CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - On a Saturday in July in Clayton, boats are out and about on the St. Lawrence River like they normally are.
However, next Thursday they will be joined by anglers who began to arrive Saturday for the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite Series.
2020 Outdoors Bassmaster Champion Hank Cherry says they are ready to fish while being safe at the same time.
“This is a great opportunity for us to compete and we are raising the bar with the safety precautions coming here to New York. Just making sure we are going through the steps and B.A.S.S. is taking the steps to make sure we are doing this properly and right,” said Cherry.
All anglers who arrived Saturday were mandated to stop at the Clayton Fire Hall to get a on the spot COVID-19 test before entering the village.
Some local vendors and vacationers reacted to hearing about their arrival.
“It still does bring a little fear I would say to people, and I think people should be afraid. But they should be careful if their going to do anything,” said Evan Thompson, hot dog vendor at Rak’s Department Store.
“If everyone follows them, hopefully everyone will be safe, and you know, keep social distancing and be out on the water and we will watch them from the shore,” said Stacey and Joel Cuminale, visiting from Wellesley Island.
Anglers Randy Pierson and Cody Holland both tested negative and have been preparing for the event for over a month.
Pearson and Holland have been quarantining in New York since mid-June. They both want the public to know they are taking every precaution they can to keep everyone safe.
“The thing that community needs to know is as fisherman, I mean, everyone one of these guys is taking the precautions. I mean this is their career, this is their living. The last thing we want to do is bring it into the community and I think at this point, everybody’s going to be super cautious about that!” said Pierson and Holland.
All 89 fisherman who have arrived in Clayton so far have tested negative and they will all be quarantining until the event starts next week.