To date, the largest catfish tournament in America was 198 boats.
As of right now, tournament director Aaron Wheatley says there are 180 boats registered for the seventh annual Monsters on the Ohio this Saturday, coming from Florida and California and everywhere in between. But last year, 43 boats registered during the Friday night captain’s meeting.
By all indications, when registration closes Friday night, Monsters on the Ohio could very well become the largest catfishing tournament ever held in America.
If the crowds get their way, they could see some record catfish weighed in starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, October 8, 2016, at English Park.
The fun starts at noon, with activities for the kids, including a Duck’s Unlimited archery contest and rod n’ reel casting contest. A guided fishing trip will be given away to the top placing young archer. More prizes will be given away as well.
Two more guided fishing trips will be given away to spectators just before the weigh-in. Other door prizes will be given away starting at 2 p.m.
There are bleachers set up in the grassy area near the boat ramp, but they fill pretty quickly, so spectators may want to bring a chair from home. “Kids are welcome to come to the front, right up against the barricaded area (where the boats pull up to the stage for the weigh-in) so they can be right there by the action,” Wheatly says.
By “action” he means hoisting 20, 30, 40, and 50-pound (or hopefully more!) catfish out of the boat up to the stage for weighing. It’s really something to see if you’ve never experienced it. “The kids scream and cheer. They love it!” Wheatley says.
To handle that many boats, the tournament is launching from three boat ramps this year: English Park, Rocky Point, and Angel Mounds, but all boats will return to English park to weigh in at 3 p.m.