The Reed Chevrolet Catfish Classic will be hosted by the Catfish Chasers Tournament Series this summer on the Missouri River in St. Joseph.
Craig Collings, event organizer, said the fifth annual event will be held as an overnight tournament in August.
The event will be launched from the French Bottom Boat Ramp on the Missouri River at 6 p.m. on August 10 and the fish will be weighed at 10 a.m. on August 11.
Collings said the tournament has one of the highest payouts in the country and it is one of the largest catfish tournaments to launch from St. Joseph.
He said there are currently 70 boats that have registered from nine states.
The winning team this year will receive at least $15,000 for the largest total weight of the top five fish caught. The team that catches the single biggest fish will win a guaranteed $500 and will receive six Big Cat Fever rods which are valued at $500.
The second place team is guaranteed $7,500, the third place team will win $5,500 and the fourth place team will receive $3,500.
All top 10 teams will receive a cash payout of over $1,000.
If the first place team catches a five fish limit of catfish weighing 225 pounds or more during the tournament, they will win a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ truck from Reed Chevrolet in St. Joseph. The truck is valued at $55,000.
Collings said there will be a mandatory meeting for participants at 6 p.m. on Aug. 9 at the St. Joseph Civic Arena.
A dinner will be provide and the Catfish Chasers will hold their first Calcutta auction in St. Joseph.
The fish will be weighed in at 10 a.m. on August 11. The holding tank to view the fish during the weigh-in will be at the parking lot of the Remington Nature Center and it is free for the public to attend.
The tournament will also offer a limited number of free rod and reels to youth that are in the crowd to promote their involvement in fishing.
Spectators and fishermen can purchase raffle tickets for outdoor equipment at the weigh-in that cost $5 for one ticket or six tickets for $20.
There will be three food vendors at the weigh-in that will sell BBQ meat, nachos, cotton candy and ice cream.
Collings said the tournament on the Missouri River is not only supported by local businesses but also provides a positive impact economically to the region.
According to the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau, the event has an estimated financial impact to the community of $66,000 each year.
“The anglers don’t just spend money in St. Joseph during the day of the tournament, but they are also here the days leading up to the event preparing,” Collings said. “When these anglers travel from other areas, they spend money over a time period here.”
There is a $150 early entry fee with a $25 late fee for entries postmarked after August 2. The launch order is determined by when the entry is received.
The event will be catch-and-release only in order to conserve the trophy fish in the river.
For a list of tournament sponsors and to receive an application form, visit www.catfishchasers.com or contact Collings by phone at 816-261-9353.