NEW YORK TEAM WINS SIXTH ANNUAL JUNIOR TOURNAMENT
On July 7, 2001 the ONTARIO BASSMASTERS JUNIOR CHAPTER INVITATIONAL was held on Lake Couchiching out of Orillia, Ontario, Canada (70 miles north of Toronto). On Friday night, the orientation meeting was held at the Royal Canadian Legion hall in Orillia. The teams were introduced and welcomed by the Ontario BASS Federation. Debbie Bayshaw entertained the crowd with country and western songs and finally pairings were announced.
The fishing on Saturday was tough due to severe weather conditions earlier during the week. However, the New York and Ohio teams were very successful in finding patterns to catch fish. Big Jim McLaughlin, the first two-time Pro Bass Classic champion in Canada, was the emcee at the weigh in. In the team standings, New York finished in 1st place with 25.02 pounds and Ohio was 2nd with 19.84 pounds. Delaware was 3rd and a very young Connecticut team finished 4th overall.
The individual winner of the tournament was Zackery Seal from New York with four fish weighing 11.76 pounds. Jacob Hout of Ohio came in second at 8.40 pounds with the only limit of the day. Justin LaRoche of Connecticut earned 3rd place with a total weight of 5.50 pounds. Al Smith, the BASS Federation president, presented the national champion, Zackery Seal, with a BASS life membership.
On Saturday night a banquet was held at the Royal Canadian Legion hall and was attended by 236 people including 60 anglers from ten states. In addition to the team and individual awards, there was a sit down dinner, entertainment (including a song by the Connecticut team) and two shaved heads. Wayne Tomassi and Mickey Fortunato, Jr. of New York told their team that if they won, they would shave their heads on stage.
The annual, bass fishing, invitational tournament is open to state teams comprised of junior anglers ages 11-16. The host sponsor for the annual tournament is The Bryan V. Kerchal Memorial Fund.
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