For the Lakeside Leader
Fishermen travelled from all over Canada, and some came from the U.S., to Shaw’s Point Resort for the 30th annual Golden Walleye Classic. Fifty-eight two-man teams participated each day, and they divided into two groups for 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. shotgun starts respectively.
The event was held on the Labour Day long weekend, although it was delayed on the first day, Sept. 1, due to rough weather on Lesser Slave Lake. But the fishermen managed to get out on Sept. 2 and 3. Ken Sperling, one of the organizers, was pleased with the turnout.
“We’re happy with the numbers, due to the economy,” says Sperling. “I’m pleased it has gone on for 30 years and we look forward to hosting it again next year.”
The fishermen were allowed to catch four walleye per day, bringing them in two at a time to be measured at the weigh-in station at the marina. The fish were then released back into the lake. Each day, the first group had to be in by 4:00 p.m., and the second group by 5:00 p.m., to get their final fish weighed.
There were payouts each day, for first place to 20th place, as well as for the two-day weight totals. Christopher See and Laurance See, of Edson, had the biggest two-day total, with 25.15 pounds of walleye. They collected the grand prize of $33,600 for their efforts. There were other payouts: Matt Roth was the youngest fisherman, 19, and he collected $280. Anthony Paoni was the oldest fisherman, 74, and he also collected $280. Furthest travelled team was Dean McCammon and Anthony Paoni, from Arizona, and they collected $280. Biggest fish on day one: 4.10 pounds, caught by Ray Mitchell and Kevin Kowal, and they received $280. Biggest fish on day two: 5.05 pounds, caught by Christopher See and Laurance See, and they received $760 for their efforts. Check out the Smoky River Express’ YouTube channel for three videos of the winners being announced. A silent auction was held as part of the Golden Walleye Classic. Also, the Captain and Kids Fishing Tournament was held on Aug. 30; see the separate story about that event in this week’s paper.
Volunteer Megan Fletcher lugs a basket of fish to the weigh scales.