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13-pound catch takes top prize at annual Northern Challenge

Dan McClelland

By Rich Rosentreter

Tupper Lake’s annual Northern Challenge Ice Fishing Derby hosted by the local Rod and Gun Club was held over the weekend and hundreds of ice-fishing enthusiasts from the area - along with others from 16 states and two countries - took part and about $40,000 in prizes and cash was given away in one of the region’s biggest fishing events.

According to Dave McMahon, one of the event organizers with the Tupper Lake Rod and Gun Club, approximately 1,200 people registered for the derby and there was a record number of 41 fish weighed in the first hour. McMahon expresses his gratitude to all who supported the derby.

“First off we would like to thank everyone for supporting our derby. I personally would like to thank all the people who volunteered and helped run this important fund raiser for our club as well as all the businesses and people who supported us in any way,” he told the Free Press. “Also a special thank you to the Adirondack Federal Credit Union for being our major sponsor.”

The big winner at the derby was Timothy Herne, of Hogansburg, who took first place by catching a 13.59 pound fish along with $500 for the biggest fish of the hour and $3,590 the lunker pool – a nice payday of more than $4,000. Justin Green took second place with a catch weighing in at 11.05 pounds. Taking third place overall was Scott Delosh with a 9.29 pound catch.

One of the luckiest local winners was an eight-year-old boy, Abraham Defayette, from Piercefield who took home one of the two all-terrain-vehicles – the other went to a man from Troy.

“Thank you to John Cardinal for getting them and coming up to do the paper work for them,” McMahon said. “All in all it was a great day.”

Other prizes included the 50/50s, which each averaged $2,600 with a total payout of just more than $13,000, according to McMahon. He further broke down the prize payouts: $6,400 for first to third for eight hours, $400 for the “lucky fish,” $6,500 in door prizes and $10,000 for the ATVs.

Listed are the top winners for each hour of the derby reading from the results chart provided by the Rod and Gun Club. Each name is followed by the number in pounds of fish caught:

From 7-8 a.m., 1st Mike Horton 5.52, 2nd Tanner Francis 5.48 and 3rd Jeff Converse 4.22; 8-9 a.m., 1st Justin Green 11.05, 2nd Jeff Hart 4.75 and 3rd Jeff Converse 4.55; 9 to 10 a.m., 1st Josh Gravlin 6.62, 2nd Adam Baldwin 5.24 and 3rd Steve Snyder 4.64; 10 to 11 a.m., 1st Timothy Herne 13.59, 2nd Charles Phelix 5.75 and 3rd Ed Walker 5.45; 11 to noon, 1st Chad Poyer 5.35, 2nd Larry Jordan 5.24 and 3rd Nathan Monroe 4.67; noon to 1 p.m., 1st Eric Gibbs 2.99, 2nd Brenda Foster 2.39 and 3rd Shawn Sharpe 2.37; 1 to 2 p.m., 1st Scott Delosh 9.29, 2nd Leo Compo 8.16 and 3rd Andrew Ellsworth 2.78; 2 to 3 p.m., 1st Clint Parsons 4.50, 2nd Anthony Brownell 2.53 and 3rd Steven Fisher 2.48.