Sunset Bay Shoot Out concludes

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek From left, Team Mid-River — Jeff Bognar, Danny Sullivan Tom Tornabene (trophy-holder) Ray Hryckowian and Mike DiBlasio won the Sunset Bay Shoot Out with a total weight of 43.87 pounds along with the fifth place walleye weighing 10.12 pounds.

The eighth annual Sunset Bay Shoot Out was another success. The weather report was a bit questionable, with strong southeast winds predicted, but most of the contestants reported with fish. Captain Don Ruppert has been the driving force that initiated this event, and before the weigh-in started, he reported that the Sunset Bay Shoot Out is the highest-paying one-day walleye event in the country. This year there were contestants representing 15 states. The SBSO event allows teams to weigh-in a total of six walleye, that must be a minimum of 24 inches in length. Lots of teams reported with fish, but the 24-inch minimum length was tough. Team Snyper started off the weigh-in with a total of one fish that weighed in over eight pounds. The Snyper teams gets to sit in the “Hot Seat” with the Labatt’s girls as bookends, until someone weighs in a heavier box of fish. The pay out structure was 15 places and Mark Lewondowski of Team Reel Mania was the only team with five walleye to place, with a 30.11 pound total and a big fish of 7.27 pounds. Next up was Yvan Charrois of “Get it Wet” with a total weight of 31.24 and a big fish of 8.66 lbs. Lucky 13 was Jacob Malloy of Team Erie Tracker with 33.16 pounds. The 12 spot was Kyle Korkanovich team “Ship of Fools” with 34.46 lbs. Tom Slawatycki and his son along with Jim Dolly Jr. had the fourth heaviest walleye of the day weighing 10.23 lbs with a total weight of 35.07 lbs. Local team Pete Smith Jr. of team “Reely Jerkin It” made the top 10 with 35.7 pounds. No. 9 was Tom Means of team Willow Creeker with 35.79 pounds. Mike Fletcher of team “Dialed In” grabbed the eighth spot with 37.61 pounds and lucky seven was Shawn Barrett of team “Pearl Jack” with a 38.11 total. Nick Schmidt used the heaviest walleye of the day weighing 10.45 lbs to come up with a 39.47 pound total. Al Peterson of team “OK 1 More” also had a 10 pounder at 10.41 for a total weight of 39.69 lbs. Tom Miranda of team Pole Dancer grabbed the 4 spot with total weight of 39.73 pounds. If you remember, Tom approached the scales last year on Saturday of the Con Club Tournament with a cooler containing three Swedish Fish candies, which brightened up a slow overcast day.

Local favorite and up and coming champion Ron Duliba Jr. of team “Dances with Fish” finished in the third spot with 40.13 pounds. The Green Reaper fishing team lead by Brandon Moody again found the second place with a 40.76 total that also had a 10.36 pound walleye. They finished in second place on Big Fish Friday with a 9.16 pounder. The grand prize winner was the same guy who won the Rayzor’s Big Dawg Tournament a few weeks ago. Jeff Bognar of team “Mid-River” with a total weight of 43.87 pounds and another ten pounder weighing 10.12 pounds claimed the top prize over $10,000 and a 9.9 four-stroke outboard and a great trophy. The guys fished the Canadian side with a lot of custom painted lures/jets and divers. They had no fish by noon, before the bite started for them. Congratulations to the winners and the Sunset Bay Shoot Out crew on another great tournament! Next up is the Con Club three-day derby!


Aug. 3, 4, and 5 are the dates for the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club walleye derby. A three day tourney, with three walleye per day allowed entry. Two to four anglers per boat. A full field of 100 teams is currently signed up with a waiting list. This three day event is considered by some as the most fun event of the area tournaments. Lots of opportunities to win.

Aug. 25 is the Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge out of Dunkirk. A one day tournament with optional Big Fish Friday on Aug. 24. Limited to 65 boats with the registration deadline on Aug. 1. Contact Jim Steel at 481-5348 or go to lakeeriewalleyetournament.com.

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Team Underdog, the Schmidt family, Gary, Garrett, Kelly and Nick won the Big Fish of the tournament Prize with their 10.45 walleye.

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.

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.

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Team Dances with fish — Jason Bifaro, Rich Eggleston, “Walleye Willie” Duliba, Ron Duliba Jr. and Sr. and Jeff Caparco and son took third place in the Shoot Out.

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Canadian team Green Reaper, led by Brandon Moody, took second place with a 40.76 total weight.


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