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Bassmaster tournament lures Cuomo to promote north country fishing, tourism

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WADDINGTON — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo kicked off the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament here Thursday by touting tourism and fisheries throughout the state.

Before introducing Mr. Cuomo, tournament director Chris Bowes praised the location.

“It’s one of the best fisheries in the nation,” he said, adding that Bassmaster magazine ranked the area number 13 on a list of the 100 best bass fisheries in the country last year.

In a brief speech, Mr. Cuomo congratulated local officials, the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and FishCap on “reeling in the big one” by hosting the national bass fishing tournament.

“This gives us a chance to show off a really beautiful part of the state and a great fishery,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Millions of people will see this site on television. It’s been an untold secret that we have kept quiet for too long.”

The Bassmaster Elite Series Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown has drawn 99 professional anglers from all corners of the globe to compete for a top prize of $100,000 and a chance to appear in the Bassmaster Classic, also known as the Super Bowl of bass fishing. It will be broadcast on ESPN 2 and the Outdoor Life Network.

Local officials estimate more than $1 million worth of tourism will be brought to the region as a result.

“With this attention, everyone in the state, including Waddington, will benefit from the influx of the people and the capital into our community,” Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said. “Tourism has a ripple effect. Through the purchases at our grocery store, the nights booked at our hotels, and the meals enjoyed at our wonderful restaurants here in our area, this will help create jobs and investments in the north country.”

Mr. Cuomo took the opportunity to announce that another Bassmaster Elite Series tournament will be held in the Finger Lakes next year.

Under a partnership with the Bass Angler Sportsman Society, that event will include the “Governor’s Challenge,” a fishing competition featuring Mr. Cuomo, other elected officials from the state, and some of the biggest names in professional fishing, to highlight and promote the state’s fisheries and tourism.

“A priority for me and the state team is getting the economy up and running,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Fishing is a $1.8 billion industry for upstate New York. We want to make this an ongoing tradition.”


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