Toy Rod Catfish Challenge on the St. Johns River, FL

Catfishing fun for charity.

After two years of weather-related cancellations, the Toy Rod Catfish Challenge is scheduled for November 30, 2019. The brainchild of Tammy Wilson and her co-director Capt. Tom Van Horn, this catfish tournament is put on to help needy children enjoy a merrier Christmas.

Catfish, tournament, Florida

Tammy and Tom are the only winners the contest has ever had, so the teams will be gunning for them.

How to Enter

The requirements for entry are showing up with a twenty-dollar bill ($20) and your enthusiasm. It is a family affair so bring the kids and come to the Jolly Gator Fish Camp (4650 E State Road 46, Geneva, FL) on November 30. Registration and check-in begin at 7:00 am. The tournament starts at 8:00 sharp and ends at noon. You can put your boats in the water and beach them along the shoreline to be ready to go.

Equipment Allowedcatfish, tournament, Florida

Anyone is welcome to enter, but only toy rods, like Barbie Rods, Superman Rods, Iron Man, and Spiderman Rods are allowed in the competition. Teams may be made up of two adult anglers with unlimited kid anglers but only 4 rods per boat. The rods must be one-piece short rods with a push-button reel. The only equipment modification allowed is replacing the line.

How to Win

catfish, tournament, Florida

The winner will be determined by the total number of inches plus the toy bonus.

The winning team will be determined by total inches of catfish brought in to the weigh-in (measure-in). The actual total inches can be added to by bringing toys to registration that morning. Contestants may bring up to two (2) NEW toys and receive an additional 6 inches per toy. A maximum of four (4) toys are allowed per team for added inches, but bring as many as you want for the children!

The Loser Parade

catfish, tournament, Florida

Previous winners, Tammy and Tom, rub it in a little on the losers during the loser parade.

As is the tradition at the Toy Rod Challenge, a loser parade will follow immediately after the weigh-in. Since all proceeds and toys go a local shelter for women and children, the winner’s prize is to lead the infamous loser parade with all the boats following with an “I’m a Loser” sign. For this reason, each team must also make a loser sign and bring it with them. Just be creative and include the words, “I’m a Loser.” You will not be allowed to enter without showing a loser sign at check-in.

Following the loser parade, there will be a fresh fish fry. Please bring a cover dish, chips, cookies, etc. for the lunch.

“We hope you will join us for a day of fun and feasting for a good cause,” Wilson said.

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