Angling for a cause: Kentucky, Indiana teams compete in catfish tournament for FOS

Sep. 4—The 2nd annual Rumble on the River brought in 62 boats on Saturday for the Kentucky vs. Indiana catfish tournament at English Park.

The event is a fundraiser for Friends of Sinners — a local faith-based substance treatment center for men and women.

David Cox, ministry director for FOS, said the organization is based on truth, relationships and accountability.

"The truth is the word of God and the Bible," he said. "We focus on relationships with the clients and the Creator. We also focus on relationships between staff members and clients, as well as relationships among clients. Accountability comes in when relationships are built."

Damian Clark is an alumni of Friends of Sinners and he said "idle time is the Devil's playground," so the hobby he picked up was fishing. He is also the creator of the event and the director for the Kentucky team.

"I caught a big 67-pound flathead catfish in the Green River, and I didn't know about tournament fishing," he said. "Once I caught that fish, I was more intrigued with fishing. Slowly over the years, I met more people that participated in tournaments for catfishing."

Clark said he's passionate about FOS and wanted to find a way to assist the organization by merging it with his passion for fishing.

Because the event has had more traction this year, Clark said they were able to raise the entry fee from $150 to $175.

"$30 of that is a donation directly to Friends of Sinners and it's nonrefundable," Clark said. "The other $145 goes toward the prize money."

The winner of biggest fish wins $1,000; first-place winner wins $1,000; and $610 is for finishers through 10th place, which is a total payout of more than $8,000 in prize money.

"We want everyone to know about Friends of Sinners," Cox said. "(The fishermen) are not affiliated with Friends of Sinners, but they're fishing this tournament and they know this tournament supports Friends of Sinners. It's not just letting more people know about Friends of Sinners, but about Jesus."

Cox said with the tournament being between Kentucky and Indiana, there is a lot of pride and it makes the competition "even better."

"The Ohio River is what splits us, and we all fish in it, we have the same amount of shoreline in Kentucky as we do Indiana," Clark said. "They think it's their river, we think it's our river."

Since it's a team tournament, Clark said they take the top 10 weights from Indiana and the top 10 weights from Kentucky and total them. Whoever has the most weight is declared the winner.

Clark and Jeremy Farrar, director of the Indiana team, had some high stakes for this year's competition.

Last year's losing team received a skipjack pie to the face, and to up the ante this year, the losing team will have to get a tattoo of the winning state.

Clark said they will be planning the next Rumble on the River soon and will ask the fishermen if they would be interested in opening the tournament to more states that border the Ohio River.

Results were not available at press time.