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Area anglers hit jackpot in Florida

Any warm-weather getaway would be nice this time of year, but for the Mordino family a fishing charter out of Singer Island in Florida on Feb. 20 proved to be warming and rewarding.

Anthony Mordino of Cheektowaga and sons Vincent and Michael of Lancaster fished near-shore Gulf Stream waters with Osprey Charters out of Sailfish Marina with outstanding results.

The morning charter saw its first and best sail at 10:30 a.m., an 89.6-inch trophy followed with a 72-inch prize.

“It was a great morning; we trolled only about a half-mile off shore and could see people walking on the beach,” Vincent said. He added that their bigger sailfish was the largest caught there so far this season.

Both fish were measured, the larger one for mounting specs, photo recorded and then returned to sail and fight again along the Palm Beach shoreline.

Sportsmen honored

Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs presented awards to outstanding individuals during its awards banquet Saturday evening at Father Justin Knights of Columbus Hall in Cheektowaga.

Sportsmen of the Year honors went to Kevin Plotz, an active member of the Springville Field & Stream Club, which received the federation’s Club of the Year Award.

Michael Todd, DEC fisheries biologist, received the Public Servant Award. A Dedicated Service Award was presented to Environmental Conservation Officer Michael Phelps. Gary Coon accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work with Trout Unlimited.

Youth Awards went to Kevin Morgan, male, and Moriah Gamel, female. Hope Melnyk was presented the President’s Award.

Erie County Trappers Association Trapper of the Year award was presented to John Witkowski for his mentoring skills with young trappers.

Penn Dixie aides

The Hamburg Natural History Society’s Penn Dixie Site program offerings expand each year and the exhibits, field trips, and outdoors programs require responsible and informed individuals to help youths and adults understand and enjoy the many geological and astronomical natural-science presentations Penn Dixie provides.

A Volunteer Training session will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Gateway Executive Office Building, 3556 Lake Shore Rd. in Blasdell. Pre-registration is requested and an information form is available on line at