NYS Winter Classic Gears Up
Get ready for one of the biggest fishing contests in the state! The New York State Winter Classic Fishing Tournament is slated to kick off on Jan. 1 and continue through Feb. 28 across the Empire State. Wherever you can catch fish – through the ice or in “soft” water – anglers will be competing for up to $250,000 in cash and prizes. Species categories include Northern pike, walleye, trout, pickerel, perch, crappie and panfish. Tim and Jeff Thomas have put together a great fishing event in 2017. Grand Prize is $2,500 sponsored by Clam Outdoors, determined through a special drawing of all first-place leaders at the end of the two months. A Case Canoe Package will be given to the angler catching the largest fish overall. There are weekly and monthly awards, too. A total of 58 ice shanties will be up for grabs – one at every weigh station across the state – for special drawings at each site. To find out more information check out www.nyswinterclassic.com.
Fly Fishing School Open for Registration
The Lake Erie Chapter of the International Federation of Fly Fishers is now accepting applications for its Adult-Beginner Fly Tying Class that begins on Feb. 21. Registration is limited and last year the class filled up quickly and sold out. Actual dates for the class are Feb. 21 and 28; March 7, 14, 21 and 28. All sessions will be held at the Charles F. Burchfield Nature and Art Center, 2001 Union Road, West Seneca from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Lab fee is $30. An application can be downloaded off www.lake-erie-fff.org or call 675-4766.
Captain Bob’s Derby Results
The final results are in for the Captain Bob’s Pre-ice Derby that ended last weekend. Winners were based on length. In the Steelhead Division, Charlie Stahl of Williamsville topped the field with a 30-inch fish reeled in from the Oak Orchard River. He was using a trout bead. Top brown trout was a 26-inch fish caught by Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga in Johnson’s Creek, Orleans County. He was drifting a spike. First-place perch was none other than Herb Schultz of Hamburg. He caught a 13-3/4-inch ring back on a minnow while fishing out of Sturgeon Point on Lake Erie. Tops in the Rudd Division was a 15-3/4-inch fish that “California Joe” Pavalonis caught fishing the Upper Niagara River. Steve Hawkins is now getting ready for the big 2017 Winter Fishing Derby at Captain Bob’s, located at 10295 Main Street, Clarence, slated for Jan. 2 through March 15, 2017. Categories include walleye, perch, northern pike, steelhead, crappie, bluegill/sunfish and rudd. Fish may be caught through the ice or in open water. For more information call “Hawk” at 407-3021.
Alden R&G to hold Trap, Archery Leagues
Alden Rod and Gun Club, 12 County Line Road in Alden, will be starting off the new year with a blast. Beginning Jan. 15, the club will be running a Winter Trap League every other Sunday through March 26. This will be a 50-bird scratch league from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Practice shooters are welcome. For more information on the clay bird action, contact Tom Ess at 937-6612.
At the same time, Alden R&G will be holding an Indoor Archery League. For information on the bow-bending contest, call Phil Williams at 553-7445.
Kroening Buck Scores High
Patience is a virtue. Local nimrod Steve Kroening of Cambria knows that very well. For three years he watched one particular Cambria buck and even collected the sheds of that antlered wonder year after year. It was this past fall, just prior to the regular season, when it finally all came together. Hunting with his Cam-X crossbow, Kroening built a ground blind in an area that the buck had established. He could only hunt from this particular blind when the wind was blowing out of the west. The bomber buck finally moved into range and Kroening needed just one shot at 16 yards. The 16-point buck will score around 195 inches, weighing 170 pounds field dressed. Not only was it his biggest buck of his life, but it was also the first with his crossbow. The deer was 5-1/2 years old. He is getting it mounted at The Buck Stops Here in North Tonawanda.