Scattershots: State-record channel catfish; Wilson Harbor winners announced | Outdoors

State record channel catfish caught

The first state record fish of 2022 has been caught and verified by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Bailey Williams, of Watertown, caught a channel catfish from the Black River at 8:30 pm May 8 at Dexter Marsh in Jefferson County while bottom fishing with white perch as cut bait.

“When I hooked it, I could immediately tell it was probably 25-plus pounds since it just felt quite heavy,” said Williams, who has been fishing for channel cats for three years. “When I netted it and pulled it onto my kayak, I was getting joyfully nervous because it was difficult to pull it up – more difficult than the other huge ones from that night. At that point I figured it was close to 30 pounds.”

He placed the fish in his weigh bag and his scale was registering 35½ pounds. Because it was Sunday night, he planned to keep the fish alive until the morning. The closest certified scale was at Chaumont Hardware. It is officially weighed in at 35 pounds, 12 ounces and measured 40 inches long. Region 6 biologist Les Resseguie met Williams at the Dexter boat launch where he confirmed it, per program rules. Williams then released the fish into the water. The catch bettered the mark set by Eric Scordo from April 29, 2017, when he reeled in a 35-pound, 3-ounce Lake Ontario channel catfish, also caught in Jefferson County.

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Wilson Harbor Invitational winners announced

Team Tomahawk, a crew led by Capt. Jonathan Ross of Hamlin, had two days of consistent scoring in the Wilson Harbor Invitational May 14-15 to win the 10th annual event with an overall score of 314.97 points. The team won the first day with a score of 160.26 points, which included 100.26 pounds of fish and 10 points per fish in the six-fish-per-day contest. Overall, the Tomahawk group won nearly $13,000.

On the second day, the Breakaway squad, led by Capt. Jeff Parrish of Sanborn, came up with a score of 159.79 points to win the day and place second overall among the 43 teams. Its two-day score was 278.30 points. Tomahawk placed second on Day 2 with a score of 154.71. Third place overall went to the Mother Moose team, led by Bill Davis of Erie, Pa., with a two-day score of 268.80 points.

In the Trout and Salmon Slam that ran from May 7 to 13, Casey Prisco of Pulaski and his Dirty Goose team weighed in seven salmon and trout that totaled 139.75 pounds. They were allowed to weigh a total of seven fish over the course of the week, and only seven. The team won a check for $3,780. Runner-up was Reel Mania, led by Capt. Mark Lewandowski of Depew, with 138.25 pounds. Third place was Pole Position, led by Mike Stablewski of Lancaster, with a weight of 134.14 pounds.

In the $1K a Day contest from May 7 to 13, Thinkin’ Big and Rodney Brown of Cicero won the two-day rollover ($2,000) on Sunday with a 22-pound, 11-ounce king; Gone Coastal, with Capt. Andy Krall of Dundee, won Monday with a 24-pound, 4-ounce king and Friday with a 27-pound, 1-ounce king; Dirty Goose and Capt. Casey Prisco of Pulaski won Tuesday and Wednesday with a 22-pound, 14-ounce king and a 22-pound, 7-ounce king, respectively; and JF Electric, led by Jake Huth of Mogadore, Ohio, won the daily $1,000 with a 24-pound king salmon. Complete results can be found at

Hartman Pro-Am set for June 3-4

The Walter “Skip” Hartman Memorial Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament held out of the ports of Wilson and Olcott in Niagara County is slated for June 3 and 4, with a bad weather day of June 5 set aside if needed. Teams of anglers will be attempting to catch a certain number of tournament-legal fish to bring to the scales within an allotted time based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound. Only eight rods may be used while fishing per teams.

For the Pro Division, the number of trout and salmon can be up to 12 tournament-legal fish each day. Teams must keep their first 12 tournament-legal fish. No communication is allowed. For the amateur teams, up to five tournament-legal fish can be caught and weighed in. No person carrying a charter fishing license can compete in the Amateur Division. For the rules and how to register, check out the Pro-Am website at


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