Catfish tournament boasts big economic impact in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- It’s being deemed the biggest catfish tournament ever, and it kicks off in Memphis on Saturday morning.

The rods and reels are ready, and at least 200 anglers will give it a go in the Mississippi River Monsters Catfish Tournament.

"This is going to be the biggest catfishing tournament ever period. There’s never been anything like this," said Matt Jones who is competing in the tournament.

Three-time Angler of the Year Big Cat Quest Champion Larry Muse agreed and, according to him, that means a major economic impact for Memphis.

"There’s a lot of money spent here. People save all year and pick two big tournaments. They spend a couple thousand bucks a piece."

More than 10,000 people are expected to crowd the riverside Saturday.

Jones said he hopes that means that one day fishing for catfish will become as big as bass fishing.

"We’ve been waiting on the catfish world to blow up and this could be the start," added Jones.

For his partner, it’s a chance to branch out and meet other anglers from near and far.

"I’m excited to meet the people there are people here from all over here to fish this tournament," said Addison Folkers.

The pair hopes they’ll take home a piece of the $70,000 in prizes that even includes a new boat.

The competition starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Weighing of the catfish will start at 3 p.m.