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Big blue leads Nebraska team to victory By Larry Myhre

Entered by Gary Howey

Former tournament angler, hunting and fishing guide. Inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing "Hall of Fame" in 2017. Active member of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW), Past Executive Director (AGLOW). Howey has been an outdoor communicator since 1980 with his award winning syndicated "Of the Outdoors" columns appearing in magazine, newspapers, and tabloids throughout he upper Midwest and nationally.

August 24, 2016

Reprinted from the Sioux City Journal

SOUTH SIOUX CITY |When 47 teams of catfish anglers took to the Missouri River last Saturday it was a big fish that would lead the winning team to victory at the 12th annual Cat Attack tournament.

Competitors blasted off from the South Sioux City boat ramp at 7 a.m. and they regrouped at 4 p.m. to see who had the most pounds of catfish.

It was Dennis and Ronda Iburg, Syracuse, Neb., who took the top honors, boosted by their catch of a 41-pound blue catfish and one channel cat for a 42.95 total weight. They won $1,645 in their second attempt in this tournament.

Dennis said he spotted two fish on his depth finder on top of a ledge so they anchored above them using goldeye for bait.

They just edged out the second-place team of Les Roeber, Emerson, Neb., and Lowell Roeber, Winnebago, Neb., by just a few ounces. The Roebers weighed five fish, four channel cats and one flathead for a total of 42.65 pounds. Their biggest fish was 21.6 pounds. They won $1,115.

Tournament director Pat Carter said the event paid out a total of $5,135 through the top eight places. Ninth through 20th places received merchandise prizes.

Pic-Cat Attack Winners

This 41-pound Blue Cat anchored the win for Dennis and Rhonda Iburg of Syracuse, Nebraska. They also weighed a 1.95 pound channel catfish for a 42.94 pound total which just edge them over the second place team which weighed 42.65 pounds.( Larry Myhre Photo)

Big fish honors went to the Iburgs with their 41-pound blue catfish earning them a check for $500.

Keith Lunzman and Jeff O’tool weighed in the second-biggest fish which weighed 24.60 pounds. They won $250.

The Noon Big Fish weigh-in was won by Lunzman and O’tool with their 24.60 catch. They won $100.

All the big-fish winners weighed blue catfish.

In third place was Bill B. Watts, North Sioux City and Bill L. Watts, Farmington, Minn. They weighed five fish for a total weight 32.30 pounds. Their biggest fish was 9.15 pounds. They won $735. This father and son team has fished all 12 Cat Attack tournaments.

Placing fourth was Austin Miller, Sioux City and David Ross, Dakota City, with total weight of 28.40. They weighed two fish with their biggest at 24.20 pounds. They won $350.

Winning fifth was Cory Estochen and Dustin Estochen, both from Homer, Neb. They weighed four fish for a total weight of 27.40. Their biggest fish was 11.45 pounds. They won $265. The Estochens won first place in 2014 and placed second in last year’s event.

Keith Lunzman, Pisgah, Iowa, and Jeff O’tool, placed sixth. They entered one fish which weighed 24.60 pounds. They won $195.

In seventh place was Brant Kurtz, Travis Deeds and Colton Kurtz, all from Correctionville, Iowa. They weighed four fish for a total of 24 pounds. Their biggest was 7.45 pounds. They won $160. They have fished every Cat Attack since 2009 when they won third place.

Placing eighth was Chad Saunders and Dan Gill, both of South Sioux City, with two fish weighing 18.05 pounds. Their largest weighed 11 pounds. They won $100. They have fished every tournament since 2006 and won fourth place in 2009.

Two 20-inch bikes were given to the boy and girl who came closest to guessing the weight of the big fish. Aiden Estochen, 3, won the boy’s bike and Zabrina Praster, 6, won the girl’s.

Teams weighed in a total of 66 channel catfish, 11 flathead catfish and four blue catfish for a total weight of 403.9 pounds. Only five teams caught their limit of five fish.

About 200 spectators attended the weigh-in ceremonies.

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