29th annual Golden Walleye Classic held at Shaw’s Point Resort, 65 teams participate

Willy Walisser, with fishing rod, and Niel Frank reel in a walleye, but it’s too small for their daily limit and they return it to Lesser Slave Lake. They like the competition and challenge of the Golden Walleye Classic.

Mac Olsen

Spotlight

The boats are unloaded in the harbour during the predawn hours, and there’s a chill in the air.

Then, with the trucks and trailers parked nearby, the fishing teams head out onto the lake.

Off Shaw’s Point Resort, with the waves small and negligible, the two-person teams circle or remain at station.

And … bang! The flare goes off, the engines roar to life, and the teams head out to the rising sun. They go to catch their walleye, hoping that they arrive at the perfect spot to acquire the maximum weight that will give them the top prize of $39,000.

This scenario is played out twice, the first time on Sept. 2 and again on Sept. 3. Sixty-five two-person teams participated in the 29th annual Golden Walleye Classic, hosted by Shaw’s Point Resort.

Two shotgun starts were held each day, the first at 7 a.m. and the second at 8 a.m. Check the Smoky River Express’ Facebook page for the shotgun starts on Sept. 3.

This fishing tournament can handle up to 100 teams, but the registrations have been down the last couple of years. Still, Ken Sperling, the chairperson of the Golden Walleye Classic Society, looked positively on this year’s tournament.

“Every tournament in Alberta has been down,” says Sperling.

“But this is the second tournament we’ve had (good weather) two days in a row. They’d rather have rain than wind.

“It’s a good tournament and everyone’s happy.”

Many volunteers helped with the event, including the weighing, cooking beef-on-a-bun for the fishermen, manning the silent auction booth and helping the fishermen to unload their boats into the harbour before the dawn.

The team of Mark Holzwarth and Trevor Moar have participated in this tournament seven times. They enjoy the camaraderie of the event and will be back next year.

The father-son team of Robert and Ben Bruens were here for the first time. They enjoyed it and will come again next year, if possible.

Kevin and Toni Nivins enjoyed the competition and like the challenge the tournament presents.

This is the third time for Willy Walisser and Niel Frank participating in the tournament. They commented that the payouts are good and it’s a well-run tournament.

There were payouts from first to 20th place for each day, as well as for the two-day total weights.

Lloyd Stevens of High Prairie and Ken Porisky of Slave Lake split the top prize of $39,000 for a two-day total of 27.60 pounds.

Look for a list of all the teams’ weight totals elsewhere in this week’s edition of Spotlight.

Ben Bruens was the youngest person to participate, 17, and he received a prize of $325.

Pete Pandachuk was the oldest person to participate, 69, and he also received a prize of $325.

The prize for the furthest travelled fisherman went to Jerry Nicholson. He came from Truro, Nova Scotia and received a $325 prize as well.

There was also a tournament within a tournament, and cash prizes were awarded for it as well.

Look for a series of videos of the cash payouts on the Smoky River Express’ Facebook page.

The Captain and Kids Tournament was held on Sept. 2, with 34 children participating.

Each child received a prize, as well as a hamburger and soft drink. They also go to paint and keep their own jigs.

A silent auction was also held, and one of the items was a chainsaw.

2017 Golden Walleye Classic Results

Following are the results of teams competing in the Golden Walleye Classic at Shaw’s Point Resort on Lesser Slave Lake Sept. 2-3. Only the results of teams compiling a score are published.

Place, Captain                          Day 1 Day 2 Total

1. Ken Porisky & Lloyd Stevens 12.60 15.00 27.60

2. Glen Mehlsen & Brent Mehlsen 13.20 12.70 25.90

3. Don Kapeluck & Ross Smith 13.10 12.75 25.85

4. Jeremy Manning & Dylan Filewich 11.95 13.65 25.60

5. Tim White & Greg Fisher 12.15 13.40 25.55

6. Marlin Hovrisko & Jeff Koch 12.90 12.15 25.05

7. Merv Edel & Ron Rule 13.05 11.65 24.70

8. Brett Larkin & Bonnie Larkin 11.80 12.60 24.40

9. Tim Marden & Jason Delaucier 11.60 12.55 24.15

10. Jerry Kruger & Mazin Sharkawi 12.05 11.90 23.95

11. David Shmyr and David Shmyr Jr. 12.75 11.10 23.85

12. Melvin Barr & Trevor Sparks 11.40 12.25 23.65

13. John Nicholson & Etta Nicholson 14.60 8.90 23.50

14. Doug Vreeling & Jerry Sminick 11.05 12.40 23.45

15. Scott Dahlgren & Craig Hutton 10.25 12.55 22.80

16. Kevin Shafer & Chris Kindraka 12.05 10.55 22.60

17. Brian Dobson & Dennis Blais 11.75 10.70 22.45

17. Troy Mindus & Dave Smith 11.70 10.75 22.45

19. Robert Bruens & Ben Bruens 12.10 9.90 22.00

19. George Hahn & Sean Hughes 12.35 9.65 22.00

19. Blaine Hanson & Jim Murray 9.40 12.60 22.00

22. Jerry Nicholson & Adam Nicholson 10.15 11.80 21.95

23. Wayne Schlaht & Ben Steele 8.15 13.65 21.70

24. Corey Karpiak & Rod Karpiak 11.05 10.40 21.45

25. Steve Kincaid & Luckie Bethel 8.95 11.75 20.70

26. Lawrence See & Christopher See 10.55 9.90 20.45

27. Doug Nicholson & Cyndy Bouchard 10.80 9.55 20.35

27. Jason Schaffrick & Lyle Schaffrick 11.80 8.55 20.35

29. Bill Gourlay & Adam Marshall 11.50 8.40 19.90

30. Trevor Moar & Mark Holzwarth 11.10 8.65 19.75

31. Paul Brassard & Bernie Brassard 9.10 10.60 19.70

31. Terry Lewis & Justin Lewis 8.15 11.55 19.70

33. Jeff Roth & Matthew Roth 13.00 6.65 19.65

34. Scott Boutcher & Cory Mack 9.55 9.55 19.10

35. Terry Mills & Todd Matola 12.80 6.25 19.05

36. Rick Barnes & Randy Robideau 10.55 8.35 18.90

36. Peter Caputo & James Lauman 10.50 8.40 18.90

38. Harold Brown & Karen Brown 13.05 5.20 18.25

38. Jessee Smears & Randy Lukan 5.70 12.55 18.25

40. Chris Strong & Brandon Moffatt 5.90 10.95 16.85

41. John Gursoy & [unknown] 8.35 8.25 16.60

42. Dan Dolinski & Randy Olson 13.70 2.45 16.15

43. Pete Pandachuck & D.Pandachuck 10.35 5.20 15.55

44. Steve Hannon & Sonny Fancie 10.25 5.00 15.25

45. Bradley Fletcher & Brady Fletcher 5.40 9.70 15.10

46. Fenton Burns & Brandon Mehlsen 5.65 8.70 14.35

47. Willy Walisser & Neil Frank 6.15 8.05 14.20

48. Barry Madden & Laine Wasylciw 2.40 11.05 13.45

49. Brad Ballek & Mackenzie Ballek 4.90 7.75 12.65

50. Rodney Petrician & Rick Myshniuk 9.50 2.90 12.40

51. Patrick Cote & Dan Davies 11.90 —— 11.90

52. Josephine Hamilton & W.Kobylanski 5.85 5.80 11.65

53. Ken Carpenter & Tracey Cain 6.10 5.40 11.50

54. Martin Langille & Lisa Lan 6.00 4.65 10.65

55. Gerry Benoit & Terrance Rupp 7.70 2.40 10.10

56. Dennis Beaulieu & Danny Scott 5.05 4.85 9.90

57. Kevin Nivins & Tone Nivins 5.30 3.05 8.35

58. Joe MacDougall & Todd Vekved 4.85 3.00 7.85

59. Derek Hickey & Michael Carlisle 5.40 2.35 7.75

60. Rod Fibke & Mark Fielwich 6.35 —— 6.35

61. Dennis Knapp & Jay Davie —— 5.30 5.30

62. Joe Glass & Harlan Wakaluk 2.40 2.25 4.65

63. Keith Price & George Price —— 2.70 2.70

Above, Toni Nivins and Kevin Nivins enjoy the competition and enjoy the challenge of the Golden Walleye Classic.
Teams of the 7 a.m. shotgun start wait offshore to get their walleye weighed by the 4 p.m. deadline. The teams for the 8 a.m. shotgun had to get their walleye weighed by the 5 p.m. deadline.
A team arrives to weigh their two walleye. But first, volunteers have to check the health of the fish in the live wells, then a team member can take them in.
Above, on Sept. 3, teams wait off Shaw’s Point Resort for the 7 a.m. shotgun, to race to their fishing spots.
Above, a team unloads their boat for the 7 a.m. shotgun start on Sept. 3. Volunteer firefighters from High Prairie supervised the unloading of all boats.
Pictured above are most of the payout winners of the tournament. There were payouts for first to 20th place for total weights on the first and second days, as well as the two-day weight totals. There were also other payouts, including for the oldest and youngest fishermen, and the furthest travelled.
Above, left-right, are Rachel Shaler and Edna Measures, recording the walleyes’ weight as they come in. Shaler and Measures were among many volunteers to work for the 29th annual Golden Walleye Classic.
Above, Roy Stark places a walleye on the scale to be weighed. Once done, the fish is returned to Lesser Slave Lake. Sometimes a fish had to be placed in a special tub in the same builing to be rehabilitated prior to release.
Ben Bruens, sitting, and Robert Bruens participated in the Golden Walleye Classic for the first time. They enjoyed it will be back next year if possible.
Mark Holzwarth, left, and Trevor Moar participated in the Golden Walleye Classic for the seventh time and plan to return next year.

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