Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge comes to a close

Pictured above on top, Diane Steel, with Team (Eye) Con, Rob Oram, Dakota Oram and Darrin Pound with Jim Steel won the 2017 Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge with a 42.51 pound six fish total.

The 2017 Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge is in the books.

A total of 41 teams signed up for this years event, with 32 teams opting to weigh in fish on Saturday. The weather was ideal — if not a little chilly early in the morning — but most of the teams found active walleye. The hard part was finding active walleye that could make the 20-inch tournament legal size limit. Several teams stepped up to the scale only to have a few fish turned down because they did not measure up.

The weigh-in was at Rookies on the Lake at 5 p.m., and the first team up was Boat No. 11 lead by Bob Henton and his son. They had one walleye, but it ended up being the biggest walleye of the tournament weighing in at 8.97 pounds. Three other boats weighed in three walleye including Darren Hulbert, Trevor King and tournament chairman Jim Steel.

David Beyers of Loose Screws, the Big Fish Friday winner, and Roger Vorhees of Drag’N’Lures weighed in four fish but Vorhees had the second heaviest walleye on Saturday weighing 8.76 pounds. Team Get It Wet lead by the tournament master of ceremonies Yvan Charrois weighed in only five out of six walleyes including an 8.42 pounder for a total of 32.07 pounds which took the final payout spot in the big box division. Also weighing in five walleye boxes were Rick Kackmarski, Carl Martin and Bob Rustowicz. Weighing in six fish boxes, but unable to find the bigger fish were: Dennis Alguire, Aaron Teijeira, Scott Spier, Darin Baron, Jeff Bogner, Bradley Booth, Ron Duliba, last year’s winner Randy Jaroszewski, James Martin, Gregg Marzec, who just missed the cut off with a 31.89 total, Jim Klein, Tom Miranda and Craig Sleeman the 2017 Sunset Bay Shoot out winner. Don Ruppert of Team Wavetamer took the seventh spot with a total weight of 32.35. Newcomer Peter Smith III, placed sixth with a 32.41 pound total. Team Prince Otto lead by Frank Simonick had the third heaviest walleye of the day weighing 8.71 pounds that helped total 32.56 pounds and fifth place. Rob Ebersole tallied 33.18 pounds for fourth, while 5 Alive captain, Jesse Nussbaum, weighed in 33.90 pounds for third. Team Evil Eyes lead by Curtiss Loveless held the lead for most of the duration with a total weight of 32.22 pounds that was shattered by over a seven-pound difference, when Team (Eye) Con, Rob and Dakota Oram with Darrin Pound, watched the scale read 42.51 pounds and win the 2017 IOWC. Team (Eye) Con fished west of Dunkirk in 85-110 feet of water using Pillard Pro-sticks early in the day, and changing up to worn harnesses as the wind died down. They used four dipsey divers and copper wire presentations. The tournament was a great time with lots of the competitors enjoying the camaraderie. Jim and Diane Steel the chair persons of the event did another great job, and had great weather for this years event.


The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program will be starting it’s 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. Classes will be on Tuesday evenings starting on Aug. 29 from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. 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.

The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office will be holding a bow hunters education course on Monday, Sept. 4 and Wednesday, Sept. 6, from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. each day at Hideaway Archery in Dayton. Two-day attendance mandatory for certification. No charge for the course. Participants should be 12 or older, however students age 11 must be accompanied by a parent both days. Class is limited to 35 students. Bring identification, pen or pencil, snacks and a beverage. Mandatory pre-registration at www.register-ed.com. For more information contact the Sheriff’s Office, The DEC at 372-0645, and pick up the course material at Hideaway Archery, or the Sheriff’s Office or print online.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host a .22 caliber pistol or rifle “spinner target” course on Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Cost is $10 per person and includes a hot dog or hamburger, chips and a non-alcoholic beverage. Open to the public. Contact Rudy Abersold at 397-9717 for information. All shoots are open to the public contact Rob at 485-3773, Tom at 680-0209. The Bear Lake Club is located at 4391 Cassadaga-Stockton Road, Stockton 14784.

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, N.Y. 14048, or call the sports dept. 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.


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