The third Saturday in June is a special day on the sporting calendar as it marks the opening of the traditional bass season on waters across New York state.
Todays column presents a rundown on four of the areas popular derbies that celebrate this special day.
Though the bass season opens on June 15, some anglers will be pursuing walleyes instead of bronzebacks as the St. Lawrence River Walleye Association is hosting its seventh annual Smackdown, a two-person team event.
Each team may enter three walleyes, and the winners will be determined by total weight of fish entered. The Smackdown pays out 100 percent of entry fees (minus $200) with 50 percent for first place, 30 percent for second place, and 20 percent for third. There will also be a Big Fish category with a 100 percent payback of entry fees for that category.
The launching facilities at the Massena Intake will serve as event headquarters. Participants are required to have their boats in the water by 5:45 a.m., and fishing hours extend from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The weigh-in station opens at noon, and all boats must report to the Massena Intake by 2 p.m. Fishing boundaries include that section of the St. Lawrence River from the Iroquois Dam, Waddington, to the Robert Moses Power Dam, Massena.
The entry fee is $60 per team, of which $10 will go the Big Fish contest. If a team signs up the morning of the event, the entry fee is $70.
A $5 stocking fee will also be imposed for non-SLRWA members. Anglers can register at Steves Stop and Shop in Louisville and Salon 181 in Massena. For more information, call Mike at 384-3450 or visit www.stlawrenceriverwalleyeassociation.com.
Opening Day Bass Derby
The St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmens Club is hosting its annual Opening Day Smallmouth Bass Derby on June 15. Winning fish will be determined by weight, and the payout (based on 100 entrants) will be $500 for the largest smallmouth bass, $200 for second, and $200 for third. Numerous door prizes will also be awarded.
This is an open-boundary event with fishing hours extending from daybreak until 4 p.m. Weigh-ins will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the Ogdensburg waterfront at Hosmers Marina. The waterfront weigh-in site allows anglers who wish to release their catch to do just that.
Registration sites include Bills Tire Center, Vinnís Tavern, Fisher Chips and Hosmers Marina in Ogdensburg, and Sandys Custom Tackle on Route 37 in Lisbon.
For more information, call Jerry Lincoln at 393-7506, Kevin Bateman at 393-0206, or Greg Denny at 393-2486.
Henderson Harbor Derby
Henderson Harbor is hosting its traditional Opening Weekend Bass and Walleye Derby on June 15-16. The event features a 100 percent payout of entry fees with cash prizes being awarded to the top five finishers in each division.
A $100 prize will also be awarded for the largest brown trout brought to the scales. Prizes will be given to the top three finishers in the youth division.
Interested anglers can register ($20 for adults and free for youths 12 and under) and get additional information at Henchens Marina in Henderson Harbor, Gander Mountain in Watertown, and B&J Bait and Tackle in Dexter.
Henchens Marina will serve as derby headquarters and weigh-in site.
Pillar Point Derby
The Pillar Point Fire Department is hosting its 32nd annual Smallmouth Bass and Walleye Derby on June 15. Among the prizes to be awarded are $1,000 for the biggest bass, and $500 for the largest walleye.
Registration is available at Super Wal-Mart in LeRay, Judys Bait Shop in Dexter, Thousand Islands Bait Store in Alexandria Bay, Gander Mountain in Watertown, and Chaumont Hardware in Chaumont. For more details, call 639-6080.
Monday: Trap and Skeet Shooting at Lisbon Sportsmens Club (Pray Road).
Saturday: Bowhunter Education Course at SLVSC (Pre-register at 393-3775).
June 11: Federated Sportsmens Clubs of SLC meet at Canton BOCES at 7 p.m.
June 15: Traditional Bass Season opens on NYS waters.
June 15: SLRWA hosts annual Smackdown Walleye Tournament at Massena (384-3450).
June 15: SLVSC hosts annual Opening-Day Bass Derby at Ogdensburg.
June 15: Opening Day Bass and Walleye Derby at Henderson Harbor.
June 15: Pillar Point FD 32nd annual Smallmouth Bass and Walleye Derby (639-6080).
June 15: Muskellunge Season opens on NYS waters.
June 15: Frog season opens in New York state.
June 22: Howies Bass Tournament in Ogdensburg, call (315-393-3669) or e-mail
June 26: Annual Wilson Hill Goose Drive.
June 29-30: Free Fishing Days on NYS waters.