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Clayton shops look forward to reeling in Bassmaster business

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 4:53 PM EDT
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CLAYTON, New York (WWNY) - For the sixth year in a row, the St. Lawrence River will be home to the Bassmaster Elite Tournament. But it won’t be held in Waddington; it will return to Clayton. Local shops are ready to reel in the business.

While anglers from all over the world will come to catch fish, local stores will reel in customers.

“We’re excited to bring in people from different areas. Hopefully their families will come,” said Colleen Lawlee, Rak’s Department Store.

Last year when Clayton hosted the tournament, COVID regulations kept the event quiet, meaning anglers were without their friends and families.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tricia Bannister says Clayton’s location gives anglers the option of fishing the river and Lake Ontario, and she feels other river communities will benefit too.

“Cape (Vincent), Alex Bay, all the way through Ogdensburg, Waddington, right up along the St. Lawrence River,” she said.

Prior to the switch, Waddington had held the event on and off since 2013. Town Supervisor Alex Hammond says he’s thrilled to see the event stay in the north country.

“What I’m surprised and happy about is that it’s staying on the St. Lawrence River, because really, what we’re doing, we’re getting one more tournament,” he said.

One more tournament, because Waddington is set to host more fishing events in the future.

“We are not at a loss for Bass tournaments here in Waddington. The river is what’s important and the river is what’s getting these tournaments,” said Hammond.

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