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Rod, Gun and Game: Bass anglers have new path to Bassmaster Classic championship

This year, the 2013 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series will feature 20 geographic fishing divisions, with each division’s offering four Saturday tournaments and one, two-day divisional championship.

Anglers will advance from divisional championships to one of four regional championships, offering 170 percent payback with a total payout of more than $150,000 in cash and prizes. In addition, the top anglers will advance to the national championship, where the winner will earn a berth to the world series of bass fishing, the “Bassmaster Classic®.”

The series is designed for the weekend bass angler, with more than 100, annual qualifying events for both boaters and co-anglers, which allows anglers with different levels of experience to grow their bass fishing skills. Fishing with different anglers increases learning opportunities and improves personal skills, while allowing anglers to cash in on what they have learned.

Each of the more than 20 divisions offers four, one-day, qualifying events, with the winning boater’s receiving $6,000 in cash, based on a full field. That person could qualify for another $7,000 in Triton gold bonus money, totaling a whopping $13,000 for one day’s fishing. The winning co-angler can win up to $3,000, with a full field. About 20 percent of the field earns a check and there are also awards for big bass winners and for sponsor-supported programs. The event has a total purse of up to $52,000 cash, as well as bonuses. Entry fees are $200 for boaters and $100 for co-anglers.

New York is in Division 23, with tournaments’ set for June 15 on Lake Champlain, June 29 at Henderson Harbor in Lake Ontario, July 20 at Oneida Lake, Aug. 17 at Sacandaga Reservoir and the two-day tournament set for Sept. 21 - 22 at Oneida Lake.

The two-day divisional championship, scheduled for the end of each division series, is held for anglers who have fished multiple events, within their division. Each division will crown an angler of the year. This event has a total purse of up to $74,500 and the winning boater can take home as much as $16,000 in winnings, as well as a Triton gold bonus, a supplemental cash award of up to $7,000. Each angler of the year, along with the top 40 by points, will automatically advance to the regional championship. Entry fees are $300 for boaters and $150 for co-anglers.

At the regional championships, the top 40 boaters and co-anglers from five different divisions will complete for more than $150,000 in cash and prizes. These championships will return 100 percent of entry fees and more than 170 percent per event, overall, based on a full field. First place for boaters will be $14,000 in cash, as well as a new Triton/Mercury® boat package with Carlisle Tires and Wheels and Odyssey® Batteries. The winner will also qualify for a $7,000 Triton gold bonus, making first place valued at $57,000. First place for the co-anglers will be $7,000 in cash, as well as the boat, tires and battery package. Entry fees are $300 for boaters and $150 for co-anglers. The top 20 percent of the field will receive a check and a percentage payout and will advance to the national championship.

The regional championship for the New York division will be held on the James River on Oct. 10 and 11.

The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship is where all the hard work for winners, through the year, will be put on the line. The first place boater of the national championship wins $100,000 and up to $105,000 in bonuses, as well as a berth into the Bassmaster Classic.

The national championship has no entry fee, since it is by invitation from the winner’s field. It will be held on Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Nov. 6 – 9.

Divisional anglers of the year will each receive a sponsor package. Divisional AOYs also automatically advance to the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series Championship, regardless of their regional championship finishes.

Local anglers that wish to register may call 256-232-0406 or visit and download the 2013 flyer at, which includes eligibility, code of conduct, tackle, equipment, sportsmanship and registration rules.

Gift ideas for bowhunters

The National Bowhunter Education Foundation may be able to help with gift ideas for something most archers never think to carry: a survival guide.

The “Skills of the Survivor” DVD and the “Surviving a Wilderness Emergency” book feature advice from one of the most widely-recognized authorities on survival, Peter Kummerfeldt. Add the NBEF survival kit, which contains the basic tools necessary to survive and be rescued if archers find themselves in emergency situations. Visit to find these and other gift ideas for bowhunters.

Special late deer season ends Tuesday

Southern Zone New York state big game hunters can enjoy the last week of the late, special whitetail deer season from Dec. 10 – 18, open to muzzleloading, crossbow and archery hunting implements. In order to participate, hunters need a special, NYS muzzleloader license that comes with an either-sex deer carcass tag. Hunters can also fill any unused antlerless tags or buck tags that did not get filled, during the early archery or regular, big game hunting season.

Winter archery league

The WNY winter 3-D archery league will begin on Jan. 6 and continue weekly, through March 24. Competitive matches are open to the public and will be held at West Falls Conservation, Evans Rod and Gun, Glen Coe Conservation and Collins Conservation. For more information, call Mike Cummins at 432-6035, Ray Zylinski at 866-5072, Dave Procknal at 377-0733 or Ike Loretto at 803-9096.

Safari club annual dinner

The 2012 Western New York Safari Club game dinner is set for next Friday, Dec. 14, at Michael’s Banquet Facility. The event will feature wild game from all over the world and is also a fundraiser for the Safari Club, which sponsors local youth events and outdoor activities and offers $1,500 scholarships to high school seniors who will pursue a conservation-oriented education. For tickets or more information, call Mark Mann at 864-7523 or Bob Keicher at 668-1353, ext 311 or visit

New York State Conservation Council fundraiser

The NYSCC is an all-volunteer organization and advisory wing to the New York State Legislature and governor’s office, regarding the formulation and establishment of policies and conservation practices for the law-abiding sportsmen and conservationists of New York state.

On Dec. 15, newly elected NYSCC President Chuck Parker will be present at the Southtowns Walleye Association clubhouse, located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd. in Hamburg, for an informal fundraiser from 3:30. – 6:30 p.m. All local hunters and fishermen are invited. The NYSCC is attempting to raise funds to allow proper function of the organization and the organization is asking for help. For more information or to purhcase a ticket, contact Dan Tone at 655-0975. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Report your harvest

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reminded hunters to report their hunting harvest tally. Hunters may call 1-866-426-3778 or visit to report your harvest. You will need your carcass tag customer identification number and your 12-digit document number, which can be found on the carcass tag. Reporting your harvest is NYS law.

Outdoor calendar

Dec. 10: Start of Southern Zone late deer and bear bowhunting and muzzleloader season.

Dec. 13: Lake Ontario Trout & Salmon Association, monthly meeting, 4H Cornell Cooperative Extension, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport, 7 p.m. For more information, call 636-0519.

Dec. 18: End of Southern Zone late deer and bear bowhunting and muzzleloading season.

Dec. 20: Southtowns Walleye Association, monthly meeting, 7:30 p.m., 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, Tim Thomas – NYS Ice-Pro tournament fishing. For more information, call 649-8202.


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