By TODD TRANUM
President & CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier
One of the true jewels of Chautauqua County will be showcased nationally over the next couple of months when Major League Fishing's Summit Cup is shown on national television. Chautauqua Lake played host to some of the top competitive anglers in the country this past August for this event, when Jack Link's Major League Fishing chose it as the site for the six day General Tire Summit Cup, which will be aired on the Outdoor Channel starting Jan. 3.
The Outdoor Channel produced the seven-episode program, which premieres at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 3 and runs for six weeks. The Championship Round will air at 1 p.m. Feb. 9 on NBC, and will be rebroadcast the following week on the Outdoor Channel.
Major League Fishing's made-for-television events utilize a format that allows anglers to weigh all the score-able bass that they catch. The bass are immediately weighed after they are caught, then released back into the water. Anglers know where they rank in the standings at all times via real-time leader boards in their boats. The competitors are not allowed to practice before events and knew the Chautauqua Lake destination only two days prior to the start of the Summit Cup.
This is the second televised event for Major League Fishing, a partnership between Outdoor Channel and 24 of the world's best anglers. The league features made-for-television bass fishing events designed to bring high-level challenges to participants and entertainment, as well as insight, to audiences.
Chautauqua Lake has long been a fishing destination. At 18 miles long it is the largest inland lake in western New York and supports recreational and tournament fishing for large and small mouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, and walleye.
"We had a great event at Chautauqua Lake, and I can't wait for sports fans to watch how these top-level anglers performed with no practice on one of the finest venues in the country," Major League Fishing Commissioner Don Rucks said.
It is thrilling to know that our lake is seen as "one of the finest venues in the country" by these high level sportsmen. Our hope is that this will be an even greater draw for anglers from all over to visit Chautauqua County in the future. For more information on fishing on Chautauqua Lake, contact the CCVB at 716-357-4569 or visit their website at www.tourchautauqua.com/fishing.
Special thanks for assisting before, during, and after the filming go to Craig Robbins, local fishing guide and outdoor writer; Andrew Nixon and his staff at the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau; George Murphy and the staff at Chautauqua Institution; and Ken Shearer and his staff at Chautauqua Marina. Thanks also to local sponsors to helped to provide everything from lodging to food: Chautauqua County Department of Economic Development, Chautauqua Suites, the Athenaeum Hotel, the Comfort Inn, 3 C's Catering, Elegant Edibles, and the Watermark.
The Summit Cup tournament was sponsored by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, Chautauqua Institution, and Chautauqua Suites Hotel and Expo Center. The Chamber and Visitors Bureau are collaborating to host a watch party for the NBC television event on Feb. 9. Save the date now and watch for more details to be announced in the weeks ahead.
Dunkirk Community Chamber annual meeting Jan. 16
The Dunkirk Community Chamber of Commerce Annual Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the Clarion Hotel, 30 Lake Shore Dr. E. The event will be held in the Bayside Ballroom from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 each for this event.
You can register now by calling the Chamber office in Dunkirk at 366-6200 or by visiting the events calendar on the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce website at www.chautauquachamber.org.