By Rob Potter
WHITE LAKE February 27, 2007 Nearly 400 anglers battled the bone-chilling temperatures and blustery winds on Sunday to take part in the Sullivan County Conservation Club’s 22nd annual King of the Ice contest on White Lake.
A total of 396 anglers competed in the ice fishing event, which was a slight increase from the 2006 contest. Last February, 365 men, women and children tested their ice fishing skills at the competition.
After nine hours of fishing, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Peter Lotrean of Forest Hills, Queens was named the 2007 King of the Ice. Between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., Lotrean caught a pickerel by using a medium-sized minnow as bait.
The pickerel was 22 inches long and weighed 55 ounces for a total score of 77.
Lotrean received a large trophy and a $500 check for his victory.
Lotrean said this was the second time he has participated in the King of the Ice contest. The first time was in 2005.
“I didn’t catch anything then,” he said.
That was not the case on Sunday, as his pickerel captured the top prize. Lotrean’s fish edged out a pickerel caught by Wayne Quick by a half a point. Quick’s pickerel was 22 1/2 inches long and weighed 54 oz., which totaled 76 1/2.
“I caught it in about 10 to 12 feet of water,” Lotrean said of his winning fish. “But the bait was only a foot or two below the ice when I got the pickerel.”
Even after snagging his pickerel, Lotrean kept fishing the rest of the day to see what else he could reel in.
Of course, he was very happy to win the title of 2007 King of the Ice.
“It feels really good,” Lotrean commented.
He then thanked a group of good friends who fished with him. That group of friends included: Eles Cekovic, Dana Clemente, Sandra Mladenov, Zoran Mladenov and John Mohan.
Several other anglers won trophies and money in other categories. They were as follows:
First place: Wayne Quick, 22 1/2 inches long, and a weight of 54 oz. for a total of 76 1/2.
Second place: Rich Lynch, 24 3/4 inches, 50 oz. 74 3/4.
Third place: Mo Langer, 22 inches, 48 oz. 70.
First place: John Berger, 17 inches, 23 oz. 40.
Second place: Jeff Guyliano, 14 inches, 18 oz. 32.
Third place: Rich Parks Sr., 13 1/2 inches, 17 oz. 30 1/2.
First place: Fred Wilson, 15 1/2 inches, 34 oz. 49 1/2.
Second place Wayne McCutchen, 12 5/8 inches, 27 oz. 39 5/8.
Third place: Fred Wilson, 13 5/8 inches, 23 oz. 36 5/8.
Sunfish/Blue Gills (kids only)
First place: Jesse Morse, 8 3/8 inches, 7 oz. 15 3/8
Second place: Travis Dise 8 1/8 inches, 7 oz. 15 1/8
Third place Kenny Cutler Jr., 7 7/8 inches, 7 oz. 14 7/8.
In addition, a few raffles were held at the event.
George Mydosh won $225 in the 50/50 drawing.
In a separate raffle, Joe Messina won a power auger, Gary Miller won five tip-ups and Brian Dee won a hand auger.
The major sponsor for the event was Sports Nuts in Rock Hill.
“There are other sponsors, but Sports Nuts is the main sponsor,” Sullivan County Conservation Club President Aaron Finley said. “They are a big help. They did a lot of the preregistration for us this year.”
Finley and his fellow Sullivan County Conservation Club members were pleased with the large turnout of anglers and overall success of the event.
“It’s been a pretty good day,” said Vinnie LoCascio, a conservation club member who served as the official weighmaster for the contest.
“It was a good day,” Finley commented. “I’m happy. The money we raise from this event helps us with our conservation and education programs.”