By LISA HOOVER
WADDINGTON -- The St. Lawrence River Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament Aug. 8 to 11 will be the seventh of eight professional tournaments throughout North America in 2013.
The series began in Oklahoma in February, and has included tournaments that drew thousands of participants and spectators in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama and Wisconsin. The last event will be Aug. 22 to 25 near Detroit.
In Waddington, boats will launch at 6:30 a.m. Thursday and Friday. Fans can watch the boats launch from the Whittaker Park boat launch.
Saturday, the top 50 remaining anglers will launch at 6:30 a.m. to compete in the semi-final round of the showdown.
A “Wounded Warrior” fishing derby will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fobare’s Pond, as part of “Military Appreciation Day” Saturday. Veterans from as far away as California, Washington, and New Jersey are expected to participate, according to event organizer Bob Giordano, a member of the FISHCAP Advisory Board. The winner will receive a fishing kayak and gear.
Anglers will sign autographs and pose for photos Saturday, as well as offering tips and techniques for fans.
The series’ “high school experience” will also take place Saturday, offering high school age fans the chance to meet professional anglers to learn more about the sport. Students should register with Jon Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, the field will narrow to the top 12 anglers, who will again launch at 6:30 a.m. for the final round of fishing.
Official weigh-ins will be held Thursday and Friday at 3:15 p.m., with a semi-final weigh-in Saturday and final weigh-in at Whittaker Park Sunday at 3:15 p.m.
While no local anglers are expected to compete, some are “going to be martials, meaning they are going to be on the boats with these guys,” according to Alison Power, tourism, marketing, and outreach coordinator at the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.