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Fishing For Freedom 3rd Annual Tournament

September 16, 2016

By Chris Erwin
Fishing for Freedom will be held Sept. 10 on the Ohio River near Ashland. Fishing for Freedom is a Military Appreciation Tournament that has been also extended to First Responders, which includes firefighters, police and ambulances personal.

Melvin Lawhorn, tournament director updates the rules for this year.

Melvin Lawhorn, tournament director updates the rules for this year.

The tournament is completely free for these individuals. They will be a guest in the boats of volunteers who have offered to donate a day to help make this tournament possible.
This tournament is part of Poage Landing Days and is the community’s way to say, thank you to the people that put their lives on the line to protect us. Our military and first responders rush to danger and put their lives in the line of fire to protect us. In this small way, we hope these valiant individuals can have a day of fun and prizes.
Prizes will include free VIP tickets for the Travis Tritt concert and many more to be announced at the weigh-in. While Poage Landing Days official opening is Sept. 16, and continues through Sept. 17, and Sept. 18 this event is the true kick-off.
To qualify to fish this tournament, individuals must be an active or honorably discharged member of any branch of the military. This year the tournament has also expanded its scope to include working or retired members of any first-responder units.
This tournament is different than most of the tournaments you may have fished. To begin with the State of Kentucky has waived the requirement a valid fishing license. This consideration is not extended to boat owners, but only to those qualified participants. This tournament will be extended to all species of fish, and the best five of each will be considered a winner of that species. There will also be door prizes to be drawn and given to those that participate.
At the tournament, boats will launch from the Coal Grove ramp, but I understand they hope to have pick-up for vets and first-responders at the Ashland Riverfront. However, the last-minute instructions will be given to boat owners and participants at the meeting before the tournament.
The blast-off will be at “safe light,” which will be determined by the tournament directors Melvin Lawhorn and Dana Williamson. It will last until 2pm and the weigh-in will be conducted behind the Ashland Transportation Center near the rivefront.
A list of contributors, including business that donated money, prizes and time to this event will be published in next weeks’ Outside with Chris. Because that list is still growing, I will add new sponsors to that article, which will also
cover the weigh-in.
Individuals and businesses to volunteer or donate to the event are still being sought. Interested individuals should contact Melvin Lawhorn at 606.471.5317 or melvinl.lawhorn@boydpva.com along with or Dana Williamson 606.831.7171 or danawilliamson1010@gmail.com.
They can answer your questions and help you to get ready to attend. I hope that our community will step up as support this special event.
After covering this event for the last two years I can tell you it’s worth your time and money to help make this event as fruitful and fun as possible. The truth is everyone wins, and everyone has a good time.
Hope to see you at the weigh-in.
Chris Erwin is the Author of Camping Kentucky, founder and publisher of Kentucky Angling News an on-line magazine available at www.kentuckyangling.com/magazine Chris can be reached by email chris@ashlandbeacon.com

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