Casting out / North graduate set to compete in fishing tournament

Few people love fishing as much as 26-year-old Josh Wayne. 

The 2011 Columbus North graduate was introduced to fishing by his cousins about 15 years ago, and it has continued to play a major role in his life ever since. Being on the water is the easiest way to clear his mind.

Wayne’s uncle Timothy Rouigr is a professional fisherman who competes in the FLW Bass Fishing series, and their close bond has given Wayne aspirations to follow in his footsteps. 

“He’s showed me so much.” Wayne said. “He’s my lucky uncle fisherman. He’s one of the higher anglers, and one of my dreams is to be like that eventually. I’m just taking it one step at a time and let God show me the right way to go.” 

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Wayne’s aspirations to be like his uncle will drive him on Saturday when he competes in his second catfish tournament in Patriot. Wayne’s fishing buddies Chaz Anderson and Kevin Hashman will be joining him in the Ohio river. Both Anderson and Hashman also have been instrumental parts of Wayne’s fishing life.  

“I just want to say thanks for my favorite fishing buddies and being a part of their lives,” Wayne said. “They teach me a lot. Every day is a new chapter.”

Flathead catfish, blue catfish and channel catfish are the only fish that will count in the competition. Fishermen have from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. to catch the heaviest fish.

The boat with the heaviest total weight of its six biggest fish will win the prize money. Whichever boat that catches the biggest single fish of the day will win the big fish competition. 

The prize money for each winner will depend on the number of entries. The entry fee is $50 per boat, and the entry fees finance the prize money.

Each boat will be fishing against each other, but Wayne said there is another common obstacle at that that affects all catfish fishermen in the area. Wayne claims it’s gotten much harder for fishermen to catch fish these days because commercial fishermen are catching them in bulk and selling them to pay lakes.

Pay lakes are lakes that charge people to fish on the property. The commercial fishermen who sell to those lakes are taking a big portion of the available fish, which makes the catfishing even more difficult at times, Wayne said. 

However, Wayne still is confident in his ability to find a good spot to catch quality catfish on Saturday. 

“It’s like when I go to the water, the fish know I’m coming,” Wayne said. “I do pretty good.” 

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Name: Josh Wayne 

Age: 26

High School: Columbus North

Next competition: 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday in Patriot, on the Ohio River