Fishing tournament includes fish fry, Catfish Queen

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Catfish Queen Natalie Domeyer rode in the Stars & Stripes parade for her first official duty as royalty. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

The Guttenberg Motel will host its third annual Catfish Tournament on Saturday, July 28. From the first year to the second, the competition grew from 19 teams to 29 teams with total weigh-in of over 350 pounds in 2017 – and organizers Dave and Patty Schwarz expect a similar experience this year.

New to the event is the crowning of a Catfish Queen. “This year’s Catfish Queen is Natalie Domeyer, who is also an employee of the motel,” said Patty Schwarz. Domeyer’s first duty was to represent The Guttenberg Motel on its Stars & Stripes parade float. “After discussing this with a few people we agree, having a Catfish Queen is a must,” chuckles Schwarz.

“The tournament is made up of people from all walks of life, from the fun fishermen to the die hard fishermen,” said Schwarz. She and her husband have gone the extra mile to make the tournament an unforgettable experience for all participants. “On Thursday afternoon, folks start to arrive at Guttenberg’s area attractions and restaurants, and then the fun begins,” said Schwarz. While Saturday is spent fishing, the event kicks off on Thursday evening with a group trip to the Osterdock Store for taco night. 

Pre-fishing will take place during the day on Friday, followed by registration and a short meeting with refreshments catered by Guttenberg Gallery & Creativity Center’s youth-driven Courtyard Cafe. The tournament begins bright and early at 6 a.m. on Saturday.

“The teams consist of 2-6 people. You may fish anywhere on the river. Contestants may be at their favorite fishing spots and dropping their first lines at 6 a.m., and must be back at the motel at 1 p.m. At that time each team will have their catch weighed and then the process of cleaning the catfish begins,” Schwarz told The Press. The tournament is 100 percent pay-back, and pays out for the big fish and overall top three weights, channel cat only. Teams may weigh 10 fish total. 

After the fish are cleaned, the feast begins. A fish fry, social hour and tournament awards ceremony will be held at the Eagles Club. While fishermen eat their catch for free, the meal is open to the community for a small fee. Side dishes will be catered by Kaffee 1858, the Eagles Club, and Sodes Green Acre Café, with dessert from Delights by Margo. 

On Sunday the party wraps up with breakfast at The Stadium and good memories made. “The days of friendship, good food and fishing this great Mississippi River are the reason for the tournament,” said Schwarz. “We truly are blessed with some great friends and have so much fun! I am almost sad on Sunday when it ends.”

The largest catfish caught in the tournament to date weighed 9.3 pounds. To sign up for the tournament or for more information, call The Guttenberg Motel at 563-252-1433.

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