MASSENA — While some fishing tournaments scheduled for Massena were canceled this year, the town of Massena’s fifth annual Big Bass Blowout is still on.
The tournament, which is still in the planning stages, is scheduled for Oct. 3 and 4 at the Massena Intake, and entry is limited to New York state residents. Teams can register on the Fish Massena website at www.fishmassenany.com/.
“There’s been a lot of interest. Even before we decided to have it, we had our first registrant,” Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy said.
The first tournament in 2016 drew 12 teams to the Massena Intake, and it’s been steadily growing since then.
“It was 39 last year,” Mr. O’Shaughnessy said.
As a smaller tournament, he said it was easier to stage while still following COVID-19 restrictions.
“It’s not a major thing, which is one of the reasons we considered having it. We wanted to make sure that we’re still fine-tuning, but making sure we fall under New York state guidelines and have minimal interactions,” he said.
Anglers will come in with their fish every hour in the hopes of earning a $500 payout. Mr. O’Shaughnessy said they won’t get out of the boat, but instead hand the fish to someone on shore to be weighed and then returned to release back into the water.
“They won’t be interacting then. It’s the same at the end of the day. I think everybody’s respectful of New York state guidelines. That’s part of it. It’s going to be easy for people to obey the rules. Once they’re in the water, the only things they’ll be interacting with will hopefully be the fish,” he said.
Town officials had announced in June that, in consultation with Fishing League Worldwide, they would cancel two tournaments that were scheduled for the Massena Intake, also because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The FLW Fishing Toyota Series 2020 tournament-St. Lawrence River was scheduled for July 9 to 13, and the 2020 FLW Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Championship was scheduled for Aug. 24 through 29.
The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit regular season schedule had been shortened from seven events to six this year. After completing three events in the original 2020 schedule, FLW suspended the Pro Circuit on March 22 in an abundance of caution surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Massena was one of four stops for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit this summer.
Other non-FLW tournaments that were scheduled in Massena this year included the Bass Nation Tour, Cashion Rods Tour, New England Team Tour Qualifier and Phoenix Bass Fishing League.