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COLUMBIA, S.C. - The first ever World Catfish Challenge is in the record books, and the Berkley Fishing sponsored team of anglers, Capt. Phil King and Tim Haynie along with team runner, David Shipman. All Corinth, Mississippi natives brought in over 500 pounds of Wels Catfish and came in a very close second, missing the title by a mere 1 pound, 3 ounces. The event featured 45 teams from 16 countries that competed on the River Ebro in central Spain.
After opening ceremonies, including a parade through Chiprana, anglers drew their pegs for the three-day competition and began looking at the locations and mapping out team strategies. The U.S. Team used a JRC inflatable boat along with PENN Sargus reels, Berkley Catfish Pellet rods and Berkley FireLine to catch all 7 of their fish on the first day totaling 502 pounds. However, the second day of competition did not produce any fish, but the U.S. Team maintained a healthy lead. The third day produced a variety of weather challenges including rain, sunshine, high winds and thunder. The US Team continued to lead until about 2 hours before the end of the tournament when the Dutch team brought in a fish and won the tournament by 1.3 pounds.
“Our teams did an excellent job of representing our country and Berkley Fishing,” said Andrew Marks, Berkley Marketing Director. “ Berkley loves to use these types of events to showcase big cat angling and the products that can withstand these giant fish. We look forward to returning to Chiprana, Spain in 2012 to continue supporting such a great event.
The teams shared their fishing experiences along with different knots, fishing techniques and other stories throughout the competition. The similarity of many of the applications was surprising, but King commented several times about trying the knot and bait techniques that he learned to use with the pellets back in America to see if it increases his catch rate.
“This was an amazing tournament to fish,” said King. “Every team out here had a shared passion for the sport of catching monster cats, and to compete against the world’s best anglers was extremely special. We were able to share secrets and different techniques that we use back in the States, and I believe we came away better anglers because of this experience.”
For more information go to: www.worldcatfishclassic.com