Prizes await youngsters in fishing derby

Eric Gladding and Benjamin Gladding, winners of the town of Massena’s 2018 Big Bass Blowout, are pictured with tournament director Donald Meissner. Contributed photo

MASSENA — A new rod and reel, as well as cash prizes, are waiting for youths who take part in a free kids fishing derby at the Wilson Hill causeway.

The derby will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 21 in conjunction with the 2019 FLW Series northern division tournament, which runs from Sept. 19 to 21 in Massena.

“We’re going to give every kid that enters a brand new rod and reel,” said Donald Meissner, the town of Massena’s tourism promoter.

There are also cash prizes for catching a tagged fish. Five fish will be tagged in the river and the first child to catch one will win $500 in cash. There are also cash prizes of $400 for the second tagged fish, $300 for the third tagged fish, $200 for the fourth tagged fish and $100 for the fifth tagged fish.

“I’m going to be out tagging fishing right there on Wilson Hill, right where the kids catch them,” Mr. Meissner said.

Registration is available online at https://www.fishmassenany.com/kids/.

Mr. Meissner said they want to bring as many families to Massena as possible to enjoy the waters “and also to realize that Massena has sort of taken the forefront here utilizing what we have and championed it as the gateway to the best fishing in the world.”

He said he recently spent a day at Fort Drum as part of Fort Drum Family Day, and promoted the fishing opportunities in Massena.

“They’re talking about what’s happening in Massena. We already have over 60 kids that have registered,” he said. “It’s all free. It’s something that stands for what Massena is doing.”

Also on the horizon is the town’s Big Bass Blowout, which will be held from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 5 and 6 at the Massena Intake boat ramp. Registration is $200 per team with a $225 registration fee on the day of the event.

There will be hourly payouts of $500 for the largest fish of the hour, 100 percent payback, $11,000 in cash prizes and a $5,000 cash prize for two-day lunker.

Massena is the site of two other tournaments this year — Bass Nation, which was held on July 13 and 14, and Cashion Rods on Sept. 7.

Mr. Meissner said a three-day fishing expo will be held from Feb. 14 to 16 at the St. Lawrence Centre mall.

“We’re bringing in the top manufacturers, the top experts in fishing to give seminars, and we want to bring key people from Canada and the U.S.,” he said.

The expo is being coordinated by Dan Kenney, who Mr. Meissner said is a top fishing promoter in the East.

“He’s shown confidence in us and he’s willing to make us a starting point to move forward,” he said.

Mr. Meissner said national anglers are “starting to see Massena as the place to come” because of its national recognition.

“We’re proud of this, and it’s only the beginning,” he said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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