Tioga team wins inaugural panfish tournament

TIOGA – A local team consisting of a father and son, Dave Heck and Dave Heck Jr., of Tioga, took home the win for the kick-off tournament of the Northeast Panfish League, which was held June 2 at Hammond Lake.

Second place was claimed by George and Bob Hazard, of Mifflintown; and third place by Tim Tomcho and Sue Quail, of Muncy Valley. Tomcho-Quail also won the lunker pool.

Twelve teams, consisting of 23 anglers, participated in the tournament. One team was just one person.

Spectators watched the weigh-in with interest, and one man made a deposit to participate in next month’s tournament.

The weather was not as ideal as organizers had hoped.

“We had a few heavy downpours with high winds come through a few times, but we managed to stay on the water without lightning being present,” said organizer Greg Martin.

Six to eight teams failed to show up, due to the poor forecast.

But, anticipation is building for the next tournament, Martin said. It will be held July 7 at Walker Lake in?Snyder County.

“We picked up a major sponsor, PK Lure Co., and they developed a new prototype panfish lure and are trying to get those in my hands to give out to our participants for the next event,” Martin said. “We will be the very first public fishermen and women to use these and then they want to do a national press release in big-name magazines such as In-Fisherman and others, as well as website forums they sponsor.”

For further updates, visit www.nepanfish.com or the series’ FaceBook page.

“So many positive things have happened with NEPL as of late,”?Miller said. “I have no idea what could be in store for us in the future, but it sure is getting exciting for many of us here.”