MASON — Living near the Ohio River, it should come as no surprise that fishing is a common hobby, and this weekend local anglers will have a chance to compete against one another while raising money for local charities.
The Bend Area C.A.R.E. Fall Catfish Tournament will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Mason Levy and park. Presented by the group known as C.A.R.E (Community Assistance and Relief for Everyone), the proceeds from this tournament will be donated to food pantries in Mason, and in Pomeroy, Ohio.
While fishing begins at 8 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m., check in for the tournament is from 6 a.m. until 7:45 a.m. The scales will open at 2:30 p.m. The entry fee for competitors 12 years old and over is $25, and for competitors under 12 years old, the fee is $10.
Awards will also presented to the top five teams and the biggest catfish of the day. Based on 100 fisherman, it was stated there will be a guaranteed payout of $1,000 with the prizes for the follows places: 1st place — $300 — $200, 3rd place — $175, 4th place — $125, 5th place — $100, and the Big Cat (the single biggest fish of the tournament) — $100.
Other reported rules for the tournament are as follows:
The Rules Committee reserves the right to resolve any and all problems with their decision being final.
The Tournament will consist of one team per boat. Each team can be made up with as many people as the boat is rated for. All individuals must hold a legal fishing license and the boat and equipment are D.N.R. and Coast Guard approved. Life jackets are required to be worn during the take off the morning of the tournament.
There will be a 24-inch minimum length for eligible fish. A five fish limit per boat will be enforced. All species of catfish are legal and can be weighed. Live fish only will be weighed.
All fishermen must leave in a boat from Mason Levy. There will be no bank fishing permitted. All fishing must be done from a boat.
All boats will be inspected and marked. Each individual must check in at the registration table prior to the beginning of the tournament. You must also be checked in with tournament officials by 3 p.m. in order for your fish to be weighed.
In the event of a tie, the two teams that are tied will split the money equally.
Each boat will be assigned a starting position by a random drawing of all entries received (or postmarked) by September 13, 2012. All other entries will be assigned boat numbers as entries are received.
C.A.R.E. also holds a spring catfish tournament, where the proceeds go to the organization’s “Kids for Christmas” program, which helps provide local needy children with presents and other holiday treats. In addition to the two fishing tournaments, C.A.R.E. also holds several other events throughout the year to help raise money for local charities and organizations, such as co-sponsoring the Special Olympics Golf Tournament, as well as several gun giveaways and chicken barbecues.
For more information on the tournament and how to enter, visit www.bendareacare.net, or contact tournament director Jason Roush at 304-971-0003.