LOC 2009

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Here's the story ~ Pictures below the story

Vermont Fisherman Holds On to Win Spring LOC Derby

Left to Right: Mike Demars of Colcester, Vermont; Thomas Mitchell of Burlington, Vermont and Rodney Lavallee of Burlington, Vermont hold of the grand prize LOC Derby fish caught on the Niagara Bar.

It was a crazy week for fishing on Lake Ontario and Thomas Mitchell of Burlington, Vermont was hoping his 24 pound, eight ounce king salmon would hold up to win the Spring Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby May 1-10. The builder caught the fish on Wednesday and had to hold his breath – hoping that no one would top his catch – and win the $12,500Grand Prize. Luck was on his side, though, in more ways than one, and they claimed the top prize in Sodus Point on Sunday May 10 at Abe’s Waterfront Restaurant.

Fishing with Mike Demars of Colcester, Vermont and Rodney Lavallee of Burlington, Vermont, they were trolling the Niagara Bar with a borrowed boat supplied by Gary Sylvester of Georgia, Vermont. The 22-foot Sylvan is named “Lazy C’s.” Working an eight-inch Pro Troll E-Chip flasher with an A-Tom-Mik green hammer fly skirt and custom tied tournament style hook rig by Demars west of the red buoy marker, they put their bait down 69 feet over 151 feet of water when the fish hit.

“It immediately took out 300 yards of line like it was nothing,” said Mitchell at the awards ceremony. “After about 20 minutes, we finally got the salmon to the back of the boat only to have it wrap around the wire dipsy diver line. Demars lunge d at the reel and managed to flip the spool open. It gave them just enough of a window to get the fish untangled and into the boat – Mitchell’s biggest king ever.

First place in the Salmon Division went to a 23 pound, four ounce Chinook reeled in by Brandon Reece of Grantsville, Maryland. He was fishing with Terry Shank of New Paris, Pennsylvania and J. T. Mowry of Schellsburg, Pennsylvania. The three had chartered with Capt. Chris LoPresti of Maverick Charters. They were fishing out of Olcott in front of the “red barn” located between Wilson and Olcott – 80 feet down over 150 feet of water – with a Northern King spoon. They caught the fish the last Saturday while battling five and six foot waves to take their $1,000 first place fish, Reece’s biggest king to date. The 18th place salmon was caught in Rochester. The rest of the fish were caught off the shores of Niagara.

«   First place lake trout was also an impressive catch. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown who operates Wet Net Charters out of the Lower Niagara River, was fishing with his buddy Mike Barry of Tonawanda on the Niagara Bar with a green and silver K-9 Kwikfish lure when a big fish hit his offering. He was rewarded with a 22 pound, five ounce lake trout. It took him 10 minutes to bring the trophy catch – his biggest lake trout of his life – to his 21-foot Lund Barron boat aptly named “Wet Net.” He was fishing in 30 feet of water near the green buoy marker at the mouth of the mighty river. There was a bigger lake trout caught, but they had failed to register in the derby. In fact, Yablonsky would have still been the first place lake trout in the division had that person been a contestant. The fish, caught by Carl Brueger of New Jersey and fishing with Capt. Lloyd Schrack, weighed in at 32 pounds, 11 ounces and would have won the Grand Prize! As a side note, every single lake trout was weighed in from Niagara County sites.

First place steelhead was a 12 pound, 15 ounce fish caught by John Kellogg of North Chili while fishing out of Point Breeze with Jerry Tyler of Rochester; Ken Mahon of Greece; and Ken’s son Dave of Williamson. They were fishing aboard Tyler’s 21-foot Sylvan named “Flattop” with an orange Vortex stickbait using planer boards, 80 feet back over 170 feet of water when the fish hit. The crew fishes the derby every year.

Top brown trout for the derby this year went to Michael Grimshaw of Henderson. He was fishing with Fred Lagoy of Plattsburgh; Jason Smola of Henderson; and Don Jerry of Henderson and Chazy. On the second day of the derby, they were trolling with Jerry’s 26-foot Thompson in Sawyer’s Bay in 10 feet of water using planer boards in the Eastern Basin of the lake. The lure was a jointed glow and purple Rebel 135-feet back behind the boat, named “X Plo.” Although they fish the derby every year, it was Grimshaw’s first fish to make a leaderboard and it was the biggest brown trout of his life at 14 pounds, 10 ounces.

Over 3,000 contestants competed in the spring LOC Derby this year. The next LOC event will be the summer derby, set for June 20 through July 19. To view the final derby leaderboard, visit www.loc.org. For more information on the LOC derbies, call (888) REEL-2-IN. The amazing thing for me was the fact that 77 percent of all the winning fish came from the waters off Niagara – pretty impressive for a lakewide fishing contest. It’s the largest percentage that I can ever remember for the spring event. Normally there are between 50 and 60 percent of the winning fish caught here.

The next big fishing contest is the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament and the many other little side contests tied in, set for June 5-8. Check out www.lakeontarioproam.net for all the details. Deadline for signing up for the Pro-Am is May 22nd, so be sure to get those registrations in.

To View the Spring 2009 LOC Derby Complete Results go to this link: www.LOC.org

Matt Yablonsky, Wet Net Charters  &
fishing buddy Mike Barry of Tonawanda NY
Yablonsky/Barry took the Lake Trout Division
with this 22 pound 5 ounce beauty

Bob Funk Auburn NY 14.9 Lake Trout
Caught on a Stinger Spoon and the
New Mustad fishing line
George Fiorilla was Funk's whitness

Jeremy Krizan 15.4 Lake Trout
Krizan is from Fonda NY and fish was witnessed by
Nick Bennett from Amsterdam NY
Caught at the Niagara Bar

Bruce Peters from Cayuga NY holding
his 15# Lake Trout entry
witnessed by Marty Polovick
from Lockport NY.

Steven Ribustello from Hancock NY with his
11 lb 3 oz. Lake Trout
Caught in Lake Ontario at Four Mile State Park
in about 60 feet of water on a Northern King lure


You don't need a boat this big for spring fishing
But it sure looks nice!

Don Supon
19.05 pound Lake Trout

Musky Joe & Don Supon teamed up to
put fish in the box

Weigh Station at Wilson NY Boat Harbor

Captain Matt Yablonsky showing one
of the lures used for his spring fishing

Weigh master Mike George, 
at Petroy Marine in Youngstown Marking
the fish entered by Jeremy Krizan

Going out to "The Bar"

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