South Peace News
Plans are still underway for the 32nd annual Golden Walleye Classic fishing derby near High Prairie on the Labour Day weekend, Sept. 5-6.
Organizers are still optimistic the popular event on Lesser Slave Lake will go ahead with current restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We don’t know what will happen at that time,” says Ken Sperling, who has chaired the organizing committee for about 20 years at Shaw’s Point.
“Because it’s so late in the season, we’re waiting until July to make a decision to hold the event or cancel it.”
He says it depends on restrictions from Alberta Health Services.
“The September long weekend is still a long way away,” Sperling says.
Last year’s event drew 36 teams of two, down from 58 teams in 2018.
The winning team shared top prize of $30,000.
“We hoping to get more teams,” Sperling says.
“We’ve got a lot of registrations already.”
To lure more anglers, organizers have reduced the entry fee to $1,000 from $2,000.
“We’re also limiting the event to 65 boats,” Sperling says.
Competitors travelled from High Prairie, Slave Lake, Peace River, Fairview and other parts of Alberta.
More than $70,000 was awarded in prizes.
Each person entered is allowed to catch four walleye per day and bring them in two at a time to be measured at the weigh-in station.
Despite the lower numbers, the event remains popular in the north, he says.
“It’s basically the final fishing tournament of the year in Alberta,” Sperling says.
“People like it because it’s on a long weekend and people have an extra day of camping.”
The Captain and Kids Fishing Tournament is scheduled for Sept. 4, annually held the Friday before the main event.
In all, 25 children took part in the catch-and-release event where 15 pike were caught.
For more information on the main tournament or to register online visit the website at www.goldenwalleyeclassic.com.