The 9th Annual Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Derby kicks off today. For eight of those years, the Con Club derby has had a full compliment of teams totaling 100 fish. Entry fee for this three-day event is $150 per team with optional side bets called "Calcuttas" which are $30 per team for the single largest fish, and $30 and $100 for total weight.
There are 26 rules for this derby which are standard regulations for most tournaments, with a few notable exceptions. Payback for this derby is 80 percent, Calcuttas pay back 100 percent. Each team can have a maximum of four members, but can only fish a maximum of three per day. There is also a minimum of two anglers fishing per day. No one else is allowed to be on the team boat. Only New York waters of Lake Erie are eligible for this derby. No Canadian fish or Pennsylvania fish will be accepted. The weigh-in site for this derby is at the Con Club outside in the lower parking lot. Weigh-ins will be from 1-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. until 1p.m. Sunday. The deadlines are exact and will be maintained. Teams must be in line before the deadlines in order to be eligible for daily weigh-ins. Teams can present a maximum of three walleye daily at the weigh-in. A minimum of one team member must be present at the weigh-in, show their team entry form, and a valid NYS fishing license for each member of the team and sign an affidavit form. Contestants must select which three walleye will be weighed in per day.
Here is how the winners are determined: 1) There will be a cash prize awarded each day for the three heaviest walleye each day. 2) Three of 15 cash prizes for the heaviest walleye during the derby. 3) One of five cash prizes for the heaviest three-day total weight. 4) One of three optional $30 total weight Calcuttas per day for the heaviest daily total weight. 5) One of 15 optional $100 total weight Calcutta per day for the heaviest weight. 6) One of three optional $30 Biggest walleye single weight Calcutta per day.
OBSERVER?Photo by Gene Pauszek
Pictured are the Con Club Walleye Derby committee members. They are, in front from left, Peggy Orlowski, Jena Schrantz, Ed Ruge, Christine Kern, Jenna Layman and Mary Lou Jaffray. In back are Derby Chairman Zen Olow, Alicia Munch, Don Merckel, Paul Soper Jr., Jim Jaffray, Dawn Medley, Shannon Moore, Con Club President Doug Jaffray and Cindy Shuler.
OBSERVER?Photo by Gene Pauszek
Pictured is the logo displayed on the T-shirt for the Con Club Derby which begins today.
Like most multiple day-team events, the object is to get three heavy walleye each day.
The weather for each of the three days could be rough. This derby does not make a "Go or No go" call or a "Return to Port" call. Safety is a concern, but it is always the responsibility of each team to assess all factors before venturing out on the lake as well as to comply with all applicable laws, equipment requirements and safety recommendations.
Other points of interest: The public is invited to attend the weigh-ins. There will be food and beverages available, the commemorative T-shirts for sale as well as the Con Club Ladies auxiliary cook book and various raffles. The Dunkirk fish cleaning station will remain open until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The "Con Club " boat launch is out of service due to low water conditions.. Any team entered in the Con Club derby can dock at Chadwick Bay Marina for the three derby days at a cost of $20 per day. Sponsor prizes will be: Friday is Torpedo weight day. A set of torpedo weights will be awarded for the top two heaviest walleye entered on Friday. Saturday is 3-D Day. The heaviest walleye caught on Saturday on a 3-D worm harness will receive 50 assorted 3-D Worm Harnesses. Contestant must declare usage at the time of weigh-in. Sunday is Dream Weaver Day. The heaviest walleye caught on Sunday on a Dream Weaver lure will receive 33 assorted Dream Weaver lures. Again, contestants must declare Dream Weaver lure usage at the weigh-in. Anglers must also show the lure they used on Saturday and Sunday to be eligible for sponsor prizes.
The weigh-in is going high tech as the weights will be displayed on a big screen television inside the club. The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club thanks all the sponsors, participants and committee members who make this event possible. A special thanks goes to Wal-Mart for contributing $1,000 for this years event.
Look for daily coverage of this event in the OBSERVER.
Gene Pauszek is an outdoor columnist for the OBSERVER.