by Steve Peterson
A total of 57 teams and 136 fishermen participated in the overnight fishing tournament, the Skilly Slam, held July 13 and 14. This is the biggest Catfish Tournament in Iowa, according to Skilly Slam founders, Bob and Gail Walrod.
“It keeps getting bigger and bigger,” said organizer Bob Walrod. Fishermen found their favorite fishing spots along the Big Sioux River from Sioux City to Hawarden.
Cory Matheny and Terry Lemmon won the title for Most Pounds Caught with 48.3 pounds and won the top prize money of $400.
Darrell Carter of Elk Point was second for Most Pounds Caught with 40.6 pounds and won $250
Jerrod and Hunter Henrich and Troy and Lane Hemmelrick finished third with 35.8 pounds and won $150.
Brant and Alicia Kuntz and Travis Deeds caught 34.2 pounds for $75 for fourth place.
Al Copenhoven had 33.5 pounds caught for fifth place and won $50.
Dan VerMullen won for Biggest Fish, an 18.7 pound Blue Catfish, and won $565.
Tim Winneia won for Biggest Carp, 8.7 pounds, and won $50.
Matt Bohr won for Most Asian Carp pounds that jumped into the boat, 7.8 pounds, and won $50.
Bobby Walrod caught a 15.2 pound Flathead. Mike Pool caught a 7.4 pound Flathead. Austin Walrod caught five channel catfish totalling 20.7 pounds.
Organizers said the total fish caught, 115, weighed almost 700 pounds: 699.7. There were 81 channel catfish, 32 Flathead catfish and two Blue catfish.
Fishermen agreed the water level was higher this year than in the past. The tournament has been part of the Akron summer scene since 2003 and is held in memory of the late Chris Walrod, the son of the Walrods.
The weigh-in drew a large crowd Sunday at the Reed Street boat ramp.
Daniel Dirks and Matt Finzen, both of Akron, said the event was fun.