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Out & About: Ice Fishing Tourney


Ice Fishing Tournament Hits Bomoseen

The Champlain Valley Hardwater Tournament Series will come to Lake Bomoseen ice for the final points series event of the year March 4 followed by the tournament championship March 5.

The winner of the event will capture the final event title of the tournament trail, but the big event comes March 5 when the championship is held and will determine the team of the year honors.

The tournament trail is the creation of Benson fishing guide James Vladyka, who has turned the event into a popular and growing ice-fishing tournament.

The tournament series started in Hoyts Cove on the Connecticut River in early January, and anglers have fished Larrabee’s Point on Lake Champlain and Lake Carmi prior to the final points tournament on Lake Bomoseen.

Anglers from two countries and seven or eight states are fishing the event this year.

Anglers can fish as an individual or as part of a two-person team in the tournament, splitting the winnings if fishing as a team.

Anglers weight their six best fish from among crappie, sunfish and perch and all fish must be alive to count toward your weight.

“As important as it is for these guys to catch these fish during the course of the day,  it’s that important for them to keep them alive,” Vladyka said. “The fish have to be alive or we don’t count them at the weigh-in.”

Winners posting the three heaviest bag limits win cash and trophies, with standings contributing to season-long points standings that will result in a tournament trail champion.

Every angler wins a door prize thanks to a large contingent of sponsors who donate prizes including some high-end gear.

One angler took home $600 Lowrance fish finder as a door prize at a tournament earlier this year. There have been heaters, fish finders, glow lights and other prizes won so far this year.

Through the first two tournaments anglers had taken home 170 prizes, Vladyka said.

“Some folks come in and say, ‘we didn’t do very well in the tournament  but we just got a $200 prize,’” Vladyka said. “They’re pretty happy with that and it’s something we’re going to always try to continue to do. Even with our growth.”

Vladyka said the tournament has local sponsors helping provide the prizes and backing the tournament including Tom’s Bait & Tackle of Castleton, Rack ‘N Reel of New Haven, and of Lake George, New York. The tournament is also backed by big, national sponsors.

Anglers also like the way the tournaments are run, with some decisions decided on by participants along with regular tournament rules.

Anglers can simply show up and enter the tournament March 4.

Arrive early, as fishing starts at 6 a.m. and lines have to be out of the water by 2 p.m. for weigh-in.

You can find more about the Champlain Valley Hardwater Tournament Series on Facebook. There is also a discussion board for more information at:


Remington 700 Triggers

A reader alerted me to a story on 60 Minutes recently about the danger of faulty Remington 700 triggers.

The news piece discussed the dangers of the triggers on some 700s that allegedly allow the guns to fire without the trigger being touched.

Remington has issued a recall for certain models with a particular trigger manufactured from 2006 to 2014.

At least two deaths have been attributed to the triggers, although the facts are disputed to some degree over how much blame should be placed on the trigger.

According to, there have been “thousands of complaints and at least 150 lawsuits,” related to the trigger issue.

I’m sure your political stance will lead you to believe whether this was good journalism or left-winged biased reporting.

Remington certainly did not think the piece was fair.

In a statement, Remington said, “60 Minutes omitted and misrepresented key facts which would have allowed the viewer to have an accurate and complete understanding.”

You can read the recall notice at to determine if your rifle is part of the recall.

It’s critical to remember the gun safety rule I believe to be the most important rule. Never, ever point a gun at anything you don’t intend to kill. It doesn’t matter if the gun is empty or loaded, if the safety is on, etc. Don’t ever let that muzzle point in an unsafe direction.

There is no such thing as a firearm accident.

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