The Big Catch at the Indian Lake Catfish Tournament
I remember it was nearing midnight on a summer evening when the moment I had waited days for happened…the bells on my fishing pole were ringing like a casino payout and my mystery catch was on the end of the line. My special bait of strawberry Hi-C marinated chicken breast was a feast for the giant night-feeding catfish that found it. My adrenaline was pumping and the fish was putting up a great fight! While my 7.55 pound catch was not the Loch Ness I thought it was, it was big enough to put me in 24th place in the Indian Lake Catfish Tournament. Not bad, considering close to 1000 participants of all ages were vying for cash prizes, and most of all, bragging rights.
Once again this year, the community of Russells Point, Ohio is bracing itself for the 16th Annual Indian Lake Catfish Tournament which attracts novice and professional fishermen (and women!) from around the state. This year’s tournament runs from August 2 –5, 2012. I will be there, and I'm already strategizing a special bait concoction this year.
For a $15 registration fee, this is a fun way to get the entire family involved in a tournament. The event is sponsored by local businesses and benefits youth programs around Indian Lake. Even the butcher at the local IGA prepares for the tournament by stocking up on extra deliveries of chicken liver which is popular catfish bait (and usually my bait of choice).
There are more than $7,500 in cash prizes this year and ANYONE, even children, can win something. In fact, there is a children’s division, but tournament Director Randy Henson says children are also eligible to win prizes in the overall division. All it takes is one big fish.
“It’s a one-fish tournament so that means anyone can win,” Henson said. “You don’t have to be a great fisherman. You just have to catch one big fish.”
Every fisherman has advice to offer, so here is mine: I recommend fishing late at night as my biggest catches come close to midnight. Catfish are bottom feeders, so the smellier the bait, the better to attract them as they use their keen sense of smell to search for food. And, don’t forget to bring something to transport your winning catch to the weighing station. I suggest a very large cooler or tub.
Remember, this tournament has more to do with luck than skill. So, grab your family, your pole and your bait and I will see you there.