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The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!

Time to play the giveaway game

Guess the weight of this catfish caught by Matt Gorup, and you could win a Pole Kat rod.
Guess the weight of this catfish caught by Matt Gorup, and you could win a Pole Kat rod.

Well hello out there, all you Rock River Valley-ites. I'm not sure just what you all look to get from my ramblings each week, but for the next 3 weeks, it's all going to be about giving.

That's right, right here for the next few weeks, some of you all out there are going to walk away with some great fishing gear.

What do you got to do? Well, read the articles, follow the directions, and just flat be luckier than everybody else.

I have been very fortunate over the years to have some amazing sponsors, both nationally as well as locally. They have enabled me to give away a ton of things I would not have been able to otherwise, and these giveaways are no exception. I have worked very hard over the years to do things that would make myself look worthy of a sponsor, and I have been truly blessed. So, being able to give things to people is an awesome, incredible, stupendous feeling.

Let me tell you, this week we are coming in hot, with some awesome stuff for you. This week, somebody is going to win their very own custom rod, handcrafted in the Smoky Mountains by old Pole-Kat himself. Pole-Kat, a.k.a. William Haynes, has been handcrafting fishing rods for more than 30 years. He makes rods for all kinds of fishermen, and his biggest customers are offshore fishermen, as Bill makes one mean shark rod.

I have been using Pole Kat's rods for 4 years now, and let me tell you, these things have got everything a catfisherman could want in a rod. They have backbone to burn, nice sensitive tips, stainless guides, beautiful one-of-a-kind wraps, and much more. To top that all off, they are guaranteed for life; as long as William is alive, your rod is covered. These rods done and shipped to you are well over a hundred bucks … but this week, one of you gets one for free – yee yee!

Although that may be this week's grand prize, it's not this week's only prize. No sir, also going in the kitty this week will be prizes for our second-, third-, and fourth-place finishers. Going to these lucky readers will be a set of black and blaze orange Catfish Academy hats, a massive tub of G and S cheese bait, and last but not least, a J and N dip worm package containing a dozen packs of their awesome dip worms.

I'd say a purty darn good way to kick off the holiday season. Now, what do you got to do to get your paws on all this cool stuff? Well here you go.

This week's photo is of Matt Gorup. Matt works in marketing and sales for Peterbuilt Motors ... you know, big rigs. Now, Matt has been on many trips with me over the years, and has caught numerous beautiful flathead catfish, as well as some big channel cats.

This particular fish seen above still ranks as one of the coolest flatheads I have ever seen, and one of the wildest battles I have ever watched. This week, your task is very, very simple: your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to guess the weight of this fish closer than anyone else. Do that, and you win a custom rod.

The runner-up guess will win a set of Catfish Academy blaze Orange camo caps. Third place will win a dip worm package from J and N, and fourth place will win 3 pounds of G and S cheese bait.

We will have other types of contests along the way, but fish weights are so challenging because lighting and angles can make big fish look small, and small fish look big … so good luck to you all.

Man, I just love the holiday season, so get in on this, people. Send your guesses to by Wednesday. In case of ties, the tiebreaker will be when the email is received, so get your guess together and get it in … and hold on for next week's Sauk Valley weekend for the results, and for the next contest.

So, good luck to everyone out there, and I hope this adds a little more excitement to your week. I can't wait for the guesses to come a rollin' in.

Whether you're out deer hunting this weekend, or trying to brave the cold to catch some fish, have a great time. We truly are blessed to have the things we do, so enjoy every minute of it. God is Good.

Go Catfish!

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