Move over ice fishermen, the spring and summer sportsmen—and women—are gearing up for a new season of competition catches. The area's most talented fishermen gathered on Saturday March 5 to celebrate the most outstanding and unbelievable catches of 2010. The Windless restaurant hosted the annual Leo August Memorial Breakfast acknowledging the Knee Deep Club's members and the year's best fishermen.
The Leo August Award was rewarded to Don Rolfs who placed first with a 17 lb 11 oz channel catfish, Wayne Bryant in second with a 5 lbs 3 oz Pickerel, and Jim Archambault placing third with a 16 lb channel catfish.
Each of the three men was honored with a plaque as well as a check—first place received $500, second place $200, and third $100 for their hard work, which (literally) paid off.
The breakfast itself is held in honor of Leo August, who was a member of the club for more than 40 years and served as a trustee and president from 1957 through 1960. Beginning in 1998, the club carried out August’s wish to honor the three Knee Deep Club members who had the most outstanding catches of the year, something that has continued annually ever since.
The club also awards a young angler with the William J Clark Award—this particular award focuses on the youth of the Knee Deep Club and their stupendous catches of the year. Both Daniel McCarthy IV, with a 4lb 11 oz Pickerel, and Tommy Fernandez, with a 3 lb 15 oz white catfish, won the William J Clark Award. They were also honored with plaques.
The event ended with guest speaker Craig Lemon, superintendent of Hackettstown Hatchery, sharing his insight on his time spent at the hatchery over the past few years.
"The breakfast was a success, everyone who was expected was there. The club members are awaiting the open water fishing season. We have fishing contests scheduled for every month April thru October," said Lou Marcucci, event coordinator. "This Friday, March 11 is our first membership meeting of the year at the Hopatcong Civic Center. The public is welcome to attend. It's our awards night for the junior and senior members."
More about the club can be found at www.kneedeepclub.org.
Leo August Awards 1st Place...Don Rolfs....Channel Catfish....17lb 11oz...$500 2nd Place...Wayne Bryant....Chain Pickerel....5lb 3oz....$200 3rd Place...Jim Archambault....Channel Catfish....16lb...$100 William G. Clark Award Daniel L. Mcarthy IV...Chain Pickerel...4lb 11oz...$100 Tommy Fernandez...White Catfish...3lb 15oz...$100