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Friday, August 1, 2008

Competitive Fishing

I have been personally involved with trout and salmon Lake Ontario tournament fishing for over ten years. So I think I know a thing or two about running a quality event. The thing I like most about competitive angling is that age is not generally a limiting factor. I can no longer play organized basketball, football, baseball or hockey, but at my age I can still participate in tourney fishing. To be perfectly honest I really could not compete in the aforementioned stick and ball sports,

  even when a teenager, but thanks to my Dad, I could always fish.

Currently there are two tournament formats in play on the lake. The traditional 2 day ProAms and the recently organized 1 day open Challenges. There are 4 ProAMs currently in play and at present in the Eastern Basin of the lake there are 3 Challenge events. What are the differences in the formats? Please allow me to explain. The ProAms are 2 day events limited to one or two ports, they generally charge a $500.00 professional entry fee and 200.00 amateur fee. The prize money is substantial, the commitment is huge, and the rules are somewhat strict as you might expect with payouts ranging in thousands of dollars. To keep things on the up and up an official observer is required for every boat. Each team must provide an observer who will be assigned to a competing vessel to make certain all rules are followed. Many of the lakes top trollers choose to compete and travel to all 4 events. It is like a pro tour for anglers. Right now it appears that these events have leveled off in interest with entries in the past three to four years ranging from 60 to 90 boats depending on the individual event.

The Challenge events seem to be growing in popularity most probably due to the fact that they are open contests meaning no differentiation between Charter and recreational angler. They have much lower entry fees, ($50-$70), and a six fish limit. No observer is required, and teams follow a simple set of rules. And oh yes, perhaps the biggest attraction is that it is a one day event that can be fished from several designated ports. In their short history they have attracted many competitors. One of the events has attracted over 100 entries, while a second event only in its second year had approximately seventy teams entered. It does appear as though the one day contests are really gaining in popularity. They might just be the wave of the future.

Both venues provide exciting competition and make a sizeable financial contribution to the local economies. Many anglers fish both types of contests and are happy to abide by the very different rule formats. If you like to fish and compete try fishing in an event or two.


Posted By: Capn Gerry Bresadola @ 7:22:11 PM


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