Catching one big fish was the main goal of entrants in the Southtowns Walleye Tournaments held June 7-14.
Many a boater headed out of ports from Barcelona to Buffalo Harbor and the catches came sparingly at first, but Barcelona Harbor emerged as the leader among anglers focused on getting that one big ’eye.
After the eight-day competition and all the variations in weather, Mark Hering of Lyndonville weighed in the winner in the Senior Division, a 12.24-pound walleye caught on a worm harness run off a Dipsy Diver rig off Barcelona on June 12.
“We were too late for the weigh-in Thursday, so I had to weigh it in on Friday the 13th,” Hering said of his catch, which won the top prize ($5,000) plus merchandize prizes, a $500 Brobeil Marine gift, a Canon Mag 10 downrigger and a free mount of his winning fish at Buck Stops Here Taxidermy.
Hering has regularly fished the Southtowns Tourney aboard partner Lon St. Louis of Hartland’s boat for the last five contests and took a money prize in 2011.
“We fished during the first six days of the tourney and caught about 60 walleyes. Sizes averaged 7.5 to 8 pounds, which should be good for the Con Club Tourney,” Hering said of the upcoming Chautauqua County Conservation Club Derby in early August.
Barcelona was the successful weigh-in site for the second- and third-place tourney winners.
Rob Brown took second with a 12.15-pound entry.
Clifford MacDonald finished third with an 11.44-pound walleye.
In the Youth Division, big fish also prevailed. Blake Kenney won top prize with a 9.48-pound ’eye; Ben Slawatycki was a close second with a 9.42-pound entry; Collin Voss took third with an 8.77-pound walleye.
Southtowns Walleye Association officials already are planning procedures for next year’s tourney. N.Y. Walleye Association coordinators are making final arrangements for the 21st Annual Amara-Can Team Walleye Classic at Dunkirk Harbor July 12 and 14. For entry details, call 366-8350.
Next week, look for catch and prize-winning results of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 13th Annual BassEye Challenge held Friday.