AMA Sportsmen Association

Roughly 700 people attend wrap-up party for AMA Sportsmen Association’s walleye tournament


By Jonathan Martin


The AMA Sportsmen’s Club’s 35th annual walleye tournament drew around 700 people out of their air conditioning for the event’s wrap-up party, according to Luc Tremblay, chairman of the club’s fishing committee.

The tournament runs for 10 days and participants can win awards for the largest walleye, sheephead, catfish and perch.

One of the event’s largest attractions, though, is the final day’s draws.  First prize, as in previous years, was a whopping $10,000, which comes from the event’s ticket sales.  Second prize was a fishing kayak, two fishing rods and all the trimmings, valued at around $4,000.  Third prize was a selection of door prizes.

Doug Mackenzie (right) accepts his winnings from AMA Sportsmen’s Club fishing committee chairman Luc Tremblay. Mackenzie won the draw at the club’s annual walleye tournament.

Tremblay said he’s “extremely grateful” for the support the club’s sponsors afford the organization.  He lauded the way local businesses and community members come together.

This year, first prize went to Doug Mackenzie, who said he’s been attending the tournament for around 20 years.  With the money he plans to do “a whole lot of fishing.”

“This is a really great club,” he said.  “I like to support them every year.”

Larry Muller reeled in the event’s largest fish, which stretched out to 30.5 inches.

Charley Akers’ fish caught him second place and Alyssa Little swam into third.

The 2018 walleye tournament winners pose with their trophies outside of the AMA Sportsmen’s Club in Amherstburg on Sunday, July 1, 2018.

Full results are:

Grand prize: $10,000 winner was Doug Mackenzie

2nd big prize was : Fishing kayak Ron Mitchel

1st place winner for the longest walleye: Larry Muller, June 22, 30.5”

2nd place winner for the longest walleye: Charley Akers, June 25, 29 ¾”

3rd place winner for the longest walleye: Alyssa Little, June 29, 28 ¾”

ladies winner: Nancy Ridsdale, June 23, 28”

Youth winner: Tyler Gignac, June 25, 27”

longest catfish: James Miller, June 24, 29”

longest sheephead: Tracey Bezaire, June 29, 29”

Longest perch: Mike Boussey, June 26, 12.5”




Bob Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby popular again with kids


By Jonathan Martin


By now, local fish must shudder at the mention of the name Bob Meloche.

According to Meloche’s son, Gord, the annual Bob Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby has been going on since he was seven or eight.  That means the derby has been an ongoing tradition for around half a century.  Still, it shows no sign of slowing down.

According to Luc Trembley, chairman of AMA Sportsmen’s Club fishing committees, over 250 kids signed up for the Father’s Day event.  The young fishers packed King’s Navy Yard Park, which the Town of Amherstburg offered up for derby use.

For the first time, fish were measured on-site at the Navy Yard Park, which allowed for fish to be released back into the Detroit River.  In previous years, measurements took place at the AMA Sportsmen’s Club facility, which sits a few kilometres away on Lowes Side Road, a long journey for a fish out of water.

(From Left) Olivier Gemus, Shanell Schmidt, Sebastien Gemus, Archer Schmidt, Aubrey Schmidt, Avery Semitic, Avery Maiter and Tom Mailloux pose for a photo in King’s Navy Yard Park. The youths fished out of the Detroit River as part of the Joe Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby. Avery Semitic caught the fish pictured.

The sportsmen’s club is still the place to be after fishing is done, though.  Free food, free games, contests and awards kept excited children busy into the afternoon.  Trembley said the event was funded through donations and sponsorships from local businesses.

“We couldn’t do this without the generosity of the community,” he said.  “We’re truly grateful.”

Gord Meloche said the AMA Sportsmen’s Club’s generosity shouldn’t be understated, either.

“The club has always been good about giving to the children,” he said.  “They have so much youth programming here.  Every year I see club members work harder and harder to give these kids the best experience they can.”

This year, the children laughed as they watched their released fish zoom off into the river.  Tembley said it was an opportunity to teach the kids about environmental preservation.

The children seemed to love the idea.  After having their fish measured on a little table set up on the lawn, they waddled over to the railing to launch their catch into the river.

A little blurp and the fish were gone, off to tell the Legend of Bob Meloche to all their fishy friends.



AMA Sportsmen Club’s Walleye Tournament tickets now on sale


By Ron Giofu


The popular AMA Sportsmen Club walleye tournament is back for another year and tickets are now on sale.

The 35th annual walleye tournament runs from June 22-30 and tickets and hats were delivered to the River Town Times office late Thursday afternoon. Other ticket vendors are the AMA Sportsmen Club, the Village Shoppe, Happy Days Boating Centre, Racicot Chrysler, Coopers Marina, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, and the Village Country Store in Colchester.

Tickets are $30 and only 1,000 are being sold. No tickets will be sold after June 21 at 6 p.m. Ticket buyers will get a free AMA Sportsmen Club walleye tournament baseball cap as supplies last.

All entrants are eligible for a chance at over $40,000 in cash and prizes. The first ticket drawn at the July 1 awards party will win $10,000 while the second ticket drawn will win a fishing kayak.

The prize for the overall largest fish is $500, with that donated by the Amherstburg Firefighters Association.

There are three prizes for catching the biggest perch with the first prize being $250. The second longest perch will net the person who caught it $150 while catching the third longest perch will be $100. Those prizes are sponsored by Big Creek Farms.

The tagged fish prize, sponsored by the AMA Sportsmen Association, is $500. That goes to the person who catches the tagged fish.

The first-place longest fish will be mounted by True to Life Taxidermy, sponsored by Jack Lazar. The first-place youth longest fish will be mounted by Taxidermy by Robert Beneteau.

The AMA Sportsmen Association advises that all winning tickets must be at the awards party.

For further information, contact the AMA Sportsmen Club at 519-736-5706 or visit The AMA Sportsmen Club is located at 468 Lowes Side Road in Amherstburg.

“Big Buck Sunday” held at AMA Sportsmen Association


By Jonathan Martin


A long-standing AMA Sportsmen Association tradition has notched another year in the ol’ belt.

Big Buck Sunday has been giving local hunters the chance to get their racks measured for around two decades, according to club member Brian Beattie.

This year, the antlers were measured by Jim Branch, a Foundation for the Recognition of Ontario Wildlife official.  He said the day saw antlers that scored in the 130s and 140s.  Those who brought in antlers were given the chance to submit their score to the periodically-released Big Game Records of Ontario book.

Foundation for the Recognition of Ontario Wildlife (FROW) official Jim Branch measures a pair of antlers at AMA Sportsmen Association’s annual Big Buck Sunday event. Local hunters had a chance to get their racks scored last Sunday.

Big Buck Sunday also hosted vendors, whose products ranged from crossbows to scones.  Beattie said AMA had hosted a craft show the day before, so a few of those involved stayed behind for a second day.  There were oil candles, animal pelts, woodcarvings and more.  Even a charity showed up: Archers Against Cancer, which holds archery events to raise funds that offset the costs associated with cancer treatment.

Most archers kept to the outdoors, though.  The first 3D shoot of the year was held just across the road.  Thirty three-dimensional targets, shaped like animals, were erected with scores attached to different body parts: 10 for the heart, eight for the lungs, five for the body and zero for a miss.  The next 3D shoot will be held April 8.

“I like the 3D shoots because what it’s really about is getting a few people together to go out and have a few laughs,” Beattie said.

Local children helping to boost wood duck population



By Ron Giofu


Members of the AMA Sportsmen Association are reporting seeing evidence there is a growing number of wood ducks in the area and local children have helped with that.

The club’s annual wood duck box building day was held last Saturday morning with about 41 children along with their parents and grandparents turning out to build 40 boxes. The number of children was about the same as it was in 2017.

Local children helped to build wood duck boxes last Saturday at the AMA Sportsmen Association. Most of the 41 children who attended show their boxes.

“They range anywhere from six months to 16-years-old,” said Brian Beattie, AMA Sportsmen Association member and also a member of the club’s conservation committee.

Beattie pointed out that 14 grandfathers gathered a few days before to prepare for the assembly day.

“We cut out all of the wood for the boxes,” commented Beattie. “It was like a kit for them to put together.”

The wood duck boxes were taken home by some children with others leaving them at the club so that members could put them up around the community. Beattie said some wood duck boxes on the AMA Sportsmen Association property need replacing while others will be taken to local marshlands.

Nash and George Garant work together to create one of the 40 wood duck boxes that were built at the AMA Sportsmen Association last weekend.

“They last about ten years, then they have to be replaced,” he said.

Beattie added there is a noticeable difference in the wood duck population, pointing out that they like to nest in trees that are rotting out or in the boxes. The boxes are deep so that raccoons can’t reach in and get at the eggs with metal plates being screwed on near the box openings to further deter raccoons.

Those who maintain the wood duck boxes, including those who installed them in marshlands, report cleaning out egg shells every year, a sign that more and more wood ducks are hatching and going into the wild.

Justine Varney helps daughter Rylee construct their wood duck box.

The AMA Sportsmen Association is planning a similar event March 3, only with bat boxes. The bat box assembly day will also start at 10 a.m. with Beattie explaining that the bat boxes are smaller and flatter than a wood duck box. There are also more places bat boxes can be installed, he added, noting that bats are good because they eat mosquitoes.

The club’s conservation committee gets $2,000 per year, Beattie said, with plans for next year calling for wood duck box construction as well as boxes for screech owls.