by Mark Daul
Ian Emes of Niagara Falls went home with a nice payday last Saturday by winning the fourth annual Walleye Classic sponsored by Outdoors Niagara and A-1 Bait Supplies. Emes also won the Lunker Award for the biggest fish of the day, weighing in at 10 pounds even.
In the interest of conservation a take of only two fish per fisherman is allowed for entry and Emes' total for the day came in at 18 pounds, 2 ounces. Emes caught his fish at the Lake Ontario bar off Fort Niagara while fishing with his father Chris.
Brothers Ron, of Niagara Falls, and Chris Mrzygut of Lewiston, finished second and third respectively with a total weight of 17 pounds, 11 ounces. Second place honors went to Chris, who came in close behind with a 14 pound, 6 ounce total.
Most fishermen spent their time at the bar in front of the Fort Niagara, where a majority of the fish were caught using worm harnesses and the old-time, reliable yellow sally and spinner tipped with a crawler - a Niagara River favorite from the 1950s and available at local tackle shops only.
Overall fishing at the Walleye Classic was great, with a lot of fish tipping the scales around the 6-to-8-pound mark. A total of 32 fish were weighed in during the eight-hour event. And there were a good number of enthusiastic walleye fishermen participating this year, likely due to moving this contest to August instead of the usual September event. Plans for next year are to coincide for one day with the annual Fish Odyssey - the Niagara County trout and salmon contest.
Speaking of that event, Niagara County's own 35th annual Fish Odyssey contest will run Aug. 20 to 28. For more information and to register, go to www.FishOdyssey.net.
Next up is the Niagara River Anglers Association's annual walleye contest on Aug. 27. For more information, contact Capt. Stephen Drabczyk, Creek Road Bait & Tackle, at 807-6248.
One again, a thank you to the Village of Lewiston and the harbor masters for their courtesy and use of the waterfront.
For up-to-date fishing reports and information, go to www.OutdoorsNiagara.com.