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Published July 28, 2012, 06:14 PM

Cats Incredible tournament returns after cancelling last year

EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (WDAZ TV) - It's a fishing tournament that draws in thousands of people to the Red River each year.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ, WDAZ

EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (WDAZ TV) - It's a fishing tournament that draws in thousands of people to the Red River each year.

And this time, anglers may notice something different about the Cats Incredible tournament.

It's been a long wait for local anglers, eager to get back on the Red River after the event was cancelled last year.

"We had two big fish and they started rolling around on each other and that's what happened."

Now the tournament is back in action, but it’s not the same.

Because of new invasive species laws, it is now an all-Minnesota Tournament with all teams launching only from East Grand Forks.

The change forced organizers to cut 25 teams from the usual 150 but despite the smaller tournament, registration was still down.

Tom McDonald, Tournament Co-Chair: “We were going for 125 teams, but we'll take 116.”

“I hate seeing them let the fish back out.”

“Looks to be the biggest, just over 19 pounds.”

The low registration may lead to more success in the water.

The biggest catfish caught today was nearly 20 pounds, so organizers are hopeful that this year will shatter records.

“The tournament record is 26 pounds in 25 years,”

Terry Hecht, who has been competing in the tournament for more than a decade, says he's never had this kind of luck.

Terry Hecht, Cats Incredible Competitor: "We caught two fish before 8 in the morning. We moved down river and had settled in for a slow afternoon, or what we thought, and then that 20 pounder hit. It's quite a thrill."

"If you don't have fish where you are, move and you'll find some and maybe some of this for you".

The tournament continues Sunday and includes plenty of events and games for the whole family.

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