This year marks the 53rd Annual Pennsylvania State Championship Fishing Tournament in Tidioute, a "catch and release" tournament that is set for Sept. 27 through Sept. 30.
Events begin on Thursday at 6 p.m. when the carnival, concessions and grounds open. The carnival rides are being provided this year by Carnival Trowver of Gibsonton, Fla. They will open at the same time on Friday.
Saturday, Sept. 29, the scales, located on tournament grounds, open at 8 a.m. and will remain open until 8 p.m. Registrations will be taken at this time also if you have not already registered to fish.
Wade Adams with two nice small-mouth bass
The fishing is open to young and old alike, men and women, as long as you have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license.
A kids' fishing derby for ages 3 to 10 will frun from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Benner Park, which is located on Tidioute Creek Road at the end of Grant Street. Ann Jones and Dan McLaughlin are the co-chairpersons for this event The event is free to children. A parent or guardian must accompany the children at all times and the fishing is strictly for the children, adults should not be fishing for them. Adults may assist them with baiting.
The Kids Derby is sponsored by Tidioute Lions Club, which is providing the fish in the creek. There will be a raffle for a bicycle at this derby, with proceeds benefiting the derby.
The fish are brought in from the Trout Farm at Farnsworth and stocked in the creek to insure the children have a chance to catch some fish.
Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place as well as for the youngest angler.
An arts and crafts show will be held at the Tidioute Firehall beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday and will be open until 3 p.m. Pre-registration is needed to set up at the craft show and should be done through chairperson Marty Bennett at 484-7372.
Carnival grounds with rides and concessions will open Saturday at noon.
A large parade with the theme of "Old Time Rock N' Roll" will begin with the line-up and registration in front of the firehall on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Floats will be judged at noon and all persons and props for the float will need to be in place for the judging. The parade begins at 1 p.m.. All fire equipment, ambulances and rescue units should park in the fire department parking lot. Pre-registration can be done by calling John Brown at 814-730-5646 or Nathan Brown at 814-730-6283
All units will proceed though the business district and disperse near the Tidioute Bridge before Route 62.
All the parade results will be announced at approximately 2:30 p.m. at the grandstands.
Several food booths will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. including famous funnel cake booth and the Methodist Church tournament kitchen.
At 9 p.m. Saturday evening the junior champion angler , chosen from anglers aged 10 through 15, will be announced. The winner will receive a trophy and cash prizes. The competition is sponsored by Jim and Betty Marshall this year.
The fishing finalists will be announced at 8 p.m. Saturday and they will be assigned a referee to fish with on Sunday.
Door prize drawing will begin at 8 p.m. at the main grandstand area.
General rules and regulations are as follows:
The chairman and committee shall be the sole interpreters of the rules.
Their decision shall be final. The rules shall remain unchanged during
the tournament hours. P.S.C.F.T. reserves the right to revise these
rules from year to year.
All fish must be taken from the Allegheny Reservoir (PA waters), Allegheny River (Kinzua Dam to Hunter Station) Tionesta Lake and Creek from the Tionesta Dam to Kelletville Bridge, Brokenstraw Creek, Conewango Creek (PA waters) beginning at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 29 until 8 p.m. Sept. 29. Weigh-in closes at 8 p.m. with no exceptions.
Catch and release rules will be followed, and anglers must make every attempt to keep their fish alive. Fish must be brought to the outside weigh station in water-filled containers. Fish in dry bags or carried by hand will not be accepted.
Fish can be brought into the weigh station between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Total weight per category will qualify the contestant for Sunday's contest. There will be a 4-ounce penalty for each dead fish. Qualifying will be in a single category only; only one weigh-in per day.
A registration and waiver/liability form is required before any fish will be weighed in. Pre-registration would be appreciated. Registration can be done at the weigh station Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on tournament grounds. All mailed registration forms must be post marked by Sept. 18.
A Pennsylvania fishing license is required for all contestants 16 years of age and older. Ages 9 through 15 years of age are eligible for the Junior Champion Angler trophy and prizes. The trophy for the junior angler is provided by the George Jones Memorial Walleye Tournament Committee. The Junior Champion angler will be crowned on Saturday evening at 9 p.m.
Sunday's Contest will begin at 5 a.m. and run till 2 p.m. All anglers must in to the weight station by 3 p.m. to qualify. There will be 6-ounce penalty for each dead fish.
Each qualifier will fish with a referee on Sunday.
Persons can be disqualified if any fish are determined by the committee not to have been caught during the tournament hours, any fish not brought to weigh station in a water filled container, or the contestant has not otherwise made a reasonable effort to keep their fish alive. Any person determined by the Fishing Regulations Chairman to be intoxicated and/or disruptive to tournament procedures or any person violating tournament rules.
Cash prizes and bonus prizes, as well as trophies for those qualifying for Sunday's fishing, include: first place will receive $25 and trophy for the most total weight per category, second place will be $15 and trophy, third place will be $10 and a trophy. The person catching the largest catfish will receive $10 cash.
A $50 US Savings Bond will be presented to the Junior Champion Angler at 9 p.m. Saturday.
A display of fireworks is planned for Saturday night at 9:45 p.m., sponsored by Tidioute Trading Post and Pequignot-Yeager Post 8803 VFW.
Game fish for this tournament include muskellunge that are 30 inches long, northern pike that are at least 24 inches long, walleye that are at least 15 inches long, smallmouth bass that are at least 12 inches and trout that are at least seven inches long to qualify.
Sunday's prizes and awards include: First place Champion Angler will be receive $1000 and a trophy; second place Angler will receive $250 and a trophy, and third place angler will receive $150 and a trophy.
Lunker awards will be presented to anglers in each of the categories.
The oldest angler to register fish will receive $100, which is donated by the residents of the Tidioute Towers. And the oldest woman angler to register fish will also receive $100.
Anglers may fish in the tournament by boat, canoe, or raft, by floating, trolling, drifting or still fishing. Shore fishing and wading are very popular, and the river is accessible at most points and can be fished from either shoreline. There are access areas to put in boats at many strategic locations along the river and the fishing is better than average at these points. In Tidioute there is a boat launch facility that is also convenient to those wishing to launch from there.
Pennsylvania State Championship fishing Tournament Grand Prize Drawings for 2012 include first place drawing of a 42 inch flat screen TV, second place drawing winner will receive one package of 60 $5 instant PA lottery tickets.
The drawings will be held on Sunday, September 30 at approximately 3:30 p.m. and winner need not be present. Tickets are a donation of $1 each.
Several local organizations will be holding their major drawings on Sunday during the 3:30 p.m. closing ceremonies.
Major cash sponsors for this tournament include: Tidioute Trading Post, King Building Supply of Tidioute, Warren General Hospital, Whirley Drink Works, Crescent Beer Dist Inc., Tidioute Oil Company, Limestone Township, Polly's ShurSave Market, VFW Pequignot/Yeager Post 8803, Tidioute Borough, Northwest Savings Bank, Seneca Home Health, and Down and Out Tree Service of Tidioute.