Niels Van Hoesel swept his division in the annual Rome Rotary Club Canalfest fishing derby last week at Bellamy Harbor Park in Rome.

Van Hoesel, a highly expert carp fishing veteran, won both first and second place and $150 in prize money in the adult non-game fish category with a pair of carp, one weighing 25.48 pounds and the other weighing 22.44 pounds.

Doug Savoy won the $100 top prize in the adult game fish category with a bass that weighed 1.5 pounds. There was no second-place award.

Evan Melendez won the children’s game fish category and $50 with a 2.07-pound smallmouth bass. Dominic Dole won $25 for his .68-pound bass. Michael Huxley caught a perch of 9.5 inches to win the $50 top prize in the children’s non-game fish category, and Zachary Wheeler was second and won $25 for his 8.5-inch perch.

Five children – Hunter Grosday, Anthony Hoffmeiser, Rachael Miler, Piper Clements, and Bella Miller – each won $25 “lucky fish” prizes.

In addition to the Rotary Club, the derby was supported by the Rome Specialty Company (ROSCO), Michael Bleem, BNP Machine Inc, the Bobby Page Memorial Foundation, Bass Pro Shop, Gusto Dixie Spinner Tackle Co., Home Town Bait & Tackle, and Morgan’s Bait Distribution Services of Rome.

 

Girvan piles up Master Angler Awards again

Bill Girvan has won at least one Master Angler Award from In-Fisherman Magazine every year for the past 37 years.

That makes Girvan the most loyal angler in the program’s history, a fact pointed in the magazine’s August/September issue. He was congratulated by Steve Quinn of the awards committee.

Girvan has entered 225 fish in the program since it began. During the 2017 season, he posted 15 Master Angler fish, most of the caught within a stone’s throw of his Yorkville home, all within New York State, and all released alive.

The awarded catches included 44 1/4-inch and 41-inch northern pike, both caught on suckers at Lake Delta; a 15 5/8-inch and a 15 1/2-inch crappie caught on Darting Shad swimbaits at Lake Delta; a pair of 20-inch smallmouth bass caught on Zoom Finesse Worms at Lake Moraine; a 22 3/4-inch largemouth bass caught on an M.T.O. Spinnerbait at Otisco Lake, two 40-inch hybrid muskies caught on M.T.O. Spinnerbaits at Otisco Lake; a 25 1/2-inch pickerel caught on a pond crab on the Barge Canal; a 15 1/16-inch yellow perch caught on a jig and minnow at the Unadilla River; a 30-inch walleye caught on Darting Shad swimbait on the Unadilla River; a 31 1/8-inch walleye caught on a spinner and worm at Hatch Lake, and 31 1/2-inch and 30-inch steelhead caught on blue salmon egg sacks at the Salmon River.

Girvan, who has a goal for entering 300 or more fish in the program over 50 years, pays attention to weather conditions when seeking trophy fish, and he said he likes overcast, low-light, rainy days the best.

 

Keesler award nominations sought

Nominations are being accepted for the M. Paul Keesler Outdoor Citizen Award.

The award, sponsored by the New York State Outdoor Writers Association, honors the memory of Paul Keesler, the late outdoor journalist who founded New York Sportsman Magazine and was the outdoor writer for the Observer-Dispatch for many years. It is presented to an individual or an organization that has raised public awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities and conservation issues in New York.

Nominations are due Wednesday and can be mailed to Leo Maloney at leomaloney@hotmail.com. Details are available at www.nysowa.org.

 

Hunting and trapping licenses are on sale

Hunting and trapping licenses for the 2018-19 season are now on sale.

Licenses can be purchased at any of numerous issuing agents, by phone at 866-933-2257 or online at dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html.

You also can purchase Habitat & Access Stamps, which are aimed at raising funds for preserving habitat and increasing access for outdoor sports. The DEC has a goal of selling 25,000 stamps for the season. You also can donate to the Venison Donation Program, which has provided 2.8 million meals to the hungry. Deer management permit applications also are available.

Another DEC promotion is free admission to the New York State Fair on Family Fishing Days, August 23 and 26, for anyone with a valid New York State hunting or fishing license. The DEC will operate free fishing clinics in the pond in the New York Experience festival grounds on those dates. Fairgoers who don’t already have a license are encouraged to stop by the Aquarium building, check out the fish, and purchase a license or apply for a deer management permit.

 

Turkey survey input sought by DEC

The Department of Environmental Conservation is conducting its annual Summer Turkey Hunting Survey during the month of August.

The DEC is asking that interested parties help with the survey, which provides a measure of annual wild turkey reproductive success. According to Tom Pysczynski of the DEC, it is an important tool for wildlife managers. It is easy to participate. Observations can be reported on line at dec.ny.gov/animals/48732.html. I recently reported a flock of two adult hens and 14 poults. Additional information is available at dec.ny.gov/animals/48732.html.

 

Women’s hunting workshop at Bass Pro

Bass Pro Shops at the Riverside Center will hold a free women’s hunting workshop Saturday as part of its Fall Hunting Classic.

The seminar, which includes hunting tips, strategies, safety, and how to gear up, begins at 3 p.m. Other free seminars Saturday are calling and decoying at 11 a.m., “archery insights” (improving your aim) at 2:30 p.m. and stealth and scent control at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, the seminars will be on the right rifle for the hunt at 11 a.m. and basic hunting safety at 2:30 p.m.

The store also will hold a Kids Weekend from noon to 5 p.m. August 26 and from noon to 4 p.m. August 27.

 

-John Pitarresi