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John E Powell

10th annual LOTSA in club big fish tourny and family picnic

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The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association (LOTSA) held their annual club Salmon Tournament and Family Picnic this past Saturday, July 13 for club members and their families and guests. This was a catch and release big fish tournament, so the goal for teams fishing the tournament was to catch and one large fish. Teams were required to call in each fish as it is landed to tournament control to determine if it may be in contention for a prize; in this way, teams could practice catch and release of smaller fish not in contention for a prize.

 

Weather reports called for winds to build during the day from calm overnight conditions, so the tournament started as planned, but by 7:00 AM it was clear that the weather forecast was optimistic as strong East/Northeasterly winds early in the morning quickly built two to four foot waves making it quite challenging for the 29 teams entered in the tournament to fish. Fishing was really good throughout the morning; the bite was strong up until about 11:00 AM when the radio fell silent as the bite ended. Some teams stopped fishing before the end of the tournament having boxed a contender early-on in the day; while others pounded it out in the rough water hoping to make their mark on the leader board. By the end of the tournament few boats remained fishing as the waves had built to three-five footers.

 

Teams fished out of the ports of Niagara River, Wilson, Olcott, Golden Hill and Oak Orchard, but the largest class of fish, including the overall winner, was caught from the area extending half way between Wilson and Olcott on the West to a few miles East of Olcott. Early morning, the bite seemed to be in shallower waters with the best depths of water being 100-150 feet and later on a mid-morning bite was strong in 200-275 feet of water.  Various attractor-fly combinations proved to be the top baits catching the vast majority of contending fish.

 

At the close of fishing, the weigh-in revealed team Fish Styx, consisting of (from left to right) Captain Tim Bromund and his father Bob Bromund, and Gary Melnyk and his son Mac Melnyk bested the competition with a 40†chinook salmon weighing 28.97lb.

 

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Fishing in waters from 200-250 feet deep, they caught many of their fish on downriggers fished 85-100 foot deep. Wire line divers fished at 200-300 foot were also productive. Most fish were caught on rotating attractors and flies. Attractor-fly combos were the top bait of the day for other teams as well. For their effort, team Fish Styx won the first place prize of $580. Here’s Gary, Mac, and Captain Tim with their fish at the weigh in:
 
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Finishing in second place earning $435, and coming off a second place finish in the Curt Meddaugh memorial fishing tournament the previous day, with a 36†chinook salmon weighing 25.76 lb. was team Fisherman’s Daughter consisting of Greg Wiacek and his daughter Cathie Wiacek, and Patrick Comerford. Here’s a photo of Greg with his 2nd place fish:

 

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In third place earning $290 was team HK1 with a 36†Chinook salmon weighing 25.17 lb. Team HK1 members were father and son (and new LOTSA members) Chris and Braden Petrucci, and Robert McKinley. Here’s Braden and Chris with their fish at the weigh-in:
 
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It’s been a very long time since we had our last tie (sometime back in to early 80s) but that is what we had happen with two teams vying for 4th place. Team Toothy Critters and team Reel Scream each weighed in a Chinook salmon weighing 24.52 lb. Team Toothy Critters’ fish measured 36.5†in length and team Reel Scream’s fish measured 37â€. According to tournament rules, only weight is a deciding factor, so prize money was divided equally with each team receiving $145.

 

The Toothy Critters team consisted of Captain Gary House and Dennis Hoffman. Here’s a photo of their fish:
 
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Team Reel Scream members for the day was the Husband and wife team of Frank and Amy Schmidhamer. Here’s Frank with their fish:
 
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Six other teams weighed-in fish that were in contention for a prize at the time they were caught.

 

Team Black Jaw’s fish weighed in at 24.23 lb.:
 
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Playin’ Hookie’s Jeff Smith caught this 24.17 lb. chinook salmon:

 

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Here’s Salmonella’s entry at 23.89 lb.:

 

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Here’s  4-Poles’ entry at 23.85 lb.:

 

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Here’s Mean Machine’s entry at 22.18 lb.:

 

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And here’s the final fish that was in contention early on in the day from team toaster at 20.88 lb.:
 
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Here’s the crew frying all blackened salmon caught the previous day during the 3rd annual Curt Meddaugh memorial three-fish tournament (in the fryer on the left) and some donated walleye (in the fryer on the right):

 

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One of the many trays of blackened salmon:
 
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And that fantastic walleye so graciously donated:
 
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http://www.lotsa.org/ (click on the fish to enter the website)

 

http://www.lotsa.org/2013_online_memberform.htm to join LOTSA

Edited by John E Powell

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Congrats to Tim and all .  Looked like a fun day!!  To bad the weatherman didn't get paid on his report being right!!

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