The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby - the derby formally known as the "Fall Classic" - will be holding its 37th annual contest Aug. 17-25. In what started out as the Niagara County Fishing Derby, this competition is now open to three counties (Niagara, Erie and Orleans) in an attempt to encourage more involvement in this family-oriented event (with a big focus on the Junior Division).
With the huge Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Fall Derby kicking off on Aug. 16, this will give contest-hungry anglers an appetizer to the big bucks. While most everything else is the same, there are a few new twists that could land you a few extra dollars. First, a daily $100 prize for the biggest salmon caught each day. Second, the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association is back again with a special $500 cash prize for the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member competing in the derby. In addition to that, the witness (which also must be a LOTSA member) will also receive a check for $200. When you register for the Fish Odyssey, toss in another $10, and you'll be considered registered with that organization. You can also register online at lotsa.org.
Species categories for the adults include salmon, smallmouth bass, walleye, carp, lake trout and brown/rainbow trout (combined). For the kids, categories will be salmon, trout, bass, walleye, carp and panfish. All panfish catches will earn a ticket to be drawn at the awards ceremony for special prizes - one per day. Entry fee will stay the same at $20 for the adults (free for kids). A one-day pass will also be available for $10. Adults and kids can register online at www.fishodyssey.net.
Changes to the Odyssey website are now in place thanks to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Check out www.fishodyssey.net regularly. Registrations are now out wherever LOC registrations are available in Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties.
The Fish Odyssey Derby also comes at a time when lake fishing is at its peak, which coincides with a fishing love of the late Dick Robinson of Ransomville. Robinson was one of the early organizers of the Niagara County Derby and served for many years on the county's derby board and fisheries board. He was also past president of the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs. He passed away in June. The Richard "Dick" Robinson Memorial Event will honor him and pay tribute to all he did and meant to the sportfishery.