21st annual Lew Mead tourney held Saturday

The Cassadaga Lakes Association had great weather and a great turnout for its 21st annual Lew Mead Memorial Kids Fishing tournament.

Ron Gross, the tournament chairman for this event, informed me that there were 53 youngsters signed up this year. Along with the great weather, there were some great catches brought in, too.

Brett Zarczynski caught the largest fish of the event when he landed a 36-inch muskie. The fish took a live sucker that was slow trolled behind the family pontoon boat.

Ron Juzdowski, who was in charge of measuring the fish, informed me that I had just missed the youngster, but the photo opportunity presented itself at the launch site where Brett and his friends were trying to revive the fish by holding it by it’s tail and shoving it back and forth to draw water into its gills.

Muskies are pretty abundant on the lake as Juzdowski informed me that his son Paul caught one last week on a “rubber worm” in three feet of water on the upper lake when he was targeting bass.

The Cassadaga Lakes Association is made up of members who live on or near beautiful Cassadaga Lake(s) and a lot of the members were on hand Saturday to provide a safe, fun environment for the youngsters.

The CLA also expressed its gratitude to the sponsors who provided prizes for all the kids who participated in this FREE event. This year’s sponsors were: from Fredonia, McDonalds, M&T Bank, Vineyard Falls Miniature Golf, and Burger King. Dunkirk sponsors were: Tractor Supply Company, The Observer/Gene Pauszek, the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, NCCC Ladies Auxiliary, and Cott Beverages. Cassadaga sponsors included, King Kone, Whiskey Hill Saloon, Cassadaga Country Club, Fredrickson Lumber, Community Bank, Fred Newell-Carol Mead, Red House for Youth-Steve and Nancy Wickmark, Cassadaga Shurfine, Cassadaga Fire Department, Hanson Road Auto, Gilberts Cabins, American Legion Post No. 1280 and Country Kids on the Fly.

Greg Little, who is the Chairman for Country Kids on the Fly, commented that his group will resume meeting on Monday evenings at the Sinclairville Library in September.

Just an observation, the Fredonia fly tying group lead by Alberto Rey, the Country Kids on the Fly and the Con Club’s Monday Night Fly tyers, are all on Monday night. Trophies were awarded in divisions of boys and girls in four age groups. In the girls division, Claire Knicely took the 7 and under division with an 11 3/4 inch large mouth bass, while Kaitlyn Ranney secured the 8-10 age group with her rock bass.

Tiffany Parsons took the 11-13 age group with a nice yellow perch and Megan Stang secured the 14-16 year age group with a nice crappie. In the boys division, two youngsters tied for the pee wee spot with impressive fish as Riley Diate and Hunter France won trophies.

Ethan Riggle took the 8-10 age bracket with a small mouth bass and Brenden Robbins in the 11-13 age group caught an impressive 18-inch large mouth bass.

Brett Zarczynski took the senior division of 14-16 with his muskie. Everyone who attended was a winner, with free hotdogs and cold beverages provided. This is a great time, and I for one am looking forward to next year’s event.


Upcoming Lake Erie fishing tournaments include: The Amara-Can Walleye Classic held in Dunkirk on July 12 and 13. Sign up is available on July 11 or for more information call 875-8148.

The Sunset Bay Shoot Out Big Fish Friday is July 25 and the main event is Saturday, July 26. This event is sold out. For details contact

The Northern chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Derby is a three day event that is also sold out. The event is August 1-3. Contact information is available by calling 640-2776.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host 3-D archery shoots on July 13, Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot on Sept. 21. New members are welcome and the club’s monthly meetings are on the first Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. They start the meeting off with a hot meal, so come hungry.

The Lakeshore Longbeards, our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will be holding a meeting on Tuesday, July 8 at 7 p.m., at Liberty Vineyards, which is located on Route 20, in Sheridan. The agenda will focus on the Youth Day event called JAKES Day, which will be held on Saturday, July 19 at the Westfield Fish & Game Club located on Ogden Road in Westfield. The meeting is open to the public.

During JAKES Day, sign in starts at 9 a.m. and the groups will visit various learning stations located at the Westfield Fish & Game Club located on Ogden Road in Westfield. Youngsters must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and there is a $10 fee, which will cover their membership in the NWTF, the cost of a T -shirt, lunch for the kids and guardians as well as turkey box calls and other goodies. To sign up call Bob & Judi Turk at 934-4538. Even though same day sign in is available, you are encouraged to pre-register. The Longbeards are also looking for volunteers to dispense food, and general assistance.

There will be a two day gun safety course at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club on July 10 and 11 from 5 until 10 p.m. You must register on the DEC website to attend this course.

There will be a Pistol Course on August 16 at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Note that the price for attending these courses is now set by the county, and is now $75. Pre-sign for the course by calling Gary at 366-3397

If your club is hosting a shooting event or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar. I also am available to take photos and hear your success stories by calling 366-1772 or 467-2079.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to