The Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association is holding the 2nd Annual Yantis Catfish Classic on Lake Fork July 24th and 25th 2010. The 2010 tournament has a guaranteed $26,000 payout.
In addition there will be awards for:
- Top female
- Top youth
- Top senior
- Early entry drawings
- 7 hourly payouts each day for big fish
- 7 overall winners for big fish
You can view the rules, entry fees and download the entry form at Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association website.
A number of years ago Sealy Outdoors started hosting the “catfish splash” at Lake Fork and they stopped hosting the tournaments with the last one being in 2008. The Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association has picked up the slack bringing in their own tournament.
Lake Fork is an excellent lake for channel catfish and I have personally caught a ton of nice big fat Lake Fork channels over the years. Lake Fork is rumored to have blues in it, and has produced some trophy class blue catfish over the years but primary success catching trophy blue catfish on Lake Fork seems to be geared around jug fishing. Some anglers have produced limited catches of blues in other tournaments but fish that have weighed in have primarily been channels.
The Sealy Outdoors tournaments were surrounded by a lot of controversy in the catfishing community because of their “no chumming” rules. Tournament anglers were not allowed to chum for catfish or bait holes for catfish within a certain time frame surrounding the tournament on Lake Fork. The controversy started when residents who live on Lake Fork would run deer feeders on their docks to concentrate catfish around their docks, and then allegedly shut them off in the set time frame leading up to the Lake Fork catfish tournament. The problem with this being that at that point the catfish are already trained to hold in that area (are baited). It will be interesting to see how the Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association handles this.
A number of the tournament fishermen did very well in some of the tournaments by targeting fish cleaning stations and also identifying docks with feeders prior to the tournament and then fishing these docks with feeders, relying on a loop hole in the rules. Because they were not chumming for catfish or baiting the holes for catfish and it was being done by the dock or property owners they were skirting the tournament rules. I have no idea how the Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association would look at this so I am not suggesting or condoning this behavior.
Last year in the 2009 Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association tournament the top prize of $6400 went to Tim Morrow of Lindale Texas for a 16.17 lb blue caught the during the first day of the tournament. The second place prize of $3400 went to Fred O’Brian of Hobbs New Mexico for a 14.3 Lb flathead , which was the only flathead weighed in during the tournament.