The bite of the summer king salmon was on during the two-day Sodus Pro-Am. While most of the field of 60 teams found the fish, word was that the salmon didn’t want to stay hooked.

Rich Converse, captain of the winning Pro Division team, Mister Squirrely, said they did drop a lot of fish; however, they did manage to box out with 12 fish July 18-19 — and that’s how you can win pro-ams.

“We pre-fished Thursday and also during Captain Jack’s Big Fish Friday,” the 36-year-old Converse said during a phone call from his home in Oswego. “Our team went east towards Port Bay on Saturday.”

On board Mister Squirrelly, a 30-foot Sport Craft, were Converse, Aron Schoal, Randall Converse, John Forder, Mike Lang, and Bridget Thomas.

“We stayed out of the pack of boats and worked water 200-250 feet,” Converse said. “The team and I wanted the large kings, so we were using A-Tom-Mik meat rigs. The current was crazy. However, we continued to work that area.”

On day one “working that area” placed the Mister Squirrelly team in first place with a score of 314.2. Scores are calculated on a point system, with 10 points per fish and 1 point per pound.

“The next morning, we hung back for a while and let the pack go,” Converse said. “Then we went right back to my spot.”

They were 3-for-5 in 18 minutes working the same water. By 12:30 they had nine fish in the box and were searching for more kings.

“I headed west in 250-260 feet of water, and we did a double,” the captain said. “Time was running out to get back to Sodus Point, so we pulled our rods, and the last one had a king hooked. It was a legal fish measuring 19¾ inches. We had our 12 fish.”

Sunday’s score of 283.5 gave Mister Squirrelly a two-day total of 597.7 and the $7,000 purse.

Converse, who fishes many tournaments as a team player with other pro boats, said he will pay for tournament deposits in 2021, then split the money with his team.

“It’s all about the team while fishing these contests,” he said. “Total team effort and boat control was why we took first place at the Sodus Pro-Am.”

Knot-4-Profit took first place in the Amateur Division. Jason Tracy and crew put together a two-day total of 328.8.

“One day one we fished west, close to Hughes’ Marina, and found fish in 130-160 feet of water,” Tracy said. “It was mostly spoons and A-Tom-Mik meat.”

On day 2 of the Sodus Pro-Am Tracy and his team members — John Buttino, Billy Buttino, and Adam Blackmon — headed east to Fair Haven. Tracy’s 33-foot Pro-Line is a fast boat, so he wasn’t worried about traveling far from Sodus Bay.

“We trolled towards Port Bay and put out our spoons, and by 8:30 we were only 1-for-7,” Tracy said. “What were we doing wrong missing all these fish? They were short hits, however we needed to do better.”

One mile west of Port Bay they found fish.

“We put out flasher flies after finding some current,” Tracy relayed, noting five fish went into the box in an hour and a half, along with a lake trout. “After a horrendous start we caught six fish in two hours.”

Jason Tracy fishes many tournaments along the lake as a team member for pro squads. He’s also on the water during the LOC derbies.

The 47-year-old father of two lives with his wife, Jenna, in Hilton, although he does own some land near Sodus Bay.

Asked how he would spend the $2,500 prize money, he quipped, “I’ll put it back in the gas tank.”

For a complete leaderboard and list of sponsors, check out the Sodus Pro-Am website at

Bow course to be offered online

Hunters in New York can now earn their bowhunter education certificate online.

A bowhunter education certificate is required for hunters who use a bow and arrow to hunt deer or bear. All hunters must also complete a mandatory hunter education course before purchasing a hunting license.

All in-person bowhunter education courses have been canceled since March due to COVID-19. The online course provides an opportunity for new archery hunters to get their required certificates before the fall hunting seasons begin.

The online course takes about six hours to complete, and it’s open to state residents 11 and older. However, only hunters 12 or older may purchase a hunting license.

Students who successfully complete the online bowhunter education course and pass the final exam will receive their certificate of completion.

The cost of the course is $30. The online course will be available through August 31, 2020.

Visit to get all of the information.

DMAP application deadline is Aug. 1

Landowners who are experiencing damage caused by deer can apply for extra harvest tags through the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Deer Management Assistance Program.

DMAP helps qualifying landowners and resource managers implement site-specific deer management on their lands to address crop damage or forest regeneration problems, protect areas of sensitive and rare plants, or conduct custom deer-management programs. It can also be used by municipalities to reduce deer-related problems in residential communities.

DMAP recipients receive antler-less deer-harvest tags that they can distribute to licensed hunters of their choice for use on the property where they are experiencing problems. The tags can be used only during open deer hunting seasons.

To see the eligibility requirements for DMAP, or to download an application form, visit Applications for this fall must be submitted to a regional wildlife office by Aug. 1.

Chris Kenyon’s “Outdoors” appears every other Sunday. Contact Chris at (315) 879-1341 or

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