A record number of fishermen took place in the Dick Kissack Memorial Iroquois River Catfish Tournament this weekend in Iroquois County.
Organizer Jason Cahoe said the tournament had 18 teams, with each team consisting of two or three fishermen. “This is the best year so far,” he said.
The event went from noon Saturday to noon Sunday, which was the final weigh-in.
In all, the organizers gave away about $1,600 in cash and prizes.
Half of the 50/50 money wen to pay for a fishing rod, tackle box and pack of worms for the youths who participated this year.
The family of Dick Kissack, a long-time Iroquois County fisherman who passed away last year, provided a meal for the fishermen on Sunday and also donated toward the prize money. Other donors for prize money included Tom Marshino of Weber’s Plumbing and Heating, Chad Wright of Wright Concrete and Nacin Burhmester of NBC Demolition.
Cahoe said the tournament continues to grow. This was the fourth year for the event and he said there is already talk of next year’s event.
This tournament, he said, is one where fishermen can catch fish by any legal means allowed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
He said he and co-organizer John Marshino have been approached by some people who want them to organize a strictly rod and reel tournament for later in the summer. Should that come to fruition, he said they will make announcements.
The weather held out and gave fishermen the opportunity to catch some nice fish, he said, though he said his own team struggled this year in the section of the river they fished, while teams upstream and downstream did very well.
This year’s winners include:
First place, five-fish stringer weighing 97 pounds: David Cahoe, Chuck Shipley and Nick Gregory
Second place, five-fish stringer weighing 55.1 pounds: Michael Anderson, Bryan Hyde and Bryan Lucento.
Third place, five-fish stringer weighing 54.1 pounds: Chris Horner, Chad MArtell and Donnie Mabbitt
Big Catfish, youth: 10.8 pounds, Cohen Brown
Big Catfish, adults: first place, 16.05 pounds, Dale Duits, Ted Heideman, Roman Bosivert
Big Catfish, adults: first place, 13.55 David Cahoe, Chuck Shipley and Nick Gregory
Cahoe said the event drew people from all over Iroquois County, including Watseka, Chebanse and Clifton, and also Hoopeston, and Lake Village, Indiana.
The weigh-in drew a lot of spectators, he said. Some brought lawn chairs and enjoyed watching as the fish were weighed and the prizes were presented, he said.