Story by Jon Dinan
WHITE LAKE February 19, 2013 During Sunday’s 28th annual “King of the Ice” fishing competition held on White Lake, anglers battled each other along with whipping winds exceeding 40 mph that ripped across the lake’s frozen surface.
Last year’s contest was canceled due to lack of ice, and this year it had fewer contestants than anticipated because of the wind and low temperatures.
“While the winter did cooperate by providing plenty of ice this year, it also saw fit to make it a bitter and windy day - not the greatest weather for standing outside on a frozen lake!,” said Jay Mendels, secretary of the Sullivan County Conservation Club, which sponsors the event.
“With approximately 300 participants, attendance was down from what we typically expect, but nevertheless, being able to hold this wonderful sporting event for the young and not-so-young makes it a worthwhile venture for us.”
After enduring the blistering cold for up to ten hours (from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.), fisherman gathered at the official measuring station where they waited for the contest results to be revealed.
Prize-winning categories included trout, pickerel, perch, crappies and walleye. Youth trophies were also awarded to kids in each category.
After some megaphone tinkering, Conservation Club president John Van Etten addressed the crowd of about a hundred and thanked everyone for their perseverance through the harsh conditions.
He then began announcing the day’s winners. This year’s King of the Ice honors went to Paul Faliski of Florida, NY, who landed a five-pound, 14-ounce walleye that measured 23 3⁄4 inches.
“Git-r-done,” Faliski exclaimed as he was presented with a royal-cape and crown.
He then went up to the Conservation Club trailer to claim his $500 cash prize.
First-place crappie winner, Fred Wilson, generously donated his $150 prize money back to the club to contribute to their fish stocking efforts at White Lake later this year.
In the youth division, Jacob Puzio had another impressive contest showing, landing the biggest pickerel and second biggest crappie. In 2011, the talented youngster swept the field catching the biggest crappie, pickerel, and perch.
“Being one of our club’s most important fundraisers, proceeds from this event will help us continue our ongoing conservation efforts, along with the various youth programs and DEC hunter safety and education programs that our club is known for,” said Mendels.
Event sponsors included Community Driver Safety Programs, Danny’s Village Inn, Guy R. Jollie CPA PC, Ken’s Gun Clinic, Knights of Columbus, Andrew J. McLeod Licensed Insurance Agent, Perry E. Meltzer, Attorney at Law, Mirabito Energy Products, Rock Hill Trading Post, Steve’s Music Center, Sudsy Paws Pet Services, Tom’s Bait Shop and the Sullivan County Conservation Club.
1st: F. Wilson, 1 15/16 lbs., 14.5 in.
2nd: R. Caruso, 1.5 lbs, 14 in.
3rd: C. Edwards, 1 1/8 lbs., 12.25 in.
1st: T. Dogrote, 1 1/8 oz., 13 inches
2nd: W. Hall, 15 oz., 12.25 in.
3rd: S. Ribustello, 7/8 lbs., 12 1/4 in.
1st: P. Faliski, 5 7/8 lbs., 23 3/8 in.
2nd: B. Festa, 5.25 lbs., 23 1/4 in.
3rd: M. Kerstner, 2 9 /16 oz., 18 1/6 in.
1st: R. Csapo, 3 3/8 lbs., 22 1/4 in.
2nd: C. Feldner, 3 1/4 lbs., 23 1/4 in.
3rd: P Helfrich 2 3/8 lbs., 22 in.