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Hooks and Antlers: state-best drum tops Chaumont mark

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For the second time in 2014, DEC has announced a new state record fish.

While fishing in Rochester’s Irondequoit Bay in Lake Ontario, James Van Arsdall of West Henrietta landed a 33.5-inch freshwater drum that weighed 26 pounds and nine ounces. The catch occurred on June 14, and it bested the previous record, a 24.5-pound drum caught by Chaumont’s Gregory Netto in Chaumont Bay on June 8, 2005.

An impressive feature of VanArsdall’s record drum was the fish’s girth. For example, a northern pike that measured 33.5 inches might weigh 10 or so pounds, but the record drum more than doubled that weight.

While freshwater drum are not rare catches in area waters, the fish are uncommon catches. The first drum I ever caught was when I was jigging for walleyes at the mouth of the Oswegatchie River at Ogdensburg. Like other walleye anglers who hook a drum, I thought I had a monster walleye because the fish stayed down and had impressive fighting ability.

The last drum I caught was one of the oddest catches of a lifetime of angling. That fish hit a nine-inch Cisco Kid when I was night-trolling for muskies in the St. Lawrence River several Octobers ago.

FRESHWATER DRUM

Freshwater drum are often called “sheepshead,” and they live in large rivers and lakes such as St. Lawrence and Ontario. An identifiable feature of the drum is its blunt or short head.

The drum is the only freshwater fish in North America that is a planktonic spawner whose eggs drift with the current. This fish gets its name from the sound that males emit while swimming.

Freshwater drum have numerous, round teeth that they use in crushing their food, which typically consists of snails, mussels, clams, and crayfish. The species is usually nocturnal, and once at line’s end, a drum puts up a praiseworthy fight.

STATE RECORD STRIPED BASS

The other state record fish (inland) taken this year was a 60-pound striped bass caught by Eric Lester on May 14. Lester caught the fish in the Hudson River, and it topped the previous record, a 55.38-pound striper that was also caught in the Hudson River. Ian Kiraly took that fish on May 9, 2007.

ANGLER ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

Page 65 of the current “Freshwater Fishing Guide” lists New York’s state record fish. Too, the guide has detailed information on the state’s Angler Achievement Awards program where angler catches are recognized in three different categories: “annual award, “catch and release,” and “state record”. For more information, see pages 63-66 of the guide that is available at all license-issuing agents.

NEW ADIRONDACK MAGAZINE

If you browse the magazine section of area stores, you are likely to run across a copy of a new publication titled “Adirondack Outdoors”.

Owned and published by Michael Wade, who grew up in Ogdensburg, the glossy magazine is geared towards Adirondack outdoors enthusiasts.

Topics covered in articles in the current issue of “Adirondack Outdoors” include kids fishing, brook trout heritage, backcountry boats, Lake Champlain bass and salmon, kayak fishing, largemouth bass, Sacandaga Lake, Lake George boat inspections, Fulton Chain pike, paddling the Adirondacks, Pecks Lake, summer photography, popper fishing, Stillwater Reservoir camping, hiking tips, venison appetizers, camping and hiking rules, outdoors calendar, product reviews, and more.

“Adirondack Outdoors” is currently published quarterly, and interested persons can subscribe by sending a check or money order ($15.95) along with name, address, e-mail, and phone number to FishUS.com, P.O. Box 96, Clinton, NY 13323.

Subscriptions are also available by calling 315-624-9966 or by visiting www.adirondackoutdoorsmagazine.com where more information on the publication can be found.

BASSMASTER H.S. CHAMPIONSHIP

Garrett Enders and Nick Osman of Susquehanna High School, Pa., outlasted 59 high school teams to win the inaugural Bassmaster High School Championship.

The pair used weightless, wacky-rigged Senkos for their Day Four catch that moved them from second to first place.

For their victory, Enders and Osman received $2,000 each in scholarship funds from B.A.S.S. They were also offered $20,000 scholarships (over four years) if they attend Bethel University.

Outdoors Calendar

July 28: Trap and Skeet Shoot at Lisbon Sportsmen’s Club on Pray Rd. at 5:30 p.m.

July 30: Trap Shoot at Black Lake F&G Association at 7 p.m.(869-6051).

July 31: Sporting Clays Shoot at Black Lake F&G Association at 1 p.m. (323-5585).

July 31: Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open at Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh.

Aug. 2: SLR Walleye Association’s 13 Annual Walleye Challenge Tournament (384-3450).

Aug. 9: NNY Bassmasters Tournament at Cranberry Lake (www.nnybassmasters.com).

Aug. 9: 6th Annual Long Lake Bass Fishing Derby (518-624-2145).

Aug. 14: SLC Trappers Association meets at Lisbon Library at 6:30 p.m.

Aug. 16-17: Clayton-1000 Islands Gun and Sportsmen Show at Cerow Arena (482-4596).

Aug. 30: Spider’s Basic Fishing Program (Free) at Wellesley Island State Park (482-2479).

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