Evil Eyes wins Innovative Outdoors tourney
As the saying goes, some people would rather be lucky than good. Curt Loveless of Williamsville, with his teammates Vince Gulino of Pembroke and Barry Ball of Alden, had a little bit of both last Saturday for the Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge out of Dunkirk. They won the contest with a total weight of 34.59 pounds for six walleyes, 7 pounds more than runnerup Current Obsessions, led by John Lignos.
“Our plan was to fish the middle of the lake for bigger fish,” said Loveless, who fishes out of his 21-foot Starcraft Fishmaster that he picked up from Bow and Stern Marine. “There was a strong south wind and once we got out three miles, it was so bad we decided to set down and troll back. We got lucky. We dropped on top of a school of bigger fish.”
Using 250 feet of 27-pound Walleye Copper line off specially rigged inline boards to accommodate for the extra weight, they used Renosky stickbaits in a zone of roughly 55 feet down over 80 to 100 feet of water. The best color pattern was Gingerbread. The team’s biggest fish was an 8.82-pound kicker fish that also placed third overall for the day in the category. While they caught about 40 fish, many were small or undersized, the same problem that everyone seemed to have.
“There’s such a huge population of the walleye out in the lake, it’s difficult to find the bigger fish,” Loveless said. Big fish for the tournament was a 9.39-pounder for the Day Drinkin team, led by John Rogers, that placed seventh overall. For complete results check out the tournament’s Facebook page.
Waddington hosts bass battle on St. Lawrence
The Bassmasters Elite Series invaded the St. Lawrence River last weekend to see professional anglers wage a bass battle for smallmouth like no other. When the livewells cleared, Josh Bertrand of San Tan Valley, Ariz., was at the top of the fish heap with 95 pounds, 3 ounces of bass over four days to claim the $100,000 prize. Second place went to Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., with a weight of 94 pounds, 6 ounces of bass.
Bertrand credited a drop shot rig with a 3-inch Gulp! Minnow in an emerald shiner pattern and a 4-inch Berkley MaxScent Flat Worm in a green pumpkin color as his hot tournament pattern that produced his bigger fish. “My main pattern was drifting rock humps in the river current from 40 to 50 feet of water,” he said.
The tournament was the final regular season event before heading to the Angler of the Year championship at Georgia’s Lake Chatuge. Bertrand moved into second place for AOY points. Lucas is in first by seven points.
Waterfowl permits needed at Tonawanda, Oak Orchard WMAs
If you plan on hunting waterfowl during opening weekend of the regular season in either Tonawanda or Oak Orchard State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), you have until Sept. 15 to get an application submitted for a lottery drawing. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) requires permits for the opening Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 27 and 28, to promote hunter safety and increase the quality of the hunting experience.
Approximately 100 permits are normally issued at Tonawanda and 50 permits at Oak Orchard. However, due to drought conditions in some areas, permit numbers might be reduced. If you would like to apply for the lottery, submit a postcard with name, address, and your first three choices in order of preference (Saturday Tonawanda, Saturday Oak Orchard, Sunday Tonawanda, Sunday Oak Orchard). Providing a phone number is optional. Applicants must have also completed a Waterfowl Identification Course and the course certification number should be on the card. Send your postcard to NYS Bureau of Wildlife, 1101 Casey Road, Box B, Basom, NY 14013. Anyone receiving a permit will be allowed to bring one person over 18 years of age and one person 18 years of age or younger.
Bowhunters needed for sighting log
The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is in need of bowhunters interested in participating in a “sighting log” while afield this fall. Last year, 3,648 bowhunters provided valuable data for wildlife biologists by keeping track of deer and other wildlife while hunting. For example, last year’s volunteers totaled nearly 170,000 hours of hunting time, seeing more than 123,000 deer, 32,000 turkeys, nearly 2,300 ruffed grouse, 2,200 coyotes, almost 1,400 red fox, 1,600 raccoons, 417 fisher, 331 black bears, 274 gray fox, 115 bobcats, nine river otters and four moose.
If you hunt with a vertical or a crossbow and would like to participate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “BowLog” in the subject line. The deadline to register is Friday. Be sure to include your name, address, hunter ID (back tag number) and the county where you primarily hunt.