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Catfishing tournament helps fund fire department

EAST GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) -- It's a simple routine: catch and release.

"One we just weighed in came in over 15 pounds,” said Nickalas Blackwell, an angler. Blackwell is fishing with his brother as part of the fun at Catfish Days.

"We got two really good hits on frogs and we've been getting a lot of smaller hits on worm," Blackwell said.  

Over 200 anglers out on the Red River luring some big fish, and it's all for a good cause.

"I don't want to go in no burning buildings,” Blackwell said. “It takes a lot of guts to do something like that."

The tournament raises as much as $10,000 for the East Grand Forks Fire Department each year.

"We put it right back into the fire department,” said Paul Hansen, an engineer. “Buy things for in the station. Just different things like that."

It's all for the people who help us when we need it most.

"Just saving people on a daily basis,” Blackwell said. “I mean we need people to do that and they need funding. Funding is not cheap by any means."

The largest fish caught today was over 17 pounds.