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Youth anglers flock to annual fishing day in Massena

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MASSENA — Several participants in Saturday’s 15th annual Ted Kot Youth Fishing Day reported seeing a large muskie swimming by their lines along the shores of the New York Power Authority’s Hawkins Point Visitors Center.

But that was as close as anybody got to an actual fish.

For the first time in recent memory, the 55 anglers came up empty-handed during the three-hour event, which was held under windy, gray skies and in chilly temperatures.

“Early in the morning it was rainy, windy and cold. The numbers were down a little from last year. However, the kids, I think, had a truly remarkable, fun day. I think parents, grandparents and all the family members enjoyed it as well,” Recreation Director Richard A. Boprey said.

Tyler Cappiello did catch a 2-pound, 5-ounce fish that was quickly weighed and promptly put back in the water because it was out of season and not eligible for the competition.

“They were reminded that they were out-of-season fish and not to be kept at any time. The fish was not harmed in any manner,” Mr. Boprey said.

Several other youth and adult anglers reported seeing the muskie swimming up and down the shoreline, getting within inches of some lines dangling in the water, but declining to take a nibble. Adults were able to participate thanks to a Free Fishing Day authorized by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

“The kids were treated and taunted by the approximately 50-pound muskie that kept swimming from shore back and forth,” Mr. Boprey said.

This was Felicity Engstrom’s second time participating in the youth fishing day sponsored by the Massena Recreation Commission. But it was a far cry from her last fishing trip. “I went fishing last Sunday. We caught 57 bullhead,” she said.

Young anglers and the adults who accompanied them to the event did nab a prize; each participant was entered into a drawing for door prizes throughout the day. The prizes ranged from fishing poles to tackle boxes. If any fish had been caught, awards were set to be handed out to the first, second and third heaviest, live, in-season fish for ages 4 to 9 and 10 to 15.

They also reeled in a free hot dog and soda, courtesy of the Massena Recreation Commission and thanks to the support of organizations such as Massena Savings and Loan, Pepsi, Amvets Post 4, the Massena Rod and Gun Club, SeaComm Federal Credit Union and the Italian-American Club.

This was the third year that the event, which is named in honor of the longtime former member of the Massena Joint Recreation Commission, has been held at Hawkins Point.

The top finishers among 72 participants in 2012, the first year at Hawkins Point, were Wade Smith, competing in the 5-9 age group, who hauled in a 15 pound, 13 ounce carp; while Dakota Wilson, fishing in the 10-15 age group, won a battle against a 10 pound, 13 ounce drum fish.

Ninety participants took part in last year’s event. The catch of the day went to Jestin Simpson, who reeled in a 4 pound, 11 ounce fish. Also bringing in a fish for weigh-in were Jacob Leabo, whose catch weighed 3 pounds, 15 ounces; Addalynn Perrin, whose catch weighed 1 pound, 12 ounces; and Seth Gilbert, whose catch weighed 1 pound, 9 ounces.


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