by Mark Daul
What a day. Weather was perfect and the bass cooperated big time.
No one that we know of got skunked, and some of our sportsman fishermen weren't able to bring their fish to the weigh-in, because they knew their catch was out of contention and they were released. The "BIG Bass Classic IV," held Saturday, July 16, and sponsored by A-1 Bait Supply and www.OutdoorsNiagara.com, had a two fish limit per person for entry in the interest of conservation, making the total weight of two fish scoring honors.
Most fish were caught at the U.S. Coast Guard Station drift and at the bar out in the lake. Tube jigs and crayfish were the favorite baits of the day. The annual river moss is gone, so there was no problem with that fouling up the lines and the bait.
First-place winner was Pete Bissell of Lewiston. He landed a near-record smallie that weighed in a whopping 6 pounds, 4 ounces. That catch captured the Lunker Award fish of the day, too. His total weight of his two allowable fish weighed in at 10 pounds, 6 ounces. Bissell was using tube jigs.
Bissell's big fish missed the New York state record by just 2 pounds. A 6 pound, 4 ounce, smallmouth bass is not a common catch in the lower Niagara River.
Second place went to Ron Mrzygut of Niagara Falls, with a total weight of his two fish at 9 pounds, 4 ounces. Mrzygut was a first-place winner of both the 2008 and 2009 bass classics.
Third-place honors went to Mike McGrath, Niagara Falls, with 8 pounds, 13 ounces.
The weigh-in and awards were presented at the Lewiston Landing pavilion. Again, Richard Fortier did a masterful job as the head judge with the help of Gerry Biro. The picnic included Sahlens hot dogs cooked up expertly by "Bad Boy" Gerry, Ron Hutcheson's right hand man, and Janine Hutcheson made sure everything was there and in place and everyone got served. Delma Daul did up the macaroni/tuna salad and the only thing left was the bowl.
We are very appreciative of the Village of Lewiston for opening their arms to us and providing the sole use of the landing pavilion. We also want to thank the harbormasters who worked that day for their outstanding hospitality.
We are all looking for next year (it will be held on the same weekend in July).
Don't forget the Walleye Classic IV to be held Aug. 13, in the lower Niagara River only. Weigh-in is again at Lewiston. There's a $25 entry and the details are on www.OutdoorsNiagara.com. Simple rules just like the Bass Classic. Save the date and c'mon out and join us.
Don't' forget, the annual Niagara River Anglers bass contest is being held Saturday, July 23.