Erie Canal Derby enters final weekend
The 29th Steve Harrington Memorial Erie Canal Fishing Derby runs through July 14 in Niagara, Erie and Orleans counties. All the fish species categories are up for grabs, but it will take a little work to topple the leaders. In the bass division, Tyler Hillman of Lockport is in first place with a 4.92-pound fish. Sam Hillman from Lockport is the top walleye catcher at 7.04 pounds, and James Nix Jr. of Tonawanda is setting pace in the pike division with an 11.81-pound fish.
The biggest bullhead so far is a 1.54-pound fish reeled in by Buffy Frank of Lockport. The biggest catfish is an 8.53-pound fish pulled in by Wayne Hale of Lockport and Anthony Henley of Buffalo has the leading carp at 22.59 pounds. Rachel Izzo of Sanborn is tops in the sheepshead category with a 10.91-pound fish. Check eriecanalderby.com for details. The awards ceremony will take place July 21 at the Gasport Fire Hall starting at 3 p.m.
Sunset Bay Walleye Shootout scheduled for July 19-20
One of the biggest walleye tournaments on Lake Erie will kick off July 19-20 out of Cattaraugus Creek, the ninth annual Sunset Bay Walleye Shootout. It is tabbed as the largest single-day walleye shootout in the country, with more than $150,000 in cash and prizes for the main event on Saturday, attracting teams from 17 states.
After a Big Fish Friday contest on July 19, which is essentially a practice day for the field, the shootout begins at 7 a.m. and ends with teams returning by 3:30 p.m. to weigh their six best walleyes. A live weigh-in celebration will begin on the beach at Cabana Sam’s starting at 4:30 p.m. This event is open to the public. For more information, contact tournament organizer Don Ruppert at 435-4137.
16th annual LOTSA King Salmon Tournament set for July 19-20
The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association will celebrate its 16th annual King Salmon Tournament and picnic July 19-20 out of Olcott. This is an event for club members only. However, a $10 membership free is all it takes to join this innovative and hard-working club.
This is a fun competition, starting with a “free” contest – the ninth annual Curt Meddaugh Memorial for the best three fish for the day. Top three total weight catches will receive prizes, following the weigh-in and hot dog roast in the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott.
On July 20, LOTSA members will target one big fish for the day for prizes. However, you also have the option of entering the 323 Tournament – the best three fish over two days of fishing. Strategy is involved because you must decide how many fish you will want to weigh in for the special contest. Check out details at lotsa1.org.
Free youth sportfest in East Aurora on July 20
The East Aurora Fish and Game Club, located at 1018 Luther Road in East Aurora, will host a free NRA Youth Sportfest on July 20, starting at 9 a.m. and finishing at approximately 4:30 p.m. The event is free for kids ages 12 to 18. However, preregistration is required by July 14. Call 652-0229 to sign up. There will be a cap of 75 youth registrations.
The day consists of a wide variety of outdoors activities such as skeet and trap shooting, small bore rifle shooting, archery, safety instruction and black powder/muzzleloader shooting guided by certified instructors. A picnic lunch will be provided for all attendees. Parents are welcome to attend with their kids.