Happy angler: Boy, 12, wins $15,000 grand prize in Spring LOC Derby on Lake Ontario – newyorkupstate.com

happy-angler:-boy,-12,-wins-$15,000-grand-prize-in-spring-loc-derby-on-lake-ontario-–-newyorkupstate.com

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SODUS POINT -- A 12-year-old Pittsford, N.Y. boy was the top angler in the Spring LOC Derby on Lake Ontario that finished Sunday, taking home the grand prize of $15,000 for a fish that took him about a half hour to reel in.Finnan Murphy caught a 26-pound, 10-ounce Chinook salmon the last day of the derby while fishing with Capt. Kip Mammano of Rochester Sport Fishing near Wilson at the lake’s western end. Also aboard were the boy’s father, Shane Murphy and two neighborhood friends and their fathers.“I thought I’d lost the fish two times when it stopped fighting. And then it would take off again,” Finnan said in a phone interview Monday evening. “I’d reel and it just kept pulling line out. When I got it close to the boat, it dove and was pulling even more.“When it was netted and on the boat, the captain said it might be a $15,000 fish. My jaw just dropped.”The boy’s salmon took the derby’s lead for the biggest salmon away from Walter Zebker, 76, of Grand Island, who had caught a 25-pound, 12-ounce Chinook the day before.Walter Zebker, left, of Grand Island, N.Y., with his 25-pund, 12-ounce Chinook salmon that is being held by his fishing partner, Mike Mongan, also from Grand Island.The Spring LOC (Lake Ontario Counties) Derby, is one of three big fishing tournaments put on each year by Empire State Lake Ontario Promotions. It lasted from May 7-16 and ended at 1 p.m. Sunday. The awards ceremony, which featured $44,350 in cash prizes, was held at Captain Jacks in Sodus Point Sunday afternoon.The boy’s memorable catch took place during an annual father-son fishing trip. His mom, Amanda Murphy, said the three fathers and sons all live in the same neighborhood and have taking the trip together each year for about six years. Other aboard the boat included Jeff Liberman, and his Jacob, 17; Joel Benzel and his son, Josh, 17.Amanda Murphy said she got a call from her husband earlier in the morning, saying they hadn’t had caught a fish yet. A little later, he called again, saying he thought Finnan had landed the derby winner. She said during last year’s trip Finnan was the only one in the group that didn’t get a chance to grab a rod and reel in a fish so he was first in line this year.Mammano, who has been guiding on Lake Ontario for 20 years, said when he initially started out Sunday morning, the area they were fishing had a lot other boats nearby. He then moved away from the crowd, closer to shore. Finnan’s salmon was caught at about 10: 30 a.m. in about 80 feet of water, trolling a Warrior yellowtail Mag spoon about 45 feet down from the surface.Mammano said it took the boy about a half hour to bring the fish to the boat. He noted every time Finnan would gain on the fish reeling it in, the line would go “screaming out.” The fish had runs of about 600, 400 and 300 yards. He said he had to put the boat in autopilot and circled the fish, “to keep the pressure off it so it didn’t go crazy.”Mammano said when the fish was finally netted and brought on the boat he knew it was a winner. He shook the boy’s hand.“You could hear it in his voice. He didn’t know what to think. He was intoxicated with energy and disbelief,” he said.Capt. Kip Mammano, of Rochester Sport Fishing, right, holds up Finnan Murphy's grand prize-winning Chinook salmon that was the largest fish caught in the 2021 Spring LOC Derby on Lake Ontario.David Chilson, the derby’s director, said he’s been holding a Spring LOC Derby on the lake since 1989. He also runs the Summer and Fall LOC derbies. He said this is the first time an angler in the youth category (ages 10-15) had won the Spring Derby.Along with a grand prize for the biggest fish, the Spring LOC Derby features four divisions with cash awards: salmon, brown trout, lake trout and walleye. Anglers get money for the top 16 fish (weight-wise) in each division. See the LOC website for the complete award schedule and winners.During the spring derby, the $15,000 grand prize winner goes to the biggest salmon caught. The second largest salmon caught wins the salmon division and receives a $2,000 check. Zebker took home that check, along with an additional $1,000 for the largest salmon caught by a Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association (LOTSA) member.Winners in the brown trout, lake trout and walleye divisions each took home checks of $1,000.Other prizes included $500 for the biggest salmon taken each day of the contest, and $200 each for the biggest brown trout, lake trout and walleye caught each day. The biggest fish caught in each category on the last day, though, doesn’t get this award.The winner of the Youth Division , which was Finnan Murphy, got a trophy.Scott Libihoul, of Clay, N.Y., holds up his 20 pound, 1 ounce brown trout that won the brown trout division in the 2021 Spring LOC Derby on Lake Ontario.Apart from young Murphy and Zebker, other division winners included: Brown trout: Scott Libihoul, of Clay, 20 pounds, 1 ounce.Lake trout: Mike Kinsey, of Lacona, 24 pounds, 12 ounces.Walleye: Mike Farmer, of Dexter. 12 pounds, 8 ounces.Asked about what he plans to do with the $15,000, Finnan said most of it will be put aside for college.He said he’s considering buying some “nice gifts’ for his parents and a toy Orbi Nerf gun because all of his friends have one.“And I may also get a new fishing pole,” he said.READ MORESafe Travels: What the first-time Upstate NY boater should know for a safe, enjoyable outingSafe Travels: Tips for the novice Upstate NY tent camperHudson River Striped Bass Bonanza: Anglers share photos of their eye-opening catchesSafe Travels: These 2 Upstate NY spots are best for viewing migrating raptors each springSafe Travels: 9 challenging hikes to enjoy the great outdoors this spring, summer10 things a beginner needs to know about fishing in Upstate New YorkFirst time visiting the Adirondacks? 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