Silver Lake ice was nice on Saturday for youths and just right on Sunday for the North East Ice Fishing Circuit Pro Series competitors last weekend.
Fears of thin ice during a popular Free Kids Clinic and Contest were quelled when coordinators Jeff Snyder and Nathan Krusko checked out surfaces and found 7-to 8-inch ice thickness at and around Mack’s Boat Livery on the weekend of Jan. 26 and 27.
Anglers entered in the Kids and the Pro series contests, in general, went with bait (waxworms, mousy grubs, or spikes) rather than the popular vinyl/plastic baits.
Riley Kowasz took top honors on Saturday with a five-fish total of 2.24 pounds. Riley won a two-man HT hut. Chase Lewis took second with 2.05 pounds and won an HT auger. Alyssa Kersch finished third with a 1.05-pound weigh-in. Because of the tied weights, second place was determined by the heaviest single fish each youth entered.
Weight scores were close in the adult event. Final scores for the top three winners were less than a half pound apart for a total bag of 12 panfish, which could be any combination of perch, crappie and bluegill.
The Perry team of Andy Bush and Zach Kowasz won first with a 6.05-pound total. They won $520 dollars and a Striker Ice Rod back pack. This team holds high standings for final NEIFC competition.
The Attica team of Kory and Mickey Nati took home $312 and two Hydro Glow Lights.
Rick Ryan of Warsaw and Chad Beale of Clairton, Pa. placed third with 5.69 pounds of panfish for a $208 winning; they also added $168 to their cash winnings with honors for a .78-pound bluegill.
Snyder, contest coordinator, announced cancellation of the NEIFC competition for this weekend, but the Honeoye Lake contest is set as a walk-on only event out of the state launch, with a Kids Clinic on Saturday and the Pro Circuit on Feb. 10. For details on all the circuit events, pictures of winning catches, and registration information, go to northeasticefishingcircuit.com.