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Fishing pat catfish
Cutline Pat Carter holds one of the Summit Lake catfish near Tekamah, Neb. (Journal photo by Larry Myhre)

TEKAMAH, NEB. -- It probably wasn’t the kind of day you would pick for catfishing, but nobody told the cats.

Pat Carter, Elk Point, S.D., and I arrived at Summit Lake in the middle of a morning rainstorm, but when the downpour turned to sprinkles, we launched my boat and headed out.

Pat had fished the lake a couple times before and was impressed with the channel catfish to be found there. When he suggested we give it a try, I was quick to agree.

For the past seven years, Pat and I have gotten together prior to Sioux City’s one and only catfish tournament and spend a day or an evening chasing “ole whiskers.”

It’s a tradition now and what began as a U.S. CATS sponsored tournament is now a local tournament with Pat as the director. Strong sponsor support from local businesses, headed by First Class Credit Union, and individuals is quickly making this event one of the premier catfish tournaments in the country.

Last year the First Class Cat Attack attracted 51 teams with entries from a seven-state area. This year Pat hopes to top 60 boats and is well on his way. Current entries exceed last year’s.

This year, the boats will blast off from the South Sioux City boat ramp with waters of the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers eligible.

Last year’s event was won by Dean and Bruce Strobman of Sioux City with a single catch — a 56.60-pound blue catfish. Second was taken by Keith Copenhaver, Sioux City, and Chris Sharp, Merrill, Iowa with 10 fish weighing 40.90 pounds.

In all, anglers weighed in 155 fish totaling 500.15 pounds, the highest weight in the history of the tournament.

This year’s event will be July 24 with anglers fishing from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event has a $5,000 guaranteed payout. Cash awards will be given for first through 6th place with additional cash placements for over 30 teams. Seventh to 15th place teams will win door prizes. Additional door prizes will be offered including a trolling motor, depth finder and rods and reels.

Entry automatically qualifies teams for the 2010 Night Tournament from 7p.m. to 8 a.m. Sept. 4.

The public is welcome to the weigh-in at the ramp. A free cookout and drinks will be available beginning at 3 p.m.

Entry fee for the event is $100 with an optional $10 for the big fish Pot. Entries are being accepted at the Bacon Creek Country Store at 2520 Gordon Dr. Entries will also be accepted, cash only, the morning of the tournament. A mandatory rules meeting will begin at 6:30 a.m.

For more information, contact Pat Carter at (712) 281-1841 or email:

Check out the web site at:

Oh, our Summit Lake catfish?

Suffice it to say that had we been in a tournament, we would have done well.

Isn’t that how it goes?


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