NORTH TONAWANDA – The Hooked on the Tonawandas Fishing Tournament will be held Saturday and next Sunday on the banks of the Erie Canal.
The tourney is in conjunction with the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Free Fishing Weekend. Once a year, the DEC schedules a weekend in June when everyone can take advantage of all the local waterways and fish without a license. The fishing tournament features $3,000 in cash and prizes.
New this year is the “Cast Off Concert” on Friday, featuring the band the Black Sheep Syndrome, which will introduce both fishermen and potential anglers to the Gateway Harbor and Erie Canal as a fishing resource with wide variety of species.
Registration is $15, with registration forms available at most bait and tackle shops in North Tonawanda and Buffalo, as well as at the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas, 15 Webster St., North Tonawanda. Also, visit fishgatewayharbor.net. Kids younger than 16 can register as an adult to win prizes, or they can fish for free to compete for prizes in the junior division.
A registration tent will also be available at Gateway Harbor Pavilion, Sweeney and Webster streets, from noon to 9 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. An awards ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Bait and tackle will be on sale at the registration location.
Food and beverages will also be sold by American Legion Post 264 at the registration tent.
The person who catches the largest game fish will receive $500, and the largest carp, perch or bullhead, a top prize of $150. Second- and third-place winners also will receive cash prizes. Junior division winners, younger than 15, will compete for merchandise prizes and a trophy.
This year’s tournament will benefit Twin Cities Community Outreach.