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Scattershot / Outdoor News and notes

Costa Fishing League Worldwide Series in Buffalo, Lake Erie

Its crunch time for more than 170 bass boats and over 340 anglers as the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) brings its Costa Series Northern Division to Buffalo for three days of competitive bass fishing. Expect some big bags of bass to come to the scales at Safe Harbor Marina starting at 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday this week (1111 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo). Boats launch at 6 a.m. each day.

At the end of weigh-in on Friday, the Top 10 teams will be determined – the field of competitors for the final day on the lake. On Saturday, weigh-in will be at 3 p.m. at the Cabela’s parking lot located at 2003 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga. The public is encouraged to come out and see the weigh-in proceedings. While some seating is available, a good crowd is expected. Bring along a chair.

For more information on FLW, check out

Unified Fishing Derby July 28

The Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Foundation will be coordinating a Unified Fishing Derby on Saturday, July 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Safe Harbor Marina. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Anyone under the age of 18 and Special Olympics athletes of all ages are invited to participate.

According to organizer Tom Stark, event goodie bags will be handed out to the first 25 participants signed up. Bring a rod and reel if you have one. If you don’t, FLW rods are available for the first 50 participants. Bait will be provided for everyone. Bring along chairs, life jackets, sunscreen, hats, snacks and drinks. An adult or legally authorized care giver must accompany all participants and sign a waiver form. For more information contact Tom Stark at Incidentally, Stark is looking for some volunteers to assist with the kids event.

Mid-River/Nick’s Wins Sunset Bay Shootout

That makes it two in row for the Mid-River/Nick’s Sporting Goods walleye fishing team. After winning Roy Ray’s Big Dawg Tournament July 7, the squad collected 6 fish weighing 43.87 pounds to win the 8th Annual Sunset Bay Shootout, held out of Irving on Lake Erie July 21. The win was the result of plenty of suspense and hard work for the team of Jeff Bognar of Grand Island, Danny Sullivan of Buffalo, Tom Tornabene of Kenmore, Roy Hryckowian of Buffalo and Mike DiBlasio of Cheektowaga.

“We made the decision to run 35 miles across the lake and try to fish where we fished for the Big Dawg,” said Bognar. “By the time we hit the border we had 4-foot waves.  We had 6 to 8 footers by the time we hit our fishing spot two hours later. Everything had changed. We trolled for 3 hours with our same program and never hit a fish by noon. It forced us to do something different.”

Bognar made the decision to fish in shallower water 20 to 30 feet deep. The troll itself was altered to more of an east-west troll as they fished custom Lady Bug worm harnesses from Nick’s Sporting Goods off of 10 and 20 jet divers and dipsy divers. Within 10 minutes they had their first legal fish. For the tournament, walleye were required to be at least 24 inches long.

“We had 10 total bites,” said Bognar. “We were lucky that we had our 6 fish over 24 inches long. Because we were fishing in Canadian waters, we needed 5 guys to get our 9 tournament rods out. That also made a big difference for us.” The tournament only allows 9 rods per boat. In New York waters, that’s only three anglers. Ontario has a two rod limit per person. We still had a two hour run back to the weigh in so our fishing time was limited.” It also helped to be fishing off a 27-foot Tiara that was made for those kinds of conditions. The tournament win earned them $26,000 in cash and over $4,000 in prizes (including a 9.9 Honda Outboard).

Big fish for the tournament was a 10.45-pound walleye reeled in by the Underdog Team led by Gary, Garrett, Kelly and Nick Schmidt.

Hidden Valley DeerFEST August 2

Get ready for something new.  On August 2 at Hidden Valley Animal Adventure, 2887 Royce Road, Varysburg, there will be an inaugural DeerFEST New York event. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. It will be an exciting evening of live country music with Ricky Lee, raffles, auctions and more. This fund-raiser will offer outdoor products, dealer networks and outfitters. Tickets are $50 each.

The end game for this unique concept is to raise funds for a youth camp through “Outdoors for Everyone.” Call Ken White at 818-8075 or visit for more information.

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