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Waddington set to host national fishing tournament

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WADDINGTON – The village is set to host a national bass fishing tournament next year.

The village board gave the mayor approval to sign a letter of intent to host the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament Monday.

Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), which holds several national bass fishing contests throughout the year, will hold one of its Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments in Waddington from Aug. 8 to 11, 2013.

“I believe this is an opportunity of a lifetime for the town and village of Waddington,” Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said Monday. “This is a huge, huge series to come into our little village. It’s going to take an enormous amount of work and coordination. But I believe that we have enough people in the St. Lawrence County area that we would be able to accomplish this.”

The elite series, which runs from coast to coast through all phases of the seasons, is a total of eight regular season events and two Angler of the Year fish offs with a total of $11 million in prizes.

The tournament is expected to draw thousands of people to the area, and will take place during Waddington’s Homecoming.

“We’re going to have to work real close with our Chamber,” Mrs. Otto-Cassada. “These people like a festival going on when it comes in. So it couldn’t work out any better. There’s a lot of logistics here that have to work out precisely the way they need to.”

Although the tournament will be headquartered at Whittaker Park and Donald M. Martin Civic Center in Waddington, the tournament is titled “The St. Lawrence River Showdown,” and will take place at multiple locations along the river.

“I think the whole county will be stepping in, not just the village and town of Waddington,” Trustee William Shoen said. “I think you will see the surrounding areas—Massena, Ogdensburg, Louisville and Morristown—and the county itself step in here to assist us in putting this whole thing together. But somebody has got to start it before that happens, which I think we’ve started, and then we can move ahead.”

Though the contract is between the village and Bassmaster, the town is expected to show its support at its next meeting.

“Personally, I am supportive of it,” said Town Supervisor Mark Scott, who was present at the meeting.

Mr. Scott said the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce has also pledged its support.

Bass Anglers Sportsman Society has already begun advertising the tournament on its website.

“This tournament would give us a lot of other opportunities in the future to use this river,” said Trustee Craig Bogart.

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