ALTON - The 4th annual Alton Catfish Classic is returning to the Alton Amphitheater with $52,000 in total prize money being paid out to the 10 best anglers on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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Tournament Director Alex Nagy discussed the event on a recent episode of Our Daily Show! on Riverbender.com.

There is a $500 entry fee per team of up to three anglers for the event, which is paid back by over 100% thanks to $50,000 in prize money combined with $1,500 and $500 Big Fish sponsors from B&R Marine. That adds up to $52,000 in payouts up for grabs for the top 10 places with a $20,000 grand prize for first place.

“COVID stopped one year, but other than that, we’ve been going strong since 2019 and it continues to grow,” Nagy said of the Catfish Classic. “We’re doing some food, we have a Friday night Captain’s Meeting that’s open to the public where we’re going to do a calcutta.

“The public is welcome to come hang out with some of the anglers, look at the boats, look at some of our vendors that [are] set up, and the unique thing is we do a calcutta - so we’ll auction off each team … you can ‘buy’ a team and then if that team wins, you get part of that pot. So that’s a really cool thing and helps grow the event.”

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Nagy said exact details on where and when the Captain’s Meeting and calcutta are being held will be announced on Friday evening.

The Riverbend area is a unique region for fishing due to the prominence of available fishing waters, between the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers as well as the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, Nagy said.

“What’s unique as an angler fishing this area is that there’s a lot of industry, a lot of different types of water current, and it’s big. There’s tons of places for these big fish to hide … it’s a very unique area,” Nagy said. “Alton, Illinois is known for giants, and it is because you have so many 100-plus pound fish getting caught.

Nagy said the event has grown beyond his expectations over the years.

“Everything helps grow the sport, the outdoors, and like I said, it’s the Mecca of catfish in the Alton, Illinois area,” Nagy said.

For more information about the Alton Catfish Classic, visit the event’s Facebook page. The full interview with Nagy can be watched at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.

Photo by Tom Stolze

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