Oswego County News Release
Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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July 17, 2009

Local Tournaments 'Hook' Kids on Fishing

Mexico - Anglers of all ages are invited to take Mike's Little Salmon River Challenge on Saturday, July 25 for a chance to win cash, prizes and awards. Part of a triple-crown event featuring the second annual Shane Zimmerman Big Fish Memorial Tournament and a youth division, the derby is open to all. Families are encouraged to join in the fun.

“Our intention is to get more kids 'hooked' on lake fishing by getting them involved in the tournament this year,” said Lester Zimmerman, Shane's father. “My wife, Cheryl and I have been working with charter captains across Lake Ontario to make this series the biggest youth fishing event on the lake.”

This is the third year that Mike's Marina of Mexico has hosted the Little Salmon River Challenge. Each year, owners Beth and Mike D'Alonzo make sure that all of the children receive prizes.

“Over the years, we have hosted many fishing contests and it has always been our priority to make them family-oriented events,” said Beth D'Alonzo. “It's important for youth to get out on the water to fish and have fun. This is one way for us to give back to our community and to the next generation of fishermen.”

D'Alonzo continued, “We want to make sure that the kids don't leave empty-handed. We offer first, second and third place awards for both youth and adults, along with additional prizes for the children which have been donated by local sponsors.”

The tournament included last month's Oswego Mustad Challenge, continues with Mike's Little Salmon River Challenge in Mexico and finishes with the Fair Haven Challenge on Saturday, August 15.

“This entire event would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of each of the challenge organizers as well as the generous donations and support from sponsors across Lake Ontario,” said Zimmerman. “Beth and Mike D'Alonzo with Mike's Marina are offering special prizes for all youth involved and Tom Allen with A-Tom-Mik Trolling Flies is a sponsor in all three challenges in the tournament.”

The A-Tom-Mik Shane Zimmerman Memorial Award will be awarded to the team that brings in the largest king salmon at each challenge and is open to both youth and adults. The first place team will win $350 and a trophy. The second place team takes home a $110 set of Fishermen Friends Trolling Bags donated by Pequod Charters' Captain Fred Maffeo of Fair Haven.

In the Youth Division, the angler with the overall largest fish caught in each challenge will win a fish mount donated by Sterling Creek Campground in Sterling and Redneck Taxidermy in Lenoxville, Pennsylvania.

Youth teams and individuals also have a chance to win prizes for the largest brown trout and salmon catches:

  • Brown Trout, first place team: family vacation in Pensacola, Florida with the Zimmerman family

  • Brown Trout, second place team: lake charter fishing trip with Popeye Charters' Captain Werner Stenger of Fair Haven

  • Brown Trout, first place individual: river fishing trip with Chasin' Tail Adventures' Captain Andy Bliss

  • Brown Trout, second place individual: one pair of Maui Jim sunglasses donated by Mike Gustin Sport Optics of Webster

  • Salmon, first place team: family vacation in Pensacola, Florida with the Zimmerman family

  • Salmon, second place team: lake charter fishing trip with Spankmayer Charters' Captain Dave Wilson of Oswego

  • Salmon, first place individual: river fishing trip with Catch The Drift's Captain Kevin Davis

  • Salmon, second place individual: one pair of Maui Jim sunglasses donated by Mike Gustin Sport Optics of Webster

The A-Tom-Mik Triple-Crown Overall Award will be given to the team that has the highest total points from all three challenges. They must have their original team name and at least two original members. The first place team will take home $1,000 and a trophy. There will also be two Takota/Cooper/Ugly Stick combination packages valued at $300 awarded.

Nearly two years ago, the Lake Ontario fishing community lost one of its own when Shane Zimmerman passed away in his sleep at the age of 33.

“To lose a fellow angler who shared a love for the big lake was a true loss,” said Tom Allen of A-Tom-Mik Trolling Flies. “Shane could always be found helping out other fishermen or telling 'tall tales' with them. He will be missed, but his memory lives on in the kids who carry on this sport that he loved so much.”

For details about the A-Tom-Mik Shane Zimmerman Memorial Tournament, call A-Tom-Mik Trolling Flies at 315/343-2099 or visit www.atommiktrollingflies.com.

The captain's meeting for Mike's Little Salmon River Challenge takes place at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 24 at Mike's Marina on the east side just off Route 104B in Mexico. The weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 25 at the marina and will be followed by a barbeque picnic, raffles and an awards ceremony.

The entry fee for the challenge is $50 per boat. For more information and contest rules, call Mike's Marina at 315/963-3119 or visit www.mikesmarina.com.

For current fishing conditions and other summer events in Oswego County, call the Oswego County Promotion and Tourism Office at 1-800-248-4FUN (4386) or go to www.visitoswegocounty.com.

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