Sharps Chapel, TN – Over the weekend, the annual ROHO Fishing Tournament was held at Beach Island Marina on nearby Norris Lake. The tournament, which became a yearly event more than four and a half decades ago is designed to raise money to buy the needy grade school children of Bell, Lee, Claiborne, and Union counties clothes and toys each December they would not otherwise receive if not for the organizations efforts.
According to ROHO member Lawrence Tuck, “through the support of local businesses, church groups, other organizations, area residents, and club members, this year the ROHO’S were able to sell more than 8,000 tickets for the yearly cause, which will allow more than 320 area children to be taken on a shopping spree this December at the Middlesboro Walmart, with hopes of giving them the opportunity for a merry Christmas.”
Prior to this weekend’s tournament, ROHO members had set a goal of generating enough support through their “Sponsor a Child” program to sponsor 260 children. As of the end of the tournament Sunday, that goal was easily surpassed with an official number of 294 children receiving sponsorship prior to the event, and thousands of single tickets still to be tallied.
Hundreds of area residents participated in this year’s fishing tournament which began Saturday at 7:00 a.m. and ended Sunday afternoon at two o’clock. Scott Heftinstall took top honors in the Largemouth Bass category with a catch of five pounds, two ounces, while Brian Cochran took second place a four pounds even. Local angler Matt Johnson captured first place in the Smallmouth Bass category with a four pound bronze back, while Middlesboro resident Jessie Hoskins took second at three pounds 12 ounces.
The Rock Fish or Striper category produced a more sizeable catch this year, with Colby Clifton winning first place with a 22 pound 14 ounce catch, while Brian Cochran who took second in the Largemouth category doubled up to win second with a 21 pound four ounce Striper.
Austin Cunningham took home top honors and some good eatin’ in the Walleye category with a four pound two ounce catch, while fisherman Linzo Cornett finished second with a catch of three pounds six ounces.
A surprise to many involved with the tournament, this year the Crappie category was limited to average size catches, but that was good enough for Jay Beeler and Kamryn Johnson to finish in a three way tie at one pound six ounces. Beeler caught two fish of the same weight, while Johnson’s catch pushed the category into a three-way tie, forcing a split of the money in first and second place.
In the Bream/Sunfish/Shellcracker category, Jordan Kitts took first place with one pound 10 ounces, while Larry Bargo came in second at one pound four ounces. It was the Catfish category however that took the title of biggest overall fish of the tournament. Karlie Johnson boated a 31 pound 10 ounce whiskered fish to take first place, while Jessie Hoskins also doubled in the tournament with a Catfish weighing 30 pounds 14 ounces.
All money for the various fishing categories of the tournament, as well as the cash prizes, and door prizes that were given out in the ticket drawing following the tournament were donated by area businesses and residents, with all proceeds from ticket sales going to benefit the area’s needy children this December.
ROHO Charitable Trust is a 501 © (3) organization and is comprised of men throughout the tri-state area who’s only purpose is to help the needy children of the area. If you would like more information about ROHO Charitable Trust, visit the organization’s website at www.rohofishing.org, or visit them on Facebook at ROHO Charitable Trust.