PLATTSBURGH — St. Albans, Vt. angler Phil Burnor shot to the top of the leader board with a record-breaking lake trout at the Essex weigh station on Friday morning and remained in first place throughout the three-day 27th-Annual Plattsburgh Rotary International Fishing Classic. Brunor reeled in a 16 lb. 9.5 oz. fish on Day 1 (Friday) of the competition and held on for first place in the lake trout division throughout the weekend.
Nine-year-old Alexander Mason of Peru held off a late rally from Walter Kendall of Hudson Falls on Sunday to remain the big winner in the salmon division. Mason’s 7 lb. 14.5 oz. salmon he reeled in early Saturday morning outlasted Kendall’s 7 lb. 9.5 oz. fish.
At the awards ceremony, Mason said this was his first time participating in the Rotary fishing classic. “It was a lot of fun, but tiring.” Mason had been up around 4 a.m. each morning to get out and fish. He plans to purchase some new lures with some of his winnings.
Doug Kipping of Paul Smiths held on for first place in the walleye division with his 8 lb. 13.5 oz. fish he caught early Saturday morning, and Ben Boileau of Burlington won the $250 cash prize for the Three Fish Combination Competition in the tournament.
In the team competition, Burnor’s lake trout also pushed Team Thorne to first place in the team competition with 963 points ahead of second-place team Fishheads (817 points) and third-place Arnolds (802 points). In addition to Burnor, the other members of Team Thorne were Robert Thorne of Milton, Vt., Chuck Thorne of Manheim, Pa., and Adam Burnor of Sheldon, Vt.
Kipping said, “We had a real good time. The weather was nice, but the fishing was a little slow. We got lucky with a walleye and lake trout.”
This year the tournament was chaired by Rotarians Kyle Brister and Doug Chaves. Brister said the Rotary Club was very pleased with the number of people participating in the fishing classic. “This year, nearly 500 anglers turned out for a fantastic weekend on the lake. We were very fortunate to have nice weather during the days of the tournament and there was great enthusiasm from the anglers and Rotarians that made this happen. We appreciate the friends and families who annually participate in the Rotary Fishing Classic and look forward to another tremendous tournament next year.”
This year 488 anglers from 10 states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, Florida, and Colorado) and the Province of Quebec participated in the three-day tournament. The total payout for the Rotary club’s tournament was $11,716. First place in the individual competition netted each division winner $1,540 while the first place team earned $1,481.