32ND ANNUAL UPPER PINE CREEK TROUT TOURNAMENT IS MAY 20 & 21
REGISTER ONLINE BEGINNING THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 17; ENTRY FEE IS $25 THROUGH MONDAY, MAY 1
Successful anglers who catch tagged fish during the 32nd Annual Upper Pine Creek Trout Tournament can win up to $14,000 in cash, merchandise and gift cards with each prize valued at $50 or more.
The top prize is $1,000 in cash. There will also be six $500 cash prizes.
The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon Snowmobile Club tournament will be on Saturday, May 20 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 21 from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. along a 13-mile stretch of Pine Creek between the Ansonia Bridge on Colton Road in Shippen Township and the Mill Street Bridge in Galeton Borough. All 250 of the trout that are float stocked in that section are tagged.
The entry fee for adults is $25 through Monday, May 1 and $30 beginning Tuesday, May 2. The entry fee for youth under 16 is $15 now until the tournament.
Download an online registration form beginning this Friday, March 17 by visiting http:// www.pagrandcanyonsnowmobileclub.com. Printed registration forms to fill out and mail in will soon be available at area businesses in Tioga and Potter counties.
Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, the opening day of the 2023 statewide trout season, people can register in-person for the tournament and pick up bags, badges and maps at the snowmobile clubhouse at 4814 Route 6, 12 miles west of Wellsboro.
The tent will be set up for in-person registration on Friday, May 19, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as for registration and check-in during tournament hours on Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21.
What an angler wins is based on the luck of the draw due to a lottery-type system implemented in 2015. The angler has to bring his or her tagged fish in “live condition” to the tent. There, the angler will randomly draw a numbered Ping-Pong ball for each tagged fish he or she catches. The number on the ball is then matched to the corresponding number on the big prize board on the club’s front porch to determine what the prize is. That gives everyone a chance to win the $1,000 cash prize rather than the angler who happens to catch the “right fish” as was done in 2014 and prior years.
Youngsters 12 and under can participate in the free “Start a Kid Fishing Program” whether they do or do not register to fish in the tournament. With help from Smitty’s Sports & Gun Works in Gaines, the Tackle Shack in Wellsboro, Seneca Resources in Wellsboro and club members, young anglers who are on-site will receive fishing rod combos, rods, reels and other merchandise.
For the first time in its history, the tournament was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Changes made in 2021 to ensure anglers safety were continued in 2022 and will be again this year. They include registering and checking in at the large tent that will be set up outdoors in front of the clubhouse; holding all Ping Pong ball prize drawings outdoors in the tent and, as always removal of tags from the fish outdoors at the bottom of the clubhouse steps.
Those competing in the tournament must have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license, must not trespass on private property or litter and must adhere to CDC and Pennsylvania COVID-19 guidelines and requirements.
All fish must be legally caught. Those fishing before or after the stated times on May 20 and 21 will be disqualified. No fish will be accepted at the tent in front of the snowmobile clubhouse one hour after the cut-off time.
Funding for the tournament comes from donations made by local and out-of-the-area businesses and individuals. These donations include cash, merchandise, gift certificates and promotional items.
Money raised through the tournament is used to help cover the club’s operating costs as well as monetary donations to food banks at Wellsboro, Galeton and Osceola and other local organizations, and, in partnership with Seneca Resources, to award three $1,000 college scholarships to local high school graduating seniors.
For information, call 1-717-881-9358 or the club at 570-724-2888 or visit the club’s website at www.pagrandcanyonsnowmobileclub.com or its Facebook page.