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Wanted: room for bass tournament anglers

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WADDINGTON – The St. Lawrence River Showdown Committee is looking for property owners to rent their homes to anglers when they compete in the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament in August.

Bassmasters reports 102 anglers will participate in the competition. Under contract, the village will provide 60 hotel rooms for production and television crews. However, anglers must find their own housing.

“It is similar to what they do in Lake Placid,” St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce FishCap Coordinator and committee member Donald R. Meissner said Thursday. “People will have an opportunity to rent their own homes to anglers while they are away or on vacation.”

During the tournament, anglers will fish along the St. Lawrence River from Massena to Ogdensburg. Anglers will also have an opportunity to fish in Canadian waters with a permit. All anglers, however, must launch from Whittaker Park in Waddington.

“Anglers typically like to be within 20 minutes of the launch area,” event coordinator Deanna Shampine said. “That’s a great opportunity for people looking to rent their homes in Lisbon, Louisville, Massena, Waddington and Ogdensburg.”

Approximately 44 percent of anglers have families with children under the age of 18, according to Bassmasters.

“There will be many people who will prefer family housing, or to share a residence,” Ms. Shampine said.

While the St. Lawrence River tournament will take place Aug. 8 to 11, committee members said that there is an opportunity for property owners to rent for longer periods.

“With these kinds of tournaments as large as this, some like to extend their stay,” Mr. Meissner said. “Some use it as their vacation. Some anglers could potentially stay for a month.”

The tournament previous to St. Lawrence County will be the Mississippi River Rumble from June 20 to 23.

“A gap like that is unusual, and provides a unique opportunity,” Ms. Shampine said.

People interested in renting their homes can contact their nearest chamber of commerce for more information, Ms. Shampine said. The committee hopes to collect all its rental listings by Jan. 10. The listings will be compiled and posted on chamber of commerce websites in the coming weeks.

The committee is also looking for bed-and-breakfast establishments, motels, hotels and campgrounds interested in offering special rates or blocks of rooms to be posted as well.

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