Walleye challenge ice fishing derby is coming Saturday
by Ron Kolodziej

The following events are a tad out of this area, but since they’re big and popular and draw a goodly number of Hamilton County ice anglers I figured I’d mention them. The registration period for the larger event has already passed, but you’re invited to visit any of the weigh-ins.

The Fifth Annual Walleye Challenge Ice Fishing Derby will be held on Great Sacandaga Saturday, Jan. 26.  Participation was limited to the first 1,500 anglers who applied; that number was achieved by early January. Fishing hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and $45,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded: $1,000 per hour in cash payouts plus $9,000 in miscellaneous prizes. There will also be drawings at 4 p.m. for two four-wheelers and one snowmobile. The event will be headquartered at Lanzi’s On the Lake, which will also serve as one of the weigh stations; the other will be at the NYS Boat Launch in Broadalbin.


The Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation’s annual ice fishing contest will be the same day as the Walleye Challenge; the entry fee is $15. Having both contests the same day is a good idea, because you can enter and participate in both events, since they give prizes for different species.

Of course, the Walleye Challenge gives prizes only for walleyes but the GSLFF contest is for northern pike, perch and trout. Catch a nice walleye and you can enter it in the Walleye Challenge, but if you catch a big perch, northern or trout you can enter it in the GSLFF’s contest. Great idea and it worked well last year.

The GSLFF event rules and prize structure will be essentially the same as last year, with $1,500 in prize money being awarded to the three top entries in each of the above three categories. All the rules are explained in the contest application. This event will be headquartered at Sacandaga Boating Club and the contest hours will be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.


I hesitate to go too deeply into last week’s state and national gun grabs announced by Gov. Cuomo and President Obama because it’s obvious someone didn’t do their homework first.

In common, they want to outlaw AR-15 type weapons, though those models, and similar ones, statistically account for only a tiny fraction of all gun violence, and even less in numbers than hammers, clubs, knives and even hands and feet.

Even the crime statistics offered by the FBI show rifles of any caliber account for a small fraction of the murders and shootings experienced in the U.S. annually. Criminals generally favor handguns, preferably stolen, for their work.


What constitutes an “assault rifle”? Have you ever asked yourself that? Is it based solely on appearance? It must be, since a Remington Model 742 offers almost as much firepower as an AR-15 but looks much less threatening. And while the traditional AR-15 normally fires a small .223 caliber cartridge, the 742 comes in .30-06 caliber as well as others. So which is an “assault rifle” and which could potentially wreak more havoc?

It must be a description based more on appearance than anything else, but that’s probably okay since at one time we used to judge people the same way. And there are plenty of other semi-automatic sporting rifles around that might fit the bill as well. That being the case, look for a ban on semi-autos the next time around, and that’s apt to happen sooner than later.

Next question. What constitutes a “high-capacity” magazine? Gov. Cuomo feels it’s one that holds anything more than seven rounds, but the president says it’s 10 rounds. They can’t even agree on that. The remainder of the state and federal proposals I’ll leave for another column because, honestly, I haven’t yet done all my homework on them.