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June 30, 2004
Tournaments Give Anglers Plenty of Chances to Show Their Fishing Skills
By Doug Fuegel
OSWEGO COUNTY -- In an area so blessed with countless lakes, streams, rivers and ponds, all just teeming with fish, it is only natural that there will be an array of fishing contests, tournaments and fun events where anglers try to prove they are the best in Oswego County.
Parents of Special Children Fishing Derby
One of the most rewarding events for those who donate, sponsor and volunteer their efforts is the third annual Parents of Special Children's Derby scheduled for Tuesday, July 6. This derby would not exist without sponsors such as Mike's Marine on the Little Salmon River, major donations from industries such as Lowrance Electronics, plus countless donations from several local businesses. All make this a most memorable day for Oswego County's special children. And for the unselfish donation of more than 30 Little Salmon River charter captains and their boats, there would be no event.
The event begins with an early morning coffee and donuts briefing at the marina with the charter captains and their mates, followed by the arrival of more than 40 special children, many anticipating their first fishing experience. An army of volunteers helps children, many in wheelchairs, board boats to begin a morning of Lake Ontario fishing. At noon, the boats return for festivities - each child is awarded a prize, photos are taken, along with a picnic of hotdogs and hamburgers.
The free derby is open to all special children, no age limit, of Oswego County. Parents of special children who would like their child to participate can contact Beth D'Alonzo at Mike's Marine, phone 963-3119.
Oswego County's 10th Annual Pro-Am Salmon & Trout Tournament
Presented by lead sponsor Gander Mountain, the Pro-Am Salmon and Trout tournament, one of the most successful tournaments on Lake Ontario, will take place July 9 and 10. This year's event is expected to top the 2003 record entries of 70 boats. Other major sponsors of the tournament include Lowrance Electronics, Northern King Lures, Gianelli Sausage Company, Mike's Marine and several local businesses and fishing clubs including the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association.
Events begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday July 6, with an all inclusive fishing and nautical flea market at the tournament weigh-in site at the tent behind the Captain's Quarters Best Western Hotel in Oswego, on the east side of the Oswego River. More than 25 tables have been reserved to display and sell fishing equipment. Thursday is the mandatory 7 p.m. captains' meeting also at the tent site. Tournament fishing begins at 6 a.m. both Friday and Saturday, ending at 1:30 pm. There will be no blow-off day this year, and no minimum four-hour fishing time required that constitutes a day's fishing. The port of Mexico along with Oswego will be available for Pro-Am teams, however all weigh-ins will take place at tournament headquarters at the Best Western site. The official marinas are Wright's Landing, Oswego Marina and Oswego International Marina in the Oswego Harbor, and Mike's Marina and Salmon Country Marina located on the Little Salmon River.
Registration and fees remain the same at $400 for a professional team and $200 for an amateur team. The absolute deadline for walk-in entries is Monday July 5. Complete details on all tournament rules and registration are available by contacting the Pulaski Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce at 315-298-2213, 315-298-2410 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or lakeontariooutdoors.com.
Based of a minimum of 50 teams, more than $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to each of the top 10 teams in the pro division. More than $5,000 will be awarded to teams in the amateur division. Cash prize money will increase if combined registrations exceed 50 teams entered. In addition there will be several merchandise prizes for competing teams, including a $500 value Lowrance electronic fish finder for the last place team in each division.
This tournament, like Pro-Am tournaments of past years, will benefit conservation programs, the fishery and kids. A portion of all tournament entry fees are put into programs and projects that aid the offshore barge stocking of brown trout, the very successful net pen fish-rearing programs in the Oswego and Little Salmon rivers, and most recently financial support for the Parents of Special Children Fishing Day and Picnic.
The Pro-Am Tournament is much more than a team fishing event -- it is a fun time for the entire community that is welcome to be a part of and enjoy the festivities. The weigh-in ceremonies that take place Friday and Saturday after the 1:30 fishing ceases are a fun, exciting event where team after team hopes their cooler has the winning poundage for the big prizes. Saturday's weigh-in ceremonies will be nail-biting as each team weighs in their day's catch to be totaled with the previous day's entry that will determine the big winners. Fun, food, prizes and raffles will be available both weigh-in days.
This is definitely a fun packed family event where all can enjoy the ceremonies, the food and two days of festive events. Weigh-in and festivities begin at 2:30 pm both Friday and Saturday of the Pro-Am Tournament.
Angler's Choice Bass Tournament Trail
The nation's largest two-man bass tournament, U. S. Angler's Choice, made its debut in New York with a scheduled five tournament series that began in Lake Erie. Angler's Choice will now host a tournament at Oswego's Wrights Landing July 17 and 18 with two separate bass tournaments. It is only natural that Angler's Choice picked Oswego as a kick-off location for its first eastern Lake Ontario bass tournament, waters off Oswego Harbor and the Mexico Bay region are some of the hottest bass water of the entire big lake.
Although these tournaments are based on two persons in a boat only five bass can be entered for the big cash prizes. As with most bass tournaments only artificial baits may be used with the one exception of pork rind, no live baits of any kind may be used during the tournament. Also no trolling for fish is allowed by either gas or electric motor. All boats must be equipped with a fish live well and a motor kill switch for safety. Although penalties will be assessed to teams bringing in dead fish, this tournament has a remarkable record of returning more than 99 percent live fish back to the water.
All participants in the tournament must be members of U. S. Angler's Choice; non-members can become a member when registering for the tournament for an additional $35. Team entry fee for each tournament, both Saturday and Sunday is $150 per team. The tournament pays out 20 places in cash prizes with the top team earning more than $2100. According to tournament director Bob Popp, this event will attract more than 100 boat teams from 11 states throughout the northeast.
Angler's Choice has scheduled kid's events for both days of the tournament. Saturday all kids can participate in a fish from shore-any species derby and Sunday all kids can enter a casting contest. In both events all kids entered will receive a prize. Weigh-in ceremonies begin each day at 3 p.m. at Wrights Landing and are open to the public. For more information about Angler's Choice Tournament Trail contact Bob Popp
LOC Fall 2004 Lake Ontario Salmon & Trout Derby
Empire State Lake Ontario Promotions will present its first LOC Fall Derby beginning Friday Aug. 20 and ending Labor Day Sept. 6. Based on the recent spring derby, first under this new management group, angler participation increased by more than 11 percent over the 2003 spring derby. The fall derby should be an outstanding event.
Derby fishing is fun, you are with your own selected group of anglers and there is always the possibility of catching the winning fish but it should also be looked upon as your business adventure, where you should weigh all your options to be in the winner's circle. First consider salmon fishing in the Oswego area started out this past spring like never before in the eastern basin, fantastic and continued right through summer months. Also, consider that better than one-third of all stocked Chinook salmon are stocked in just two Oswego County rivers, the Salmon and Oswego rivers. These fish will imprint on these two tributaries and will stage in the eastern basin to return there and spawn during derby time. Oswego County has long been the leader in fishing license sales and for good reason, the fishing here is excellent. And consider many of the previous derby winners caught their big fish in this immediate area of the lake. If you are in this derby to win, why fish anywhere else?
This is by far the largest Lake Ontario fishing derby in terms of cash payouts with a $20,000 guaranteed purse for the largest fish entered. Additionally there are 12 cash prizes in each of the four fish species, salmon, lake trout, brown trout and rainbow with the top fish in each category earning the winner $2,500. New this year is a $100 a day big fish award for the first nine days of the derby, fish entered must exceed 12 pounds for lake trout and 16 pounds for salmon, if no winner for a given day the prize will carry over to the next day.
Registration to this great derby can be made in any of three ways, on line at www.loc.org and click on "registration", by mail to ESLOP, P.O. Box 17057, Rochester, NY 14617 or at any one of the several registration sites along the lake shore. Oswego County has several registration sites for your convenience including Flatrock Sporting Goods at Jellystone Park, Larry's Oswego Salmon Shop, K & G Lodge & Twin Pines Cabins, Wrights Landing Marina, Woody's Tackle Shop, Salmon Country Marina, Port Ontario Tackle and All Seasons Sports. Derby entry fees for adults are $25 for the entire ten-day derby or $15 for a 1-day pass. For youth, the ten-day derby fee is $12 and $7 for a one day- pass. Both are entitled to the same prize structure plus special trophies for the biggest fish entered by our youth.
Doug Fuegel is the weekly outdoor writer for the Oswego County Weeklies and freelances for several outdoor publications. He is a contributor to several tourism brochures including the NYS Seaway Trail's Journey Magazine, Oswego County Fishing and Hunting Guide, and Jefferson County's Outdoor Guide. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, past president of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association, and member of the Lake Ontario Sportfishing Promotion Council. He recently retired after several years as a charter captain on eastern Lake Ontario. He lives in West Monroe with his wife Shirley and son Jeff. You can contact Doug at 315-668-9492 or e-mail email@example.com.
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