Tonawanda News — The hometowns of 2014 Erie Barge Canal Fishing Derby division leaders are spread out throughout Western New York as Day One concluded Wednesday with just shy of 1,000 participants in the 24th annual event, reports Derby chairman Steve Harrington of Gasport.
Harrington said more than 900 people have signed up so far for the Derby, which runs daily through July 13 on canal waters between Albion and the Tonawandas.
“So far, everything’s been going real smooth,” Harrington said. “It was a good day, really. We’ve got well over 900 people signed up that we know of and we also had someone catch our first tagged fish.”
Susan Robinson of Wilson caught tagged fish No. 122 on Wednesday at the Widewaters Marina. The tagged fish was sponsored by Niagara Metals of Gasport.
Harrington said the state has tagged 50 fish for the derby. “Check all fish,” he said. “More types of fish than just those seven division categories are tagged this year.”
“If the weather stays this good, I think we’ll have a fantastic turnout this year,” Harrington said. “I’ve been very busy running around, trying to make sure everything’s running smoothly.”
Tonawanda’s Joe Henneberger leads the adult catfish division with a 2.38-pound catch. Other Day One adult division leaders are Gasport’s Ben Schwab (10.18-pound carp), Buffalo’s Kyle Thorton (1.76-pound bullhead), Buffalo’s Grena Thorton (3.17-pound bass), Medina’s Bob Wells (5.36-pound sheephead); and Amherst’s Timothy Hughes (3.69-pound Northern Pike).
The only kids division entry on Day One was a .77-pound bullhead turned in by Barker’s Jordan Thering. There were no adult or kids division entries in the walleye class.
More than $20,000 in prizes and merchandise are available in all. The grand prize for youths (14-under) is a new canal trail bike, while the adult grand prize is a new fishing boat, motor and trailer. The cost to enter is $7 for kids and $12 for adults. The family cost is $22 and the daily cash bash is $5.