Even Mother Nature couldn't dampen the spirits of this year's annual Lew Mead Memorial Kids Fishing Tournament, held on Cassadaga Lake Saturday.
Ron Gross, one of the directors of the event, stated that 63 youngsters signed up for this free event. The kids competed in this mostly catch-and-release fishing event for trophies that were for four age groups - 7 years old and under, 8-10; 11-13, 14-16. There was also a boys' and girls' division for each age group.
Registration started at 7 a.m., at the Lily Dale boat launch and continued until weigh-in, which was from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Prizes were awarded immediately after the weigh-ins were done. Also, during the weigh-in, all of the attendees were treated to a picnic lunch of hot dogs and fruit drinks. There was plenty for everyone and smiles were plentiful.
Group of young anglers who took part in the annual Lew Mead Kids Fishing Tournament.
Brenden Robbins, who caught — and released — a 32-inch muskie with his grandfather Rick Johnson.
Cheyene Johnson learning how to tie a fly with the help of Greg Little as her brother Christopher watches.
Trophy winners for both the boys’ and girls’ divisions. They are, from left, Jack Forbes, Brenden Robbins, David Corcoran, Cheyene Johnson, Haley Stang, Amber Krzyzanowski and Emily Verrett. Missing was Luke Ames.
Megan, Daniel and Haley Stang displaying their catches.
The youngsters brought in a variety of fish from yellow perch to sunfish and large-mouth bass to muskies. Those anglers that were done fishing were able to learn how to tie fishing flies with the help of Greg Little and Art Estus.
Bringing in a live muskie draws a crowd and local fishing talent Jack Forbes, fishing with his uncle Mark Forbes, had a nice 29-inch fish. However, the Big Fish of the Day Prize was caught by Brenden Robbins, who caught and released a 32-inch muskie. Jack's fish was caught on a top water buzz bait while Brenden's fish was taken on a walleye rig tipped with a worm. Brenden had first hooked a bass and a muskie attacked the fish and stole it. Then, another bass hit the lure and the muskie swiped at that fish, but got hooked on the trailer hook. The bass got away the second time.
At the end of the tournament, the winners of the trophies in the girls' divisions were: Cheyene Johnson (7-under), Haley Stang (8-10), Amber Krzyzanowski (11-13) and Emily Verrett (14-16). The winners in the boys' division were: David Corcoran (7-under), Brenden Robbins (8-10), Jack Forbes (11-13) and Luke Ames (14-16).
All the youngsters that were registered were eligible for prizes that were donated by the following sponsors: M&T Bank (Tops Friendly Market Branch in Dunkirk), Cott Beverages, Walgreens of Dunkirk, The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club and the Con Club Ladies Auxiliary, Vineyard Falls Golf (Fredonia), Burger King, Cassadaga Shur Fine, King Kone, Cassadaga Country Club, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Nordy's, Fredrickson's Builders Supply, Red House for Youth (Steve & Nancy Wickmark), Fred Newell & Carol Mead, Cassadaga Fire Department, Country Kids on the Fly, Gilbert's Collision, Community Bank (Cassadaga) and Gilbert's Cabins.
The members of the Cassadaga Lakes Association did another great job of organizing and conducting this years event and thanked all the sponsors and participants who made this year's event a success and a whole lot of fun!
If you are hoping the crossbow bill will surface or survive, it is important to contact our senators and request they support Senate Bill S1699B. Call or write and let your legislators know if you are a current or former bowhunter or if you have any current or former archery/crossbow affiliation. Be sure to let them know that you support crossbow regulatory authority being given to the DEC. Rick McDermott is the rep for the New York Crossbow Coalition at www.nycrossbowcoalition.com.
There will be a pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on July 6 from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. There is a $55 fee for the course. For information, call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.
The Southtowns Walleye Association is hosting their 21st Catch and Release Kids Fishing Derby on Saturday, July 21, at the Tifft Nature Preserve, located on Furman Blvd., in Buffalo. The event is free to all kids 15 years old and younger. Bring your own tackle. Sign-up starts at 7:30 a.m., with the weigh-in from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.
A picnic-style lunch, including free hot dogs and goodies, will be served from 11 a.m. until noon. Coffee, milk, donuts and juice will be served from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m.
All kids receive a grab bag and winners will receive awards starting at noon. For more information, call Dennis at 861-5687 or Doug at 649-8202.
Correction: The New York Walleye Association will host its annual walleye tournament next month. The AMARA-CAN Walleye Tournament, which is a two-day, two four-man team event. It is set to take place July 13-14.
Interested anglers can register for this event on Friday July 12 at the Clarion. Tournament fee includes docking facilities at Chadwick Bay Marina, free boat launch at the Dunkirk boat launch during the tournament and the awards presentation will be taking place at the Clarion outdoors patio area.
Watch for more developments and enhancements for this year's event. The Dunkirk Fire Dept. will also take part with the Startup for both days' event shifts off the Dunkirk pier. This will be quite a sight for the youngsters to see.
The Lakeshore Longbeards will be hosting their annual youth day, known as JAKES Day, on July 13, at the Westfield Fish & Game Club.
Registration starts at 9 a.m., with activities and learning stations from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Lunch will be served for the kids and adults. To register, call Bob and Judi Turk at 934-4538.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.