30th Annual Walleye Tournament a Success

 

 

By Josh Beneteau

 

Thomas Caeot won’t have to lie the next time he tells a fishing story.

The Amherstburg native took home the big prize, a new Can Am ATV, at the 30th Annual AMA Sportsmen Club Walleye Tournament Sunday.

Fishing DerbyThis was the largest tournament yet. Spanning nine days and with 880 registered competitors, there were over 300 fish weighed when all was said and done. That’s huge growth compared to last year, when 550 people entered.

“We wanted to do something special this year,” said Bill Richards, chairman of the walleye tournament committee.

And it was a special year. With plenty of support from volunteers and sponsors, the tournament was able to award participants over $4,700 in cash prizes for weigh-ins. On top of that, they collected over 150 door prizes, including fishing rods, a toolbox and a beer fridge. So there were plenty of prizes to go around.

“Every dollar we take in goes back to the participants,” Richards said. “This tournament is for them.”

“We couldn’t have done this tournament without our sponsors and volunteers,” added Rod Farris, president of the AMA Sportsmen Club. “Everyone has done an amazing job.”

Farris estimates this is one of the larger fishing tournaments in Canada.

“It’s hard to find a tournament that has run for 30 years and for nine days,” he said. “We’ve got people from Windsor, Belle River and of course, Amherstburg.”

However, looking ahead to future tournaments, Richards stressed it’s not that important to keep getting bigger.

“We don’t want to get bigger, we want to get better,” he said. “That’s our motto.”

For Caeot, when asked what he’s going to do with his big prize, all he could say was:

“I’m going to drive it.”

Winners

Grand Prize

Can Am 500 XT ATV- Thomas Caeot

Star Craft Boat 16 SF-DLX- William Holden

Fishing Prizes

Largest Kept 1st Place- James Prieur (10 lbs, 3 oz)

Largest Kept 2nd Place- James Miller (9 lbs, 13 oz)

Largest Kept 3rd Place- Blaine Anderson (9 lbs, 0 oz)

Youth Largest Kept- Loreley Gatti (8 lbs, 12 oz)

Ladies Grand Prize- Jocelyne Gardin (8 lbs, 7 oz)

Largest Live Release 1st Place- James Miller (8 lbs, 1 oz)

Largest Live Release 2nd Place- Eric Gatti (7 lbs, 12 oz)

Largest Live Release 3rd Place- Shawn Cott (7 lbs, 5 oz)

Ladies Live Release- Lorrie Beneteau (7 lbs, 3 oz)

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