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Winter Classic Tourney Results Announced

This winter the two-month statewide Winter Classic Tournament offered anglers an unprecedented prize pool that started Jan. 1 and ran through Feb. 28. One of the main goals of this event was to highlight and draw attention to the world-class fishery here in the state, and it did just that with trophy fish hitting the scales in all categories.

Despite another weak ice season, the event drew 561 anglers (up from only 182 last year) with a Lunker Pool totaling $2,800.

Those who placed first in their species division came away with $100 from the main payout pool (plus an additional $200 if in the Lunker Pool); a weekly awards package; a shot at winning one of the 58 shanties; a shot at the the weekly Nautic-Sport Power Pack giveaway; entry into the door prizes; and a 1 in 7 shot at the Clam Outdoors $2,500 Grand Prize or free fish mount by Hirsch Taxidermy.

This season’s winners are: First place Pike Division, Tyler Seamon (Ridgefield, New York), 21.51 pounds caught on Delta Lake; First place Trout Division, Lynn Thomson Jr. Camillus, New York, 21.85 pounds caught on Chaumont Bay; First place Walleye Division, Thomas Carney (Chaumont, New York), 14.60 pounds caught on Chaumont Bay; First place Pickerel Division, Scott Castor (Adams, New York). 7.30 pounds; First place Crappie Division, Parker Umbra (Bainbridge, New York), 2.30 pounds; first place Yellow Perch Division, Steve LaBarr (Himrod, New York), 2.38 pounds caught on Seneca Lake; and first place Panfish Division, Steve Ball (Alden, New York), 1.09 pounds.

Tyler Seamon won the $2,500 grand prize with Parker Umbra winning the free fish mount by Hirsch Taxidermy.

All other first-place finishers were awarded a 25-bait Pack from Clam & Makiplastic. Other prizes included a 2017 Case Canoe package valued at more than $5,000, which was won by Lynn Thomson Jr., who took the largest fish overall honors. Jessie Rogers finished the event with the overall largest fish entered by a female angler with her 13.93-pound northern pike. She also won an arctic armor lift suit.

Jay Mahar was lucky enough on the last day of the event to land a 16-pound steelhead while fishing in the Salmon River to secure the $1,500 Steve Nielsen Stainless artistic steelhead piece this year.

While we didn’t reach the 1,000 angler threshold for the awards dinner ceremony, we have scheduled small awards ceremonies with Tyler and Lynn to present the $2,500 check and Case Canoe at Hometown Bait & Tackle and Oneida Shores boat launch.

While many other tournament events across the state were canceled due to a lack of safe ice conditions, this event’s unique structure, including using any legal angling methods, allows anglers the opportunity to fish open water, streams and rivers.

This, along with its long duration, will allow this event to go on each year without the chance of cancellation on account of the weather or weak ice conditions. In addition to the event’s growth in numbers, the online presence sky-rocketed this year with some Facebook posts topping 30,000 people reached and over 10,000 engaged in the posts, while the website captured more than 50,000 hits. This momentum will carry over to an even bigger 2018 event, and has led to the creation of a new statewide summer event — the 2017 NYS Summer Classic. Similar in design to the Winter Classic, this event will have a $25 registration fee per angler and include eight fish categories. Full details of this new event will be released in the upcoming weeks with online registration open by April 1.

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