first-, second- and third-place prize money is determined by the number of entries, which Elder said was the best turnout they’ve had.
Twenty-one two-person teams competed from Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas.
Rules of the contest include counting only channel catfish with a 14-inch minimum size, and a five-fish limit per team. Fishing is allowed from a boat or the bank. Only legal, commercial or natural bait is allowed. Use of cell phones or wireless devices to convey fishing information is not allowed.
Elder said Ike’s will hold the annual contest in 2013 on the first Saturday in April.
Holyoke Enterprise April 19, 2012