A rough day concludes the Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge 2018

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek From left, Diane Steel, Captain Curtis Loveless, Leo Gulino (front), Vince Gulino, Barry Ball and Jim Steel came away with the heaviest total weight for the 2018 Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge, weighing 34.59 pounds.

The 2018 Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge is in the books and most of those fishermen who competed, on Saturday, will remember that it was a rough day fishing. There were 51 boats registered this year, but when it was time to weigh-in, only 35 coolers showed up at the scales. Most of the competitors found fish, but finding fish that are a minimum of 20 inches in length can be difficult, especially when the wave action makes it difficult to stand up in the boat. Bob Rustowicz, the Captain of Team Forever Fishin’, commented that his team caught and released over 70 fish on Saturday, but ended up with a total weight of 15.44 pounds.

Boat 19, The Fish Pack, led by Jim Klein had one fish weighing in a 5.88 pounds. The lead was short lived, as Team Big Shots, led by Tom Yusczyk, weighed in at 6.12 pounds. Big fish were hard to come by and it looked like a 20 pound basket of six walleye might place in the money. This years event would pay out for the top nine heaviest baskets and Big Fish prize money would go to the top three heaviest walleye.

Team 1, led by Dennis Alguire, took the No. 9 spot with a total weight of 24.14 pounds, beating out Rob Oram, who finished with 23.22. In the No. 8 spot was the man who ran the IOWC event, Jim Steel, with a total weight of 24.25 pounds.

The No. 7 spot went to John Rogers, Team Day Drinkin’, who finished with a total weight of 24.40 that was helped with the big fish of the day weighing 9.39 pounds. Darin Baron, of Team Fishin’ Tradition, had the second heaviest walleye of the day at 9.07 pounds, which helped bring his total to 25.93 pounds, good for the No. 6 spot. Baron also finished in second place on Big Fish Friday at 8.24 pounds. Gregg Marzec and the G-Man Crew found 5th place prize money with a 26.38 pound total, while Yvan Charrois of Team Get it Wet and Shawn Barrett of Team Ziekertail finished tied for third and fourth place at 26.64 pounds. Charrois had the tie breaker with the heavier fish weighing 7.72 compared to 5.96 pounds.

Team 23, led by John Lignos, looked like a sure thing when he weighed in 27.49 pounds, but he had to settle for second place when Curtis Loveless, of the last team, became the first place finisher with a total weight of 34.59 pounds. Loveless also had the third heaviest walleye on Saturday, weighing in at 8.82 pounds. His team “Evil Eyes” fished straight out of Dunkirk in 100 feet of water, using wire line presentations to target walleye at 60 feet. Raspberry Renosky stick baits were the hot color. Team Current Obsession, led by John Lignos, which finished in second place, fished out of Barcelona in 78 feet of water and used the Blue Mongoose color double blade, worm harness by Wack’m Tackle presented 135 feet back on dipsey divers loaded with dacron line.

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek From left, David Hartman, Michael Hartman, John Lignos, Tom Leman and John Burke, with Jim and Diane Steel, finished in second place with 27.49 pounds.

Closing comments from the competitors, “We will sleep good tonight!” Jim and Diane Steel ran a great tournament that was very well organized. Most of the guys plan on being back again next year.

Calendar: The Westfield Moose Lodge No. 118 intends to run a one day walleye derby on Saturday, Sept. 1 from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. Entry fee is $200 per four-man team. Awards will pay out for the five heaviest walleye that day, plus the five heaviest total weight basket of walleye (three walleye maximum) and the three longest walleye will have a prize division. If the date is un-fishable, the money will be distributed by random draw. Mandatory attendance at the Captains Meeting on Friday, Aug. 31 at the Moose Lodge located at 19 Clinton Street, Westfield. Make checks payable to: Westfield Moose lodge #118. For more information call (716) 581-0487. Only New York State waters are eligible. Weigh-in will be at the Barcelona Harbor. Be patient. Every fishing derby has growing pains the first couple of years. It should be fun!

The Hanover Fish & Game Club located on Overheiser road Forestville is hosting their “Doc Mariani Memorial Sporting Clay Shoot” on Sept. 2. This is a registered fun shoot, with all shooters welcome. Registration starts at 8 a.m. Raffles and other activities also planned. Call Bill at 560-2327 for more information.

The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office will be offering a bow hunters education course this Wednesday and Thursday, from 4:30 until 9:30 p.m. Two-day attendance is mandatory for completion of this course, which will be held at Hideaway Archery, 12749 Cottage Road, Dayton. Students should be at least 12 years of age. If an 11 year old wants to take the course, a parent must attend the course both days along with the 11 year old. Class size is limited to 35 students. Be sure to bring a form of identification (license or birth certificate etc.), a pen or pencil, snacks, a lunch and drinks. Mandatory pre-registration is done at www.register-ed.com. Homework must be done prior to taking the course. Find the course material on line, or pick up at the Sheriff’s office or call the DEC office at (716) 372-0645, prior to taking the free course.

There will be a free NY Bowhunter safety course at the “Con Club” on Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek At left, Mark Mineo, John Rogers, John Peterson and Mike Falls caught the largest walleye weighing 9.39 pounds. They fished east in 80 feet, using leadcore line and harnesses.

There will also be a free trapping course on Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. For information call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.

The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program will be starting its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. Note that classes will switch from Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. to Tuesday evenings at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com.

There will be a gun show at the Astabula County Fairgrounds located at the County Expo Center Building, 127 North Elm Street, Jefferson, OH, 44047. Show is on Oct. 27-28, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Next show is on Nov. 17 and 18 at the Hickory Post VFW located at 5550 East state Street. US Route 62 East of PA. — West of Mercer on 62, Hermitage, PA, 16148. Same show times.

On Dec. 8 and 9, a gun show at Harbor Creek Fire Dept. Social Hall, located at 7275 Buffalo Road, US Route 20 (located between North East, PA and Harbor Creek, PA. For details or information, contact Larry Spicer at 716-792-9972 or go to LRgunshows@gmail.com.

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or any other outdoors event, and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second Street, Dunkirk, NY 14048, or call the sports department at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.

Note: If you have a big game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000, ext. 5, after 6 p.m. or email sports@observertoday.com.

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