NewsNews & UpdatesBlack and white portrait of two men holding fish

With all the lovely weather that Selkirk has been getting lately we have seen lots of people fishing on the Red River. Since Selkirk is known as the “Catfish Capital of North America” it’s only fair that we dedicate another blog to the sport. Selkirk was once featured in a television show thanks to our very own Chuck Norquay. Good Fishing was an American aired television show. It first aired during the mid 1980s. The host, Babe Winkelman, an avid fisherman himself, would get his viewers to send in their best fishing techniques and locations. He also created four cassette audiotapes in 1982, that taught people how to fish which eventually turned it into another television show called The Facts of Fishing in 1984.

Chuck, the fisherman who secured the title, “Catfish Capital of North America” for Selkirk wanted the whole world to know about it. He wrote a letter to Winkelman thinking that there was a good chance he would not hear back from him. He sent a photo of himself holding a “whopping” sized catfish hoping this would catch Winkelman’s eye. 

Typed Chuck Norquay letter
Chuck Norquay's Letter to Babe Winkelman, 1985, Susan Sprong

Sure enough, he got a letter stating that he was in the running for a spot on the show. Only a week after Chuck received the letter did he find out he had secured a spot. After a phone call between Chuck and Winkelman, they both decided that June 20th would be the day Winkelman and his crew would come to Selkirk. When they arrived in Selkirk, they set up along the bank of the Red River across from the Gilbart Funeral home. They baited their lines with frogs and within 15 minutes they had their first catch. By the end of filming, Winkelman was in shock. They had caught almost 200lbs of catfish.

From then on Americans would call Chuck asking if he would be their guide. Chuck had not thought about being a fishing guide, but it was the perfect job for him. He could make a living doing what he loved most in the world, fishing. The show did exactly what Chuck wanted it to do and brought his love of fishing to the rest of the world.

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