Doug VanDiver (left) and Jake Branham also took big fish honors. Photo courtesy of Pete Ochs.

Big blue cats lift anglers into first place

August 21, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Jake Branham and Doug VanDiver took first place in the most recent Lake Springfield Open Buddy Catfish Tournament Series event Aug. 17 with a total weight of 165.9 pounds.

Their catch included two blue catfish weighing 80.6 and 57.4 pounds. The biggest one also garnered big fish honors.

Twenty-three teams competed.

"Those fish are really putting on the weight in Lake Springfield," said tournament organizer Pete Ochs. "It was a terrific deal for the local catfish crowd that the folks at City, Water, Light and Power and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources gave us permission to stock this lake (with blue catfish from the Mississippi River near Alton)."

A story from 2011 about the efforts of local catfish anglers to establish blue catfish in Lake Springfield is linked below.

Second place went to Cory Rath and Andy Sneed with six channel catfish weighing 39.7 pounds.

Bill Parfitt and Jason Rath took third place with channel catfish weighing 29.4 pounds.

The next tournament will be held Sept. 21.

Sign up is from 2 – 2:45 p.m. at the beach house across from the Lindsay Bridge Boat Ramp.

Tournament hours are 3 – 11 p.m.

The entry fee is $60 per boat with an optional $10 per boat for the big fish pot.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit the tournament series Facebook page at:

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After a year’s delay, blue catfish stocked in Lake Springfield