Hamilton County Outdoors
By Ron Kolodziej

Bass for Cash Partners Tournament is back

Saturday, Aug. 10, the Speculator, Lake Pleasant, Piseco Fish & Game Club will hold its 2013 Oxbow Bass for Cash Partners Tournament on Oxbow Lake. The entry fee for this event is $50 per boat with an additional but optional $10 extra if you want to enter the tagged bass competition.

The overall rules governing the contest are simple but must be obeyed. You can register in person at the Oxbow Inn (next door to the Oxbow Motel) on Route 8, about eight miles west of Speculator, Saturday, Aug. 10, from 5-7 a.m. or you can pre-register by mail, but you can also call (518) 548-3005 or 548-6002 for a registration form or additional information. Registration forms are also available on the Adirondacks Speculator Region Chamber of Commerce website.

There will be a fisherman's meeting at 6:45 a.m., just prior to the contest; all boats will "ease off" from the launch at the Oxbow Inn at 7 a.m. and must return by 1 p.m. Only artificial baits or live worms / nightcrawlers will be allowed. A maximum of five bass per boat will be allowed and there will be a six-ounce penalty for any dead bass brought in. Payouts will be based upon total weight and, if there is less than the maximum of 50 boats, payouts will be prorated accordingly.

The prizes to be paid out, based upon a maximum field of 50 boats, are: first place of $750 for the boat bringing in the highest total weight of five bass; second place, $550; third place, $350; and fourth place $150. There will also be a $125 prize for the largest pickerel entered; $125 for the largest sunfish; $100 for the lunker bass; and $100 for a tagged bass.

There's one important proviso for all contest participants: Oxbow Lake will be off-limits to them for fishing from Aug. 3 until the tournament. In other words, no pre-fishing will be allowed during the week preceding the event.

Free coffee will be available at the registration location and, if you're of a mind to have some vittles after a morning of fishing, the Oxbow Inn is a great place to eat. My wife and I had lunch there a few weeks ago and the meals were excellent.


Now is the time to start prepping for the upcoming small game and big game seasons. Whether you're a bow hunter, shotgun fan or a rifle hunter, now is the time to check over all your equipment.

Start with the weapons you'll be using. Go to your favorite range and begin the annual ritual of sighting-in those bows or firearms. That's actually a two-edged sword, so to speak, because it affords you the opportunity to get the firearm or bow "on target" and to check the functioning of the weapon as well. I've often said gun cabinets often contain gremlins that do strange things to bows and firearms and, that being the case, it's best to discover those minor malfunctions now, well before the season, and that's why range time is so important.

If you find a malfunction of some sort there's still ample time to get that weapon to a qualified repair shop, and the sooner you'll have it back. Wait until the last moment, just days or weeks before the seasons open, and it's a crap shoot: you may or may not be able to get it back in time and may have to go to whatever you've established as Plan B.

Getting the action, sights or other integral part of your weapon worked on now means another several trip to the range to confirm it's zeroed in. Give yourself all the leeway you can. It is all time well spent, and you'll be doing your gunsmith a favor by starting early, while he's still not swamped with last-minute work.


If you're doing it yourself, pay special attention to the action of the rifle or scattergun. The action and trigger assembly of any firearm needs to have and maintain a minimal amount of oil or gun grease to keep it operating in a safe and smooth motion.

When a rifle or shotgun is fired, there is some "blowback." Gunpowder that has not been burnt from the cartridge or shot shell sprays into the action. This powder is similar to sand and is very granulated. In addition, there are also naturally occurring elements such as regular dust, sand and dirt that cause the components of the action to be contaminated. They all stick to the action, especially were there is lubricant present.

This is especially true in very cold weather when many hunters spread on extra dollops of grease or oil, thinking it will help. It doesn't and can instead create problems. A light coat of good quality oil or grease is much better.

The aforementioned elements pose further problems such as additional friction, jams, light firing pin strikes and feeding issues. They can be dangerous as well but are preventable. Keeping your action clean will reduce or even prevent malfunctions and will extend the life of your firearm.