Niagara Gazette — Nearly 300 media people from around the country that focus on the outdoors gathered in Lake Placid September 13-16 to convene for the 86th Annual conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. In addition, it was a joint conference of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association as they broke bread, shared workshops/craft improvement session and so much more. This was a good thing in so many ways.
More importantly from a tourism standpoint, many of these writers came into the Empire State for pre- and post-conference offerings that allowed them to sample the state’s tremendous outdoor resources. A handful of writers took advantage of some of the trips offered in Niagara USA and they were impressed to say the least.
Dennis Scharadin of Pennsylvania has been a regular visitor for many years but he’s not had an opportunity to fish in Lake Ontario before. This time around he was able to catch brown trout, steelhead, Chinook salmon and lake trout. As the new Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association, he was quick to comment that he would be setting up a safari for a dozen of his writers in the very near future.
Scott Pauley of Missouri is a bass fisherman at heart. Within an hour of fishing Devil’s Hole in the Lower Niagara River, he had collected his first salmon – a 25-pounder. Fishing alongside writer Bud Cole of Pennsylvania, they managed to catch seven kings for the morning – pretty impressive.
The next day it was smallmouth bass fishing on the Niagara Bar and it was one of those magical days where everything seemed to go right. The consistently caught fish in the 3-4 pound range and managed to hook a couple of fish in the 5-6 pound class, only to lose the big guys next to the boat. It was some of the best smallmouth bass fishing that the two have ever experienced. That’s what it’s all about. As I’ve said before and I’m sure I will say again, the fish really do make us look good. It helps that we also have a great fleet of qualified charter captains to tap into.