He knew the catfish were swimming. But he was unaware why they weren’t biting.

About 200 catfish were stocked on Wednesday in the Illinois and Michigan Canal at Lock 14 for an annual kid’s fishing tournament. But Saturday, those catfish weren’t biting, said Barry Welbers with the Better Fishing Association of Northern Illinois around 10 a.m.

Saturday morning was the 34th Lock 14 Kid’s Fishing Tournament. The event was set for early June, but was rescheduled due to anticipated flooding.

The event has had more turnout in the past, but with over 130 kids participating, the BFA was pleased, Welbers said.

Kids were catching bluegill, but he said by 10 a.m., not one of the 200 deposited catfish the Illinois Department of Natural Resources brought had been caught.

“Those fish are usually more aggressive at biting than the fish nature provided,” Welbers said. “We haven’t seen one caught yet, which is a bewilderment to us.”

He thinks additional fish came into the canal from the Illinois River this spring when the river flooded over the canal.

“If we could see into the water, I’m confident, you would be amazed at the number of fish in this body of water now since the river gave us this fresh deposit since the last time it flooded,” Welbers said. “I have no explanation why catfish aren’t biting.”

Welbers thanked all the sponsors who helped make the event possible.

Ali Braboy can be reached at (815) 220-6931 and countyreporter@newstrib.com. Follow her on Twitter @NT_LaSalle.

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