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RUFF RIDER Live Report - SALMON SLAM - 2013 Aug 1-4

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For those who fished the event this past weekend, please stop by the Frabill and Plano facebook pages and thank them for the very generous allotment of gear they sponsored the event with. With a great response, they will likely sponsor the event again next year! Also, I forgot to mention and thank Theresa for all the work she puts in behind the scenes, as well as all the volunteers that went into putting this event on - THANK YOU!!

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This weekend was amazing. A huge thank you goes out to all of you who helped make everything go so smoothly!


This year we extended the Salmon Slam to include a Friday Big Fish competition. It was $50 per boat and the pot was split with 50% going to the boat that caught the biggest fish and the other 50% going back to the Salmon Slam event.


It was a beautiful day to go fishing.




There were ten boats entered in the Friday competition. The fishing was hot off Sodus, especially in the deeper water. There were some bruisers out there as well. We managed a 24lber for 2nd place.


Bout Time (Mike and Mike Sr.)



Half Wired (Chad and Stu)



And the 2013 BFF winner, Finders Keepers (Tim)



Final Results (Top 5):

Finders Keepers - 28lb 4oz

Ruff Rider - 24lb 0oz

Bout Time - 23lb 1oz

Green Dolphin - 22lb 8oz

Half Wired - 20lb 2oz


The DEC also stopped by to weigh fish and take scale samples:



We then finished off the day with a dinner at The Normandy Inn for their prime rib night. We had nine of the Erie Veterans and volunteers join us along with twenty one of the Captains and their families. It was a great time and an amazing experience getting to know some of the Veterans and getting some quality time with the other Captains.




Saturday - The 2013 Salmon Slam


I don't think I got more than a few mins sleep all night, waking up every time the wind gusted or the rain poured down, just praying it would settle.


Unfortunately, my prayers were not answered and we were greeted by 3-5ft waves and WATERSPOUTS!






The Veterans and active servicemen and servicewomen began to show up and the Captain's meeting was held. Boats were assigned and gift bags were handed out:


Vet Giftbag



Captain Giftbag including the ITO Salmon Slam Fly inside a Plano waterproof box:



The ITO Salmon Slam fly was handed out to every boat and the largest fish caught on it would win an ITO prize pack.


To be continued...

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Our 18 boats were loaded up with crew members and Veterans and we began to leave the dock. The Coast Guard was unfortunately unable to provide escort in the morning, but they called and sent their well wishes to the teams and thanks and appreciation to the Veterans.






We joined up outside of Arneys Marina and began our procession out to the pier heads...


















We zoomed around the point and headed for the pier heads... that's when we got our first glimpse at what awaited us... an absolutely heavenly sky, one filled with multiple waterspouts! Surprisingly it wasn't at all scary, but almost magical.






Then it was through the pier heads and off we went, slowly, to begin the tournament.
















to be continued...

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The lake was rough, really rough, but the teams persevered and setup to begin fishing.




It wasn't long and teams began announcing over the radio that they were catching fish! However, it wasn't long and as the waves built, some teams began to announce that they were heading back in. By about 1000, nearly half the teams had headed in. Several teams were able to stay out and most were catching fish.... Ruff Rider however hadn't moved a rod! We asked our Vet Dave if he wanted to head in... his answer amounted to something along the lines of "Hell no, we have a tournament to win!" My teammate Sammy turned to him and said "We may not win, but we'll die trying for you!" So we pointed the boat north and kept pushing through the waves... first 200fow, then 300fow... then 400fow... by that time my crew was looking at me like I was nuts, but I knew sooner or later we just had to hit stable water... it finally came in 550fow. We marked almost no fish at all from 180fow to 500fow. At 550fow, there was a substantial thermalcline setup around 70ft down with a few hooks going through it. At that point, Sammy and Dave began asking why we didn't have the ITO Salmon Slam fly out! I gave in and put it out on a Mt Dew dodger. It didn't take long and our 350ft dipsey on a #1 setting started screaming, we were finally hooked up and it was a good fish!


It was too rough for Dave to stand up and fight the fish so he sat in the chair and fought the king like a pro! Then all of a sudden the 280 dipsey on a #1 setting with the ITO Salmon Slam fly starts ripping also! We are doubled!!!




Now I'm a bit worried, it's sloppy out there and we've got two fish on. Sammy fights his fish off the starboard and Dave fights his off the port. Sammy gets his fish to the net quickly and we see it's a real nice steelie! I net it and the hooks stick in the net causing it not to "hoop". I carefully lifted the fish into the boat and we had our first one aboard!






Dave continued to fight his fish for over half an hour! The waves and current were causing his fish to fight like a brute! Finally a nice 20lb king hit the deck and we were all ecstatic!



to be continued...

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We had about an hour and a half to fish, but knowing how far out we were we decided to only fish for another 45mins. We ended up doing another small king and two small steelies, all of which were thrown back to fight another day!


We started running back in and were able to find a good diagonal path to the waves and made very good time back.


It was then time for weigh in...


Outta Line



Bout Time



Green Dolphin



Horst Play



Reel Outlaw



Ruff Rider






Finders Keepers



Why Knot



Fishfull Thinking



Dipsy Ranger




At the end of weigh in, Dipsey Ranger took 1st place salmon and big fish on the ITO Salmon Slam fly, Finders Keepers took 2nd place salmon, Ruff Rider took 1st place steelhead also on the ITO Salmon Slam fly, and Reel Outlaw took 1st place brown.












Then once the winning teams were announced it was time for the prize ceremony. We did things a bit differently this year in that we allowed folks to pick their prizes... the division winners got to go first with both a Vet prize and a Captain prize and then we raffled off the rest of the prizes by giving out raffle tickets based upon the size of the team's largest fish... everyone got at least one ticket. You guys will need to let me know if you liked the "pick your own prize" method this year.


The first prize chosen ended up being the FishHawk x4



Followed by one of the four Shark Cannonballs



And then one of the awesome Frabill Power Catch nets chosen by yours truly.



As well as the Dandy Eyes Half Day charter!



The rest of the prizes were given as everyone enjoyed the hot dogs, hamburgers, and some amazing salads from RFH's Hide-A-Way restaurant from Phoenix,NY.
























to be continued...

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In closing, this year's Salmon Slam was an amazing time and seeing the countless smiles on the Veteran's and Servicemen's faces made me extremely proud of each and every Captain and volunteer that participated. This was much more than just a fishing tournament, it was an opportunity to make new friends and show our appreciation for those who have given more than many of us could ever imagine. I felt truly blessed to be able to give a small piece of a hobby I love so much, to share a passion for fishing that runs deep in my veins, with men and women whom I respect, idolize, and owe so much to. It is because of them and many more like them, that I have the abillity and the freedom to live my life doing what I love... nailing giant kings on Lake Ontario!





Edited by bobs_boy
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Nice job Nick!  It looks like an awesome event besides the weather :puke:  :puke:   Can anyone enter to take a vet with them? Are the waterspouts not something to be concerned about?

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from another thread but worth saying again :

i want to extend my gratitude to everyone who helped out. It all started Thursday with a couple of us setting up and sharing some great laughs and ended Saturday afternoon with all of us tearing down and still laughing. As always Nick and Theresa did an outstanding job and this turned out to a great event. This is a special event for me as I always have my Father ride with me (who is a VET) and we also take another Vet from the group. Dad never talks much about what he has been through but when he meets all the other Vets and spends time with him he shares some stories and you can truly see the bond that these guys share. Although the waves were BIG and many stomachs were green EVERYONE had a smile on their face. I truly do not think that we could have had a better group of Captains or Vets for this event. I heard everyone single person there who not only fished but volunteered to cook, setup, teardown, and just plain help in anyway we needed say "I CANT WAIT TO NEXT YEAR". My hats off to everyone especially Nick and Theresa - God Bless the USA !!!!


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I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for your kind words! It truly was a team effort to have another successful event, so thanks to all who played a part in making it happen! Whether you were on shore, out on the water, or sending luck from afar we really appreciated it. We hope to see you all back next year to bring more smiles and giddiness to our amazing Veterans/Servicemen/Servicewomen who definitely deserve it :D

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Super job NIck & Theresa!  Both the dinner at Normandy and the Slam itself was tons of fun and a huge success even though the weather didn't work well for all.  Looking forward to next year already.


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Hey Jerry!  Thank you and Sherry for helping out so much this weekend!  It sounds like Kyle had a good time even though the weather didn't cooperate!  I full expect we'll see him again sometime soon for a raincheck on catching a big king!



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