The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club 10th Annual Walleye Derby kicks off today and almost every one of the team members will be hoping for cooperative weather.
This tournament does not have a Go-No-Go rule, so embarking will be up to the discretion of the teams. The captains' meeting was held at the "Con Club" at 6 p.m. on Thursday and several announcements were made by the tournament director Zen Olow.
Fishing lines are allowed in the water at 6 a.m. on Friday and the contest will officially conclude at 1 p.m. sharp on Sunday. The derby has 100 teams participating this year with 42 teams on the waiting list. That number is after five teams dropped out for this year's event.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
2014 Con Club Walleye Derby tournament helpers and officials are, front row from left, Cindy Zolnoske, Peggy Orlowski, Jena Schrantz, Alicia Munch and Jordan Sliwa. In back from left are, Ed Ruge, Zen Olow, Don Merckel and Paul Soper Jr.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Pictured are more Con Club Walleye Derby helpers. From left are, Cindy Shuler, Jim Jaffray, Ken Sikorski, Mary Lou Jaffray and Con Club President Doug Jaffray.
Each team is allowed to bring a maximum of three walleye to the scales each day with total weight recorded as well as a daily payout for the top-three heaviest walleye each day. Three day heaviest cumulative weights will determine a number of winners as well as the top-15 heaviest walleye of the tournament.
Four people are allowed on a team with a minimum of two anglers allowed and a maximum of three per day. The captain of the boat must be at least 18 years of age. Anglers are allowed to fish the New York Waters of Lake Erie only. Contestants and weigh-in officials are subject to a polygraph test. Weigh-ins are from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sunday.
Many out-of-towners used to utilize the parking area to the west of Tim Horton's and east of the Clarion. The City of Dunkirk is now charging $25 per night to park there and you must register and pre-pay at City Hall during business hours.
Anglers who wish to donate their fish may do so, as the resource will not go to waste. The Fredonia Wal-Mart is a major sponsor for this year's event as well as Bill's Hook's. Torpedo Divers is the sponsor on Friday, Aug. 1, donating a set of 4, 8 and 12-ounce divers to the heaviest walleye caught that day. Declaration of the product usage is not necessary.
On Saturday, 3-D lures is a sponsor, giving a variety of 3-D lures to the heaviest walleye caught on a 3-D lure. Product usage must be declared. Reef Runner Lures is also a sponsor on Saturday, offering a Reef Runner Lure kit to the heaviest walleye caught.
Sunday is Hi-Tech day, with a variety of Hi-Tech spoons given for the heaviest walleye caught. The fisherman does not have to declare product usage to win. Anglers should note that they must show the lure to the weigh station officials at the time of weigh-in when the prize is lure specific. No one is going to ask you!
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will have a number of activities going on, especially during the derby weigh-in hours, including T-shirts, raffles, food and beverage concessions. The public is invited to attend the festivities. Look for daily coverage of the event in the OBSERVER.