Submitted by Oswego County
OSWEGO — When it comes to fishing tournaments, consistency is the name of the game. For the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament Series, consistency must be combined with a sound strategy for big fish â€¦ and a little bit of luck.
For 16 years, Oswego has gained a reputation for some nice boxes of fish coming to the scales, but has often been plagued by some difficult weather conditions due to the prevailing winds out of the west and northwest.
This year, weather wasnâ€™t a factor and teams had to decide if they wanted to target the small brown trout or take a chance on going after the bigger king salmon, which were a bit more difficult to locate â€¦ and catch. Coming up with a combination of two seemed to be the ticket for success â€“ although not by much. Hosting over 60 teams from 36 communities throughout New York and 18 out-of-state entries, the Oswego Pro-Am event, held last month, saw tight finishes across all three divisions.
After being plagued by mechanical problems in the beginning of the series, the Cold Steel/Fat Nancyâ€™s team led by Capt. Tom Burke of Altmar came through with two days of nice fish â€“ including some dandy king salmon â€“ to put them over the top to win the Oswego Professional Division with a two day score of 427.57 points (based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound). Top Amateur Team was Team Five More Minutes led by Tony Chatt of West Monroe.
This year’s winners in the new Open/Recreational Division included the Sunchaser/Blue Eyed Lady team led by Bill Kopek and Mike Lavenia (Manlius and New Haven, NY) capturing first place on Saturday and the Reel Addiction team led by Chris Frasier (Johnstown) who outpaced the field on Sunday.
Oswego was the third leg of the lakewide tournament series as the teams chased the Lake Ontario Challenge Cup for top team overall. The Cold Steel/Fat Nancyâ€™s team also went on to win both the Eastern and Lakewide Challenge Cup competitions at the conclusion of the Wayne County tournament. A full listing of teams and their finishes can be found on the results page of www.lopacup.com.