June 29, 2011
By Michael Masucci Jr.
Eagle News Online
Families and friends joined together Saturday June 25, and Sunday,
June 26, at Onondaga Lake's Willow Bay with one goal in mind: Catching
the big one!
Onondaga Lake's 7th Annual Free Fishing Weekend showed fish of all
sizes including perch, bass and the biggest of all: carp.
"Carp fishing will truly test an angler's ability to think smart
about how to rig for a fish that can literally pull your whole rod
and reel outfit into the water," said James Daher, part-owner
of Mickey's Bait Shop in North Syracuse. "It's become more family
oriented because of the contest aspect of it. That's what brought
the national attention to it."
James Daher, from Mickey’s Bait & Tackle,
Jason Bernhardt, Wild Carp Co. and weigh marshal, David France,
show off a catch at one of the tournament pegs at the carp
tournament hosted Saturday during the Free Fishing Weekend
on Onondaga Lake.
Saturday's fishing tournament was dedicated to only carp and Sunday
was for catching any fish species. Tailored anglers, like Jason Bernhardt
and Sean Sauda, representing Wild Carp Co., had a great a time at
the event and caught some really huge carp ranging from 7 to 27 pounds.
"If you're going to fish for anything for sport, why not go
for the biggest? That's why I like carp so much," said Bernhardt."
Saturday's event attracted approximately 40 carp fisherman. Event
sponsorship included Honeywell, Onondaga Lake Partnership, Izaak
Walton League of America and Mickey's Bait Shop.
"Mickey's bait and tackle has done a great job running this
for the past seven years. And I have always enjoyed my participation,
be it as a competitor or weigh marshal," said Bernhardt.
The same rules applied to both days of fishing. Prizes were awarded
based upon different categories: Biggest fish, total weight and top
four largest fish. The tournament consisted of two divisions, adult
A total of about $1500 in tackle was awarded to winners Saturday
and approximately $500 on Sunday.
Carp 28 lbs, Robert Cooper, Hannibal
Perch 9-½ inches, Gazin Lockhart, Syracuse
Perch 9-½ inches, Justin Landers, N. Syracuse
Sun Fish 7-¼ inches, Niki Carlson, Liverpool
Carp 18 lbs, Caleb Kohler, Syracuse
Carp 16 lbs, Kevin Cameron, Syracuse
Bullhead 13 inches, Jeremy Taylor, Syracuse
Perch 9 inch, Alex Doughty, Syracuse
Large mouthed bass 12 inches, Aden Milburn, Balwinsville
Sunfish 7-7/8 inch, Jeremy Taylor Syracuse
Strange fish Sculpin/Gobi, Heather and Nathaniel, of Solvay