The AMARA-CAN Walleye Classic fishing tournament returns to the City of Dunkirk for another year.
This year is the 20th year the event will be held and there will be a new look for the event.
First, let's get to the event itself for those who need an introduction.
OBSERVER?Photo by Gene Pauszek
The 20th Annual AMARA-CAN Walleye Classic will kick off Saturday morning. The event is hosted by the New York Walleye Association, which is based out of the Buffalo area.
The AMARA-CAN is a fishing contest that allows teams of two to four people to enter and compete in a two-day event based solely out of Chadwick Bay Marina. The event is hosted by the New York Walleye Association, which is based out of the Buffalo area. Entry fee for this event is $250 per team. This fee includes launch and dock with launching at the Dunkirk Launch site after 6 p.m. on Friday and docking at Chadwick Bay Marina. All boats which are registered will be assigned a number which they must display at all times during the event. The teams will be assigned a flight time for departure each day. Shift A will depart Saturday at 7 a.m. and must return by 4 p.m. the same day. Shift B will depart at 8 a.m. and must return by 5 p.m. the same day. On Sunday, the departure times flip with Shift B departing at 7 a.m and returning by 2 p.m., and Shift A departing at 8 a.m., returning by 3 p.m. Note the fishing time has been shortened by two hours on Sunday.
Each team is allowed to bring to the weigh site a maximum of five walleye per day. This is a walleye only contest.
Teams that are fortunate to catch more than five walleye per day will be required to select their five heaviest walleye before coming to the scales. The object is to weigh-in the five heaviest walleye for a daily five fish total weight, and do it two days in a row.
Sounds easy, doesn't it?
However, many teams that do well on day one, might not be as fortunate the next day. The weather may change, the fish move, or the crew might party a little too hard the night before.
There are 10 team prizes awarded for the heaviest total weight of walleye (five per day, 10 maximum total for two days). The actual amount will fluctuate depending on the number of teams that enter. For example, if 150 teams entered the first place team would win $3,750. The 10th place would win $300.
However, there is a wild card so to speak for all teams entered. Each day there is a Big Fish of the Day award for the three heaviest fish paying out in descending order: $500, $300 and $200. In addition, there are prize drawings for each team in attendance at the captains meeting held at 7 p.m. on Friday night and Saturday and Sunday after the weigh-in.
Anyone who would like to enter a team can sign up at the Chadwick Bay Marina today after 11 a.m. Sign-ups will take place all day long. Note that even if your team pre-registered for this event, you must sign in at the registration area.
A new feature this year is that many of the festivities will be held at the outdoor pavilion at the Clarion Hotel site. Refreshments will be served on site, and those who choose to stay overnight at the Clarion will be treated to a free Continental Breakfast starting at 5:30 a.m. There will also be free entertainment each evening at the Clarion and numerous live bands will also be playing within walking distance of the Marina/hotel area.
The scales or weigh-in site will be at the familiar pavilion at Chadwick Bay Marina, just on the other side of the link fence, within easy walking distance of the refreshment area.
Drinks, good food and commemorative hats and T-shirts will also be available for the public.
Note the Dunkirk Fire Department will be on the City of Dunkirk Pier to signal the departure of each shift each day. Bring the youngsters, as they are sure to enjoy it.
If you are not entering the event, come join the excitement each day at the weigh-in and awards ceremony.
The OBSERVER will feature full coverage of this event.
Gene Pauszek is an outdoor columnist for the OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek