As has become our custom, the BDN began accepting entries into our popular “Win a Drift Boat Trip” contest at outdoor expos back in February, and as has become your custom, hundreds of interested anglers signed up to spend a day on the water.
Our marketing gurus here at 1 Merchants Plaza spiced up the trip this year, and began calling it “Float with Holyoke.” I figured that new labeling might reduce the number of entries, seeing as how I often point out how few fish I catch, but that wasn’t the case.
In addition to accepting mailed-in entries, and entries that were deposited into a box at the Cabin Fever Reliever in Brewer and the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show in Orono, we added an on-line component this year, and several prospective anglers participated via the internet.
Late last week, we drew the lucky name, and I’m happy to announce that this year’s lucky fisherman is John St. Onge of Cumberland.
St. Onge will join guide Dan Legere of Greenville’s Maine Guide Fly Shop on Father’s Day, June 19, for a daylong drift down the East Outlet of the Kennebec River. I’ll tag along to provide comic relief and ballast, as well as to take photos and take notes for a future column.
St. Onge said he’s an avid fly fisherman and has spent plenty of time on the East Outlet. In fact, he has even fished out of Legere’s boat in the past.
The day promises to be a great one, with fantastic food (see where my priorities lie?), super fishing, and the kind of camaraderie you only find when you’re sharing a boat with someone.
Thanks to all who took part in this year’s contest, and my apologies to the dozens of entrants I might have “guaranteed” a victory.
It’s hard to believe we began the contest so long ago. Mike Horvers was our first winner, back in 2003. Others followed: Jason McCubbin in 2004, Doug Saunders in 2005, Tom Nichols in 2006, James Rolph in 2007, Dick Fortier in 2008, Tiffany Shepard in 2010, Don Factor in 2011, Jasper Walsh in 2012, John Craig in 2013, Byron Hale in 2014 and Harvey Siebert in 2015. The particularly alert reader may notice that we didn’t take a trip in 2009. That’s true: We couldn’t find a date that was acceptable to the winner.
All of those trips were special, and have left me with lasting memories. I hope that’s the same for all of our past winners.