Our area on Lake Erie is noted for good, if not great, fishing opportunities.
The exceptional weather in May brought out-of-town anglers sampling the legendary smallmouth bass fishing every day of May and early June.
The Southtowns Walleye Association sets the tone for competitive walleye angling with an event that stretches out nine days and produces some of the largest walleyes of the year. Many of us anglers sporting gray hair (if any at all) can remember when the Southtowns walleye event first started, a 10-pounder was assured a spot in the top three.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Pictured at top are left, presenting the Torpedo sponsor awthe top three finishers in the 2012 Southtowns Walleye Association Tournament. They are, from left, Ralph Selover, Richard Shafer and Dave Moreno.
Hunter Englehardt, who took first place in the Youth Division with his 10.86-pound walleye.
This year's event saw first place go to Richard Shafer with an 11.72-pound entry that he managed to hook and land by himself while fishing out of Barcelona in his 16-foot boat with an in-line planner board, four colors of leadcore line, a 3-D worm harness in hatchet blade shape and holographic color. Shaffer won $4,000, a plaque, a $500 gift certificate from Brobeil Marine, a fish mount from S&S Taxidermy and two sponsor prizes (Pure Fishing and 3-D Harnesses).
Second and third place were decided by entry times as both fish entered weighed the same at 11.66 pounds. Dave Moreno took home an extra $1,000 by entering his fish first before Ralph Selover, who settled for third place and $1,000. Fourth through tenth places paid out $500 each and were awarded in descending order to Haran Vowinkel (11.28 pounds), Jim Roskwitalski (11.14 pounds), Dan Niziol Jr. (10.92 pounds), Charles Stone (10.86 pounds), Chuck Pohlman (10.81 pounds), Ray Klimczak (10.80 pounds), and Chris Fuerch (10.70 pounds).
In the youth division, first place went to Hunter Englehardt for his 10.86-pound walleye. Hunter's fish will receive a taxidermy mount courtesy of Wagonwheel Taxidermy, a plaque and $200 from West Herr Automotive Group. John Keller of Florida won the second place prizes ($150 from West Herr and a rod and reel combo) for his 9.78-pound entry and Christopher Beres took third-place prize money from West Herr and a rod and reel combo.
Some of the anglers shared their fishing tactics after the awards. Moreno took his fish on Day 7 of the tournament out of Barcelona, fishing in 70 feet of water using planner boards, a No. 30 jet diver and a Hi-Tech worm harness. Selover caught his fish on Day 8 at 9 a.m. out of Barcelona using a purple renosky stick bait fished on a downrigger 40 feet down over 80 feet of water. His partners Stuart Selover and Jim Twist reported that that hawg stayed down the whole time behind the boat until they were finally able to get the net under it.
Jim Skoczylas and Jim Steel were on hand to present the Torpedo Diver sponsor award to Mr. Roskwitalski. The Torpedo guys reported catching over three dozen walleye over the course of the tournament using torpedo divers, 10 colors of leadcore or 30 jets off planner boards while fishing in 85 feet of water between Cattaraugus Creek and Center Road. Their most productive presentation was the 4-ounce torpedo/wormharness on mono line fished 100 feet back.
Next up on the tournament calendar is the Amara-Can. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!
The New York Walleye Association will present its two-day team walleye tournament, the AMARA-Can, on July 7-8. Sign ups will be available on Thursday and Friday, July 5-6, at Chadwick Bay Marina facility under the Big Top. Entry fee is $250 per team. For more information call Bob Zoeller at 875-8148 or Dayton Kane at 875-8872.
National Wild Turkey Federation local chapter of the Lake Shore Longbeards will host its annual Youth JAKES Day on July 21 at the Westfield Fish & Game Club.
The Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY will host its Catch & Release Kids Fishing Derby on July 21 at the Tift Nature Preserve, Fuhrman Blvd., in Buffallo, for children aged 15 years and younger. Sign-up is at 7:30 a.m., with the last weigh-in at 11 a.m. Free hot dogs and goodies from 11 a.m. until noon will be available, and coffee, juice, milk and donuts from 7:30-10. Awards will be presented at noon and all participants are asked to bring their own fishing gear. Call 861-5687 for details or call 649- 8202.
There will be a yellow perch fishing tournament at the North East Marina on Saturday, July 28. For details go to www.nechamber.org or call (814) 725-4262.
N.Y. Walleye Association will also host a Kids Day Fishing Derby at Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park on July 29 Registration starts at 9 a.m. with fishing from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. For more information call Mary Ann Filsinger at 897-3290.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.