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5th Annual River Rat Catfish Classic

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5th Annual River Rat Catfish Classic

Grab your bait and tackle box, friends and family and head down to the Mississippi riverfront in Grafton. The Fourth Annual River Rat Catfish Classic tournament kicks off Oct. 6 and 7 with great cash prizes, riverside fishing activities for kids and some great fried fish from local restaurants.


Tournament teams can consist of two to four members with a six rod limit. Fishing takes place each day from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Participants must start from the Grafton Harbor at 7 a.m.  The prize money is based on participation, with 80 percent of the collection going back to the winners in first to sixth place.  The tournament is sponsored by the Grafton Chamber of Commerce.  The cost to participate is $100 per boat.

 “The River Rat Catfish Tournament is such a fun event,” Grafton Mayor Rick Eberlin said. “We had to reschedule it this year due to flooding in the spring. But holding it in the fall will give it a new flavor for participants. We can’t wait to see who catches the biggest fish!”

The Little Whiskers Catfish Tournament will allow children to get into the game with a chance to reel in the big one. Held both days along the river bank at Grafton Harbor during the tournament, kids of all ages will have a chance to snag that elusive Grandpa catfish. 

1. Teams will consist of 2 - 4 members and will have a 6 rod limit.

2. In case of severe weather the tournament committee reserves the right to postpone or cancel and will refund all entry fees.

3. Tournament sign-up will be allowed up to 1 hour prior to the scheduled start.

4. The team captain/team representative must sign in prior to the start of the tournament.

5. Fishing will take place from 7am - 2 pm each day.

6. Teams must compete from a boat and remain in the boat during fishing hours.

7. Boats can be launched from any ramp on either side of the river, but participants must start from the Grafton Marina at 7am.

8. For safety reaons, teams who choose not to weigh in are still required to report to the grounds to communicate to the tournament director.

9. Fishing within 50 yards of a previously anchored boat or 100 yards within the Grafton Marina entrance will be strictly prohibited.

10. Only fish caught by rod and reel during tournament hours will be weighed.

11. All teams must comply with all federal and state laws.

12. Any legal, commercial or natural baits will be allowed, but there will be no chumming or fishing over baited holes.

13. All fish that are brought to the scale for weigh-in will be alive and in good health.

14. All weighed fish will consist only of Channel, Blue,and Flathead catfish.

15. Tournament fish limit is 3 fish per boat. “Big Fish” will count towards the team’s total weight. Do not bring more than 3 fish to the weigh-in.

16. Fishing will be allowed on both the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers (Pool 26) and any of their tributaries or backwaters that are legally accessible by boat.

17. Any fighting, public intoxication/disorderly conduct or illegal catching of fish during tournament hours will result in automatic disqualification. No refunds will be given.

18. Any team receiving prize money will be possibly subject to a polygraph and will be required to sign a sworn affidavit.

19. Tournament participation is at your own risk. The Grafton Chamber of Commerce, its agent co-signs, and heirs assume no responsibility for accidents orboating violations.

We wish you Good Luck!

The Grafton Chamber of Commerce,
City of Grafton and local businesses appreciate your participation in this year’s
RIver Rat Catfish Classic and hope that you and your team members enjoy the hospitality that Grafton has to offer.

80% of money paid back
based upon a $100 entry fee
Tournament payback schedule is
35% for 1st
20% for 2nd
15% for 3rd
12% for 4th
10% for 5th
8% for 6th

Example A : 50 boats @ $100 =
$5,000 x 80% = $4,000
1st = $1,400
2nd = $800
3rd = $600
4th = $480
5th = $400
6th = $320

Example B : 75 Boats @ $ 100 =
$7,500 X 80% = $6,000
1st = $2,100
2nd = $1,200
3rd = $900
4th = $720
5th = $600
6th = $480


($100.00 per boat)


TO: Grafton Chamber of Commerce
Rick Eberlin
P.O. Box 403
Grafton, Illinois 62037

or contact Rick Eberlin on
facebook @ River Rat Catfish Classic
or email: eeberlin@hotmail.com