By CAROLINE MURRAY
Recorder News Staff
The first fall fishing contest of the season is set to drop a line Saturday from sunrise to 4 p.m. on the Great Sacandaga Lake.
The Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation is hosting the event, and president Randy Gardinier said fishermen and women have the opportunity to win $5,600 -- the largest purse for any of the contests this year.
The competition begins at 6 a.m., and the hosts will begin measuring fish around noon.
"This time of year, once the water cools down again, the fish will start to feed more," Gardinier said. "Fall fishing is pretty good."
The entry fee is $30 and people who register early can earn a federation membership for 2015.
Gardinier said there is a cash payout for the following fish: bass, walleye, northern pike and brown or rainbow trout.
For each category, anglers have the opportunity to win either first, second, third or fourth place. First-place winners receive $100, and fourth-place winners take home $50.
Additionally, competitors have the opportunity to fish for 10 trout tagged with a green tag, and each fish is worth $300.
The event's sponsors -- Sport Island Pub in Northville, Lanzi's on the Lake in Mayfield, Kenney's Marine in Gloversville, Frank and Sons Body Works in Ballston Spa, St. Charles and St. Frances Motels in Saratoga, and Fuller's Corner Store in Edinburg -- threw in an additional $50 payout on the day's catch.
The measuring station is at Sport Island Pub this year.
Gardinier said those early birds hoping to get a head start on the competition can call 227-8298 throughout the day to get updates on the measured catch.
This way, he said, if the participants are on the other end of the lake, they do not have to cruises over to the pub if their fish doesn't measure up.
"They can release the fish without putting it in a pail or live well, without running back to Sport Island if they know it is not in the running," he said.
Gardinier said additional information on how to sign up can be found on the federation's website at www.gslff.com.