The 2017 OHMC Summer Contest was held July 15th and 16th at Salt Fork Lake in Cambridge, Ohio. We had 33 anglers register and 30 fish reported being caught. Chad Harmon claimed First Place for the third year in a row. Fred Lederer earned Second Place and Stephanie Neville earned Third Place. Our winners will receive their trophies at the next annual banquet.
The campground filled in on a sweltering Friday evening just in time for a torrential downpour. Fortunately, the brief rain event was the only precipitation we would see this year. The weather was near perfect for the weekend with highs in the low 80’s and lows in the mid 60’s. Water temperatures ranged from 80 degrees to 85 degrees.
We started out Saturday morning with our traditional coffee and pancakes during registration. Soon the armada took to the water to test their skills. Early in the day, it was apparent that this was to be an event for the record books as the fish showed up in the nets early and often. Regular reports from various anglers of a successful release kept our spirits high as everyone knew the bite was on.
I personally witnessed several releases and every angler was fast and efficient to get the fish back in the water quickly. There was one floating fish that a member put in his cooler to be enjoyed as table fare. I admire this approach and feel that while we do our best, occasionally a fish dies. Much better to not waste the meat and my hat goes off to the member that tried to revive a fish that wasn’t his, but in that failed attempt recognized the opportunity to have a meal. That is the only fish that was seen floating during event hours and may not have been an outing anglers fish. There was an extraordinary number of non-members fishing all over the lake on Saturday. I’m very proud of our members for their skills in getting so many quick, successful releases in adverse conditions.
Saturday evening we all came in for a well-deserved break to enjoy another great Steak cookout. Thank you to Past-president Fred Lederer and Honorary Trustee Jerry Rice for once again doing a great job on cooking our steaks to perfection. Tim Smith once again treated us to fresh corn-on-the-cob and for that and all the other work he does, I sincerely thank him. Nearly all of our trustees showed up and each one jumped in to help where needed. We are genuinely fortunate to have such a fantastic group of dedicated individuals.
We drew our raffles at the conclusion of the dinner and saw the following results: Herb Stephens won our Rod-n-Reel; Bill Lambert won our 50/50; and Bill Lambert also won our 2017 Grand Prize. Thank you to everyone that purchased those tickets. This is our best fundraiser and allows us to function in a financially stable manner and generously donate significant dollars toward the Minnow Fund. In addition to the raffles, we drew door prizes and every person that signed-up received a free bait or another nice prize.
Sunday morning was a cloak of fog but that did not slow us down. We poured into the lake to get some more of the incredible fishing. Most of the anglers that entered, either caught or netted a fish. There were a few exceptions to that and I must confess that I was disappointed to keep my cold streak alive by seeing no slime on the deck of my boat. I did, however, have a great weekend with old friends and new friends as well. The camaraderie of our group is second to none and I am truly appreciative of every person that took the time to come out and enjoy a weekend with our club.
When the dust settled the following were all fish turned in for the event: Chad Harmon (Big Fish ($135)); Chad Harmon (47.00”, 36.00”, 49.25”, 44.50”, 34.50”, 36.00”) 91.25 points; Fred Lederer (46.00”, 38.00”, 35.50”, 44.00”) 59.50 points; Stephanie Neville (36.50”, 32.00”, 31.50”, 32.50”, 30.25”, 35.50”, 32.50”) 48.75 points; Jenna Lederer (43.00”, 39.00”) 30.00 points; Kevin Proffit (31.00”, 49.00”) 28.00 points; Phil Jarvis (33.50”, 37.00”) 18.50”; Rick Simpson (42.50”) 16.50 points; Tim Smith (41.75”) 15.75 points; Bill Lambert (41.00”) 15.00 points; Kate Patton (38.00”) 12.00 points; David Baio (35.00”) 9.00 points; Rich Welk (30.00”) 4.00 points; Jeff Ferjutz (30.00”) 4.00 points.