Angling team keeps winning big

catfish tournament fishing
Anthony Murphy, left, and fishing partner Mike Snyder are winning their way up in the national ranks in the world of catfish tournament fishing by catching giant blue cats like this one. (Submitted photo)

Featured here just a few weeks back, our Buckeye-based monster catfish King Kat angling team just keeps on pounding the pavement and returning home with winning grins and shiny trophies.

Big fish and big awards keep coming for the dynamic local duo of Anthony Murphy and Mike Snyder, who base their highly successful catfish tournament operation in Holmes County, Ohio.

After placing high in an Alabama contest last month with a 100-pound five fish limit that included a 65-pound monster cat, the pair now claimed top place just last week at a one-day King Kat tournament on TVA’s sprawling Old Hickory Lake.

Their five fish catch stretched the scales at just shy of 129 pounds, well ahead of the second place bag of 111 pounds.

Murphy and Snyder also nearly walked away with the big fish contest with their best cat of 44.58 pounds, just a few pounds less than the winning 50 pounder.

The Bass Pro Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail is now the nation’s leading catfish tournament sponsor.

The Nashville area Old Hickory Lake contest hosted 40 two-person teams from 11 states.

It’s likely that catfish hunters got less respect than Rodney Dangerfield before these big-time King Kat tournaments and regional catfish events caught on with TV and print media, sponsors and a faithful following.

But now, Big catfish are true trophies, worthy of attention.BAYB-online-promo

A long hike

Remember David Defer, the young hiker who completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT) last summer?

David’s adventure and life-changing accomplishment inspired his father Chuck Defer, also an experienced backpacker, to take on the same personal challenge this year.

Inspiration led to Georgia, when and where the 63-year-old set out at milepost one, heading due north on his own adventure.

The senior Defer said thru-hiking the AT seemed like a calling, and although he is finding the way a physical challenge, he is confident in his ability and determination to reach the final trailhead by late summer.

The Defers lives in Hiram, Ohio, where the terrain is nothing like the ups and downs of the AT, especially in the Smoky Mountains, said Chuck Defer, who at 29 days in is already at milepost 344.

Although Defer started the hike cranking out nearly 20 miles each day, he has found his pace to be more doable at about 15 miles per day.

Defer said that walking the AT is a most unusual experience, mostly due to the variety of people he meets along the trail.

Sunset is midnight on the AT, he said, and that means bedtime.

The AT is 2,200 miles long and typically takes from five to seven months to thru-hike.

Just one out of four at best complete this extreme endurance test. Count on an occasional update on Defer’s progress.


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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.



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