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Henderson nets NY BASS tournament in September

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HENDERSON — The town will host the New York B.A.S.S. Federation’s 2014 final Points Tournament Sept. 28 at its boat launch at County Route 178 on Henderson Harbor.

The Town Council is getting ready to launch the fall Lake Ontario tournament, which it agreed to host last year. Register online at http://wdt.me/VYmeUG.

Town officials will partner with the Henderson Performing Arts Association to organize the tournament, which is expected to draw more than 200 anglers statewide, said Eunice J. Wescott, association director. The tournament is expected to yield an economic benefit in the region surpassing $100,000, according to the federation.

“They approached us looking for a site in this area, and we have one of the nicest boat launches for bass fishing,” Mrs. Wescott said, adding that the association’s mission is to promote tourism events in Henderson year-round. “It’s a big boost to the economy in our area, because they’re going to be staying at hotels in Sackets Harbor and Watertown and will be spending at restaurants and gas stations.”

The federation’s 2014 schedule starts with a tournament June 22 in Lake Champlain, followed by events July 20 in Union Springs and Aug. 16 and 17 in Ogdensburg.

Mrs. Wescott said fishing guides in the Henderson Harbor area will help organize the September tournament. She is excited that the event will feature southwest Jefferson County instead of the Thousand Islands region.

“All of our tourism seems to be centered around the Thousand Islands, and we’re kind of the forgotten end of the county here,” she said. “I’m really excited that we’re getting a little nod this way, because we have some of the best fisheries in Lake Ontario. The bass fishing is absolutely wonderful.”

Fredric A. Blom, the federation’s president, said anglers across the state are excited the tournament will be hosted in Henderson.

“The real attraction is it’s a phenomenal fishery, and the bass fishing has exploded in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario at Henderson Harbor and Chaumont Bay,” Mr. Blom said.

“Henderson Harbor is a phenomenal place where you can catch lots of big bass. And as more people learn about it, it will become a tourism destination for people who fish. This is going to put Henderson on the map.”

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