An amateur might have had an edge over a pro Friday in one of two 3Rivers Challenge pro-am fishing tournaments sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition and held on Pittsburgh's three rivers.
The walleye tournament was won by John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, fishing with walleye pro Jason Przekurat of Wisconsin. The team turned in two walleyes and a sauger weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces, including a 24-inch lunker.
"It was tough fishing," said Arway, a fisheries biologist originally from North Huntingdon.
"The [recent] storm clouded the rivers."
Pro angler Scott Geitgey of Canton, Ohio, and Kathryn Fredrickson, senior vice-president of Consol Energy, placed second in the walleye event with five fish totalling7-4. Dan Gies of Huron, Ohio, and Jim Flume of Root Sports finished third with three walleyes weighing 4 pounds.
In the bass contest, Dan Welch of New Martinsville, W.Va., fishing with amateur Chris Abruzzo, deputy chief of staff for Gov. Tom Corbett, bagged a five-fish limit weighing 6-7.
"There's more grass in the water than we've had in the last 20 years," Welch said. "The fish like it there. We caught ours on wood in shallow flats in all three rivers. I caught mine on top-water baits."
Placing second in the bass event, with four fish weighing4-13, was pro Terry Bolton, 17, of Paducah, Ky., fishing with Steve Galaski of NAPA Auto Parts. Vic Vatalaro of Kent, Ohio, fishing with Marcellus Shale Coalition president Kathryn Klaber, edged in at third with a five-bass limit weighing 4-12.
Anglers had less than five hours to fish within 3 miles of the Point. Winning teams were given trophies. No cash or FLW tournament points were awarded. The 3Rivers Challenge will be televised nationally Oct. 28 on the NBC Sports Network.
Spread across the North Shore Riverwalk near PNC Park, the 3Rivers Challenge mixed tournament revelry, a festival atmosphere and conservation education. The Yough Walleye Association, Family Tyes, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, energy corporations and other groups staffed information booths.
Jack Ventresca, 6, of Dormont landed his first fish at a catch-and-release trout tank sponsored by Zebco and FLW.
The 3Rivers Challenge festival begins at 10 a.m. today with a Fish and Boat-sponsored family fishing workshop with more than 800 registered participants. Weigh-ins for the professional bass and walleye tournaments begin at 6 p.m.
John Hayes: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1991.