It is with a great deal of pride that I'm writing this article. Over the years, from 2001 to the present, we have had a changing of the guard yearly as it relates to the best cat-man in the club. The only measuring stick I have for declaring someone the best is how they do in club tournaments and other tournaments they fish in. Our club members are a threat to win almost every tournament they enter. Before someone jumps me about tournament fishing, let it be known that these guys barely make enough from their winning to cover the cost of scouting a lake, getting their equipment in tip top shape and the expense of the tournament itself. So, it is not a money thing, but a way to measure yourself against someone else under the same fishing conditions. This year we have had two teams to surface as a tad better than the rest of us, they are Jeff Manning and his partner Michael Holmes and the team of Lindsay and Holmes and McHenry. Dieter Melhorn has held his own fishing the local tournaments on Lake Wylie. In 2008 it was Cary and his partner Matthew with Lindsay and McHenry giving them a run for their money. Dieter still doing his thing on Wylie. In 2007 it was Dieter Melhorn and a variety of partners, such as Cary, Mac and sometimes Rodger. Dieter and Rodger still doing their thing on Wylie. In 2006, Dieter Melhorn surface as a threat to win wherever he fished and he did. The year 2005 was a big year for myself fishing alone and later in the year fishing with Rodger Taylor. That year we went to Capella's King Kat Classic and got ourselves a top ten finish, plus some top fives and wins in the J & J tournament and club outings. From 2001 to 2004, Kevin Custer ruled the roost, no question about that. From 2002 to 2008, the Carolina Catfish Club had someone or more than one at times, in the top ten, plus several in the top 30 of the King Kat Classic at lakes all over the map. It did not matter where these guys fished, they alway found them. Last, but not the least, is Ronnie Howard and his wife. They hold the best record for anyone from the club as to finishes in the King Kat Classic. At least two seconds and another top ten. Ronnie is an accomplished guide on Santee Cooper. I do have have the records of the J & J Tournament Trail nor the NCCATS stats, but from memory I do know that CCC members would have at least three or four of the top five places in almost all the tournaments. High percentage of the time we had a member taking the top money. At least once a month or more, we will have a CCC member being exposed in the Regional Newspaper and/or local papers holding a trophy blue or flathead. It is always stated under the photo. that the fish was released alive for others to enjoy catching. Dieter and myself were discussing what the underlying factor in these guys and gal doing so well in their fishing endeavors this weekend. It did not take too much discussion for us to decide what has helped these folks is the openness of the older members to the younger ones, plus our fishing seminars. Also, when a new member joins the club, one of the older member will take them or several of them at one time cattin' and show them the tricks of the trade. We let it be known from the get-go to a new member that we as a club are willing to help them. When a new member or existing members comes to a members lake, we gladly tell them where to get bait and some of the best places for them to fish. At the end of each scheduled meeting, our President, Dieter Melhorn, opens the floor up for a bull session about catfishing, problems that some might have, etc. and a lot of information is shared at this time. Well I have talked about winning and winning, but what about those guys that are no longer winning, what happen to them. Several things have taken place, some have gone on to being catfish guides and have conflicts with tournament dates or have just lost interest in competition. Also, lets remember that success does not bred continued success. Some of the older ones continued to fish in the same places year after year, even after they had experiences failure in those locations. The cream of the crop is out there trying out new places and finding better quality fish. What some of us do not recognize is that there is nothing as constant as change. Lesson there for all of us. For a catfish club that has a primary goal of educating the public and state officials about conservation, we ain't bad fisher persons !:big_smile: My fishing cap is off to the young guns and their accomplishment and I wish that all cat-fisher person could have a club in their local, same as ours. Now, that would be a hoot!