Nebraska Couple Back In Town For Cats Incredible

I spent a few hours this morning on the Red River with Gary and Bonnie Mounce, who are in Grand Forks this week for the Cats Incredible catfish tournament, which gets underway Saturday morning.

Bonnie Mounce of Nebraska City, Neb., holds one of the catfish she caught this morning on the Red River. Bonnie and her husband, Gary, have participated in every Cats Incredible catfish tournament except the very first one in 1988. “It’s our big event of the year,” Bonnie says. (Brad Dokken photo)

The Mounces, from Nebraska City, Neb., have participated in every Cats Incredible tournament except the inaugural competition in 1988. And the only reason they missed that one, they said, is because they didn’t know about it.

Cats Incredible, they say, is their “big event” of the year. Last year, when high water forced organizers to cancel the tournament, Bonnie and Gary made a trip north anyway, just to catch up with friends in town, many of whom have become like family.

No doubt, the Mounces are the unofficial “first couple” of the tournament.

Without giving away too many secrets, I can say that Bonnie had the edge for fish in the boat this morning. It’s always that way, Gary says, adding he’s holding out for a big catfish during the tournament rather than now, when a big one doesn’t provide anything but bragging rights.

Time will tell whether that’s fact or fish talk.

I’ll have a more detailed look at our morning on the water, along with a schedule of events for this year’s Cats Incredible, in Friday’s Grand Forks Herald.