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Niagara Outdoors Compiled by by Bill Hilts Jr.  September 25  2007         Be sure to vote in our NEW Mini-Poll HERE

Brown Wins Grand Prize In NYPA Fish Odyssey

       Paul Brown of Ransomville was the lucky angler this year to reel in the Grand Prize. Thanks to an increase in registrations and the headline sponsorship of the New York Power Authority, the 31st edition of the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey doled out a check for $3,000 through the Classic Challenge drawing. Each of the first place category leaders put their name into a hat and Brown's was in there for hauling in the top walleye - an 11.18 pound fish he caught on a worm harness while fishing the Niagara Bar. "We were fishing at 9:30 p.m., pounding the bottom with our worm harnesses, when the big fish hit," said Brown before the large crowd at the NYPA Wildlife Festival on Sunday afternoon. 

       With great weather and a ton of activities, the Wildlife Festival - a celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day - will undoubtedly break records. Brown's luck of the draw extended to the rest of the Walleye Division, moving everyone up one slot. 

         The new Walleye Division winner became Randy Litten of Niagara Falls with a 10.88 pound fish that also came from the Niagara Bar. Other Adult Division winners included:

        Willfred Wittcop, Jr. of Barker was the top salmon catcher when he caught a 25.63 pound fish off Barker while tossing a KO Wobbler spoon. He almost didn't bring the fish into the official scales when he weighed in on his own personal hand held scale and showed it came up short. "Don't believe everything you see." 
        Zach Dubuc of Sanborn,
a 12 year old fishing the adult division, showed up at the scales on the final day of the Fish Odyssey with a 17.32 pound lake trout. It was the biggest lake trout of his young life and it came at a good time. It knocked the Killer B's - Richard and Patrick Barber of Niagara Falls - down a peg to second and third and Zach had his first win and a check for $500. The fish came off the Niagara Bar on cowbells and a fly. 
       Tom Danaher of Waterport, a regular on the competition scene from the standpoint of running events, took time off to compete in the Fish Odyssey. The result was a first and second place finish from his "team." Danaher was trolling out of Olcott with an Apex spoon to take the top slot with a 13.6 pound steelhead. 
        Dick Conley of Lockport placed second with a 12.75 pound steelhead. 
      In the smallmouth bass category, Steve Sexton of Niagara Falls led the charge with a 6.25 pound bass from Lake Erie. He caught it on a green tube jig off Hamburg. 
      Jason Long of Batavia repeated as the carp king, this time with a 31.92 pound fish he caught off Point Breeze. He was using boilees to attract his big fish, bettering his weight several times until he finally ended up with the biggest fish in the derby. 
       Jaysen Patterson of Newfane was the top Junior Salmon angler with a 21.89 pound fish he caught off Olcott. 
      Chris Willms of Sanborn helped the Willms family complete the three place sweep of the Junior trout division when he brought in the top trout, a 10.79 pound fish from Lake Ontario. He caught the fish on the final day of the derby. 
       Zachary Whitmer of Niagara Falls took the Panfish Division with a 1.23 pound silver bass he caught of the NYPA Fishing Platform on live bait. 
      Tyler Hillman also used the last day of the derby to charge into first place. He weighed in a 9.94 pound walleye, a fish he caught out of Lake Alice, to win that category. 
      In the smallmouth bass class, Alexander Hastings of Grand Island set the junior division pace with a 4.3 pound bass taken off Sturgeon Point on live bait. 
      Dawson Horey of Sanborn caught a 21.71 pound carp from the Lower Niagara River to take top slot in that division. He caught the monster fish on corn.

        This year's fishing derby was another huge success, especially from the standpoint of getting families out enjoying the super natural resources that western New York has to offer. Hats off to the New York Power Authority for stepping up to the plate and supporting the Fish Odyssey to a new level. Other major sponsors included Shakespeare-Pflueger Fishing Tackle; Newfane Business Association; Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation; Niagara County Legislature; and The Primate Sanctuary.

In the special drawing for a free fishing trip with Honorary Fish Odyssey Chairman Rob Ray, former Buffalo Sabre tough guy, Ethan Morgan of Lockport was the lucky youth selected at the Wildlife Festival.

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