It’s all about the catfish fun
A tough bite for most, and HOT weather challenged anglers on September 16, 2017 on the Mighty Mississippi. One Hundred Sixty-Seven boats gathered in Memphis for year two of the Mississippi River Monsters tournament, directed by George Young Jr.
Young’s dedication to the tournament accumulated more than $100,000 in cash and prizes that went to anglers at the tournament. It all started on Friday night with the captain’s meeting where about $25,000 worth of sponsors product was distributed to anglers. Almost everyone in attendance won a prize.
The following morning a smoothly ran launch had all the anglers in the water by 6:00, a full hour before fishing began at 7:00 am. Anglers used two different locations for livewell checks and ramping. The southernmost ramp on Mud Island carried most of the boats to the water and the Greenbelt Park ramp on the northern end of the island was used to check livewells and launch the remaining 50 boats.
The week previous to the tournament had been characterized by a slow bite. Pre-fishing anglers mostly reported only a few bites a day. Many of them reporting finding fish but not getting them to bite. “There are so many fish out there,” one angler was heard to say. Tournament day was a mixed story for most, while some still found fish but could not get them to bite others caught upwards to 30 fish for the day.
While the anglers fished, spectators and vendors were back at Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid. Many sponsors had set up their booths to demonstrate products, give away prizes and visit with participants at the Anglers Rodeo. It was a long wait in the hot weather for the official weigh-in to start at 3:00 pm.
When the weigh in ended, Jody Harrison and company, had weighed in 325 fish, totaling 5,165 pounds! Bass Pro Shops personnel had conducted water quality studies, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) had measured, tagged, resuscitated, and returned all those fish to the water.
At the end of the day it was Daryl and Jason Masingale at the top of the leader board. The brothers won the inaugural Mississippi River Monsters tournament in 2016 and returned to defended their title successfully in 2017. A repeat victory, given the caliber of talent fishing the event, is definitely a feat to be proud of. Last year team Masingale Catfishing weighed in 151 pounds to win. Their winning weight in 2017 was a little bit better at 158.67 pounds. Congratulations to Daryl and Jason on the repeat victory.
Team Masingale also caught big fish of the tournament at 77.27 pounds.
The number two spot went to B’n’M Pro Staff anglers Roy Harkness and Don Sweat. They weighed in a five-fish limit that pulled the scales to 132.97 pounds.
Third place went to Jason Jackson from Illinois and Tyler Moses from Alabama. Their bag weighed 120.58 pounds.
Finishing in the fourth-place slot was another B’n’M team. Hunter Jones and Jason Aycock travelled from Missouri to fish the MRM. Their weight was 118.95.
The team of Bill Dance and B’n’M’s Jeff Dodd from Tennessee and Jon Warden from Missouri won fifth place. They weighed in 117.09 pounds to claim the fifth spot.
The remaining top-twelve spots all registered more than triple digit poundage on the scales. T. Hunter and J. Ranson – 116.10; R. Benningfield and R Eislet – 109.87; Hemby and Mathis – 107,21; Carl Morris, Jr and Rob Parsons – 106.83; B. Riddle and J. Neece – 102.28; J. Cook and G. Ryan – 101.27; M. Gerloff and S. Styles – 101.01.
Congratulations to all the competitors and the organizers on a job well done. If you didn’t make Mississippi River Monsters this year start your planning now to make the 2018 event. It is all about the competition, the fun, and the camaraderie. It was a great year for Mississippi River Monsters II!