It is 1:15 p.m. at the pier heads of Sodus Bay. A few boats are on the horizon, mere specks against the blue sky. At 1:30 it appears they have multiplied and are coming from the east, west and north. Now it’s 1:45, and they’re coming fast.
Is this some sort of modern-day attack of Sodus Point?
“What’s going on,” a few spectators on the pier asked. “Is there a boat race?”
No. It’s Pro-Am time at Sodus Point, and the big boats are charging the channel because they need to be in the pier heads by 2 p.m. or be disqualified from the tournament.
They wait ’til the last second.
The Sodus Point Pro-Am wrapped up July 20, and the boats were heading for the scales to weigh their catches of trout and salmon.
Captain Jack’s Tavern, headquarters for the two-day competition, was crowded, so much so that more than once “What’s going on?” could be heard.
Dave Antenori and his Screamer A-Tom-Mik Team were asking the same question; however, their interest was on the scoreboard. Would they take first place on the second day of the two-day tourney?
“We boxed out with our limit of 12 fish on day 1,” Antenori said during the awards ceremony held at Captain Jack’s that day. “We ran to Oswego and fished the east side and set up for kings in 180 to 250 feet of water. We took five fish with cut bait and then it died, so we went in for browns.”
The Screamer A-Tom-Mik Team, whose home port is Oswego, took their final brown at 11 a.m., then ran back to Sodus Point.
“It’s a 1 1/2-hour trip from Sodus to Oswego, and we made the pier heads by 1:45 p.m.,” Antenori relayed.
Day 1’s top dog was the Screamer team with 234.70 points. The scoring system is based on 10 points per fish and one point per pound.
Antenori took his team back to Oswego on day 2.
“We boated three kings in two hours and lost two,” he said. “We also boated a steelhead. However, we did move closer to shore for the browns, just like the day before. We did five browns on Michigan Stingers and then ran back to Sodus.”
Their second-day score of 164.65 sealed first place with a total of 399.35.
Antenori, who runs a marina in Pennsylvania, has been fishing Lake Ontario tournaments for 15 years.
Tony Chatt and his 5 More Minutes team won first place in the Amateur Division. Chatt, of West Monroe, left the chute and went east to fish the Fair Haven area.
“We saw some action on the screen when we left the Oswego Pro-Am to head to Sodus, so that’s where we started.” Chatt said. “When we got there I liked what I saw. We worked the same area all day in 150 to 170 feet of water. The fish came on flasher-flies rigs. We were six for seven.”
On day 2 Chatt and Co. decided to return to the Fair Haven area.
“The big fish were gone. The screen did not look good,” he said. We were two for three and gave it an hour and a half, then went west to Hughes’ Marina. It was now 10:30 a.m. and we only had three hours to fish.”
They worked 75 to 90 feet of water and picked up four browns and one lake trout.
“We were using Michigan Stingers,” Chatt said.
They boxed out, picked up and again headed east to make the Sodus Point pier head by 2 p.m.
“We used a lot of gas to catch these fish,” Chatt said.
A total of 28 Pro and 18 Amateur Division boats fished the Sodus Point Pro-Am. Captain Jack’s Big Fish Friday had a field of 39 boats, and the new 1K a Day tourney registered 43 boats.
“Everyone was pleased with this year’s tournament,” tournament director Matt LeClair said. “The 1K a day was a really exciting part of the Sodus Point Pro-Am, and we’ll have it again in 2015.”
will speak Aug. 17
Spider Rybaak, who has authored several angling guidebooks, will speak on the subject at 1 p.m. Aug. 17, part of the Clayton-1000 Islands Gun and Sportsmen Show.
Rybaak has spent the last 25 years writing about fishing. His latest book, “Fishing Oneida Lake,” is scheduled for release early in 2015. He is currently working on a guide to fishing in the Adirondacks.
Rybaak has published thousands of stories and photos in such publications as In-Fisherman, Boating Life, Outdoor Life and Salmon, Trout, Steelheader. He blogs for Oswego County Tourism at www.fishingandhuntinginoswego.blogspot.com.
Among the more than 75 exhibitors and vendors will be Project Healing Waters, a group that helps wounded veterans and military families enjoy the sport of flyfishing; 18th-century firearms restorer Mathew Zabinski; and the new Thousand Islands Armory.
The Clayton-1000 Islands Gun and Sportsmen Show is organized by the Clayton Rotary Club. Show hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 16 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 17. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for military personnel with proper identification and free for children younger than 12.
The show is at Cerow Recreation Park Arena.
For more information, call Tom Neely at (315) 482-4596 or Bud Baril at (315) 686-2832.
Chris Kenyon’s “Outdoors” column appears every other Sunday in the Finger Lakes Times. To reach him, call 879-1341 or email email@example.com.