AMA Sportsmen Club

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.

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.

AMA Sportsmen Club wraps up walleye derby


By Jolene Perron

Fishers united over the last nine days to see who could make the largest catch.

The Walleye tournament was introduced back in 1983, with only 300 people in the tournament. Today, the tournament sells 1,000 tickets, with the biggest attraction being the $10,000 cash prize which was awarded to Dave Labutte this year.

Father-in-law Ronald Bastien tooks Labutte’s tickets to the wrap up party, where you must be present to win the cash prize.

“For his birthday, I bought him a ticket,” explained Bastien. “I’m a member here, and it’s been 20 or 25 years I’ve been coming here. It’s been a very good year. A lot of fish around, they’re smaller ones but it looks like it’s going to be very good going forward. It’s probably the healthiest I’ve seen the water in a long time. A lot of minnows and silver bass, they have been running good. It looks like the rivers are getting healthier again.”

Luc Tremblay, chairman/president of the AMA Sportsmen Club’s walleye committee explained the tournament is open to the public and you do not have to be a member of the Sportsmen Club to participate, and you also don’t need to fish to win the cash prize either. Tickets for the derby were sold out by the end of May.

“The tournament in the past used to go by weight but now it goes by measurement,” said Tremblay. “Longest fish last year was over 29 inches long.”

Ronald Bastien (left) collects the $10,000 grand prize cheque for his son-in-law Dave Labutte at the wrap up party Sunday. He accepts the cheque from AMA Sportsmen Club president Luc Tremblay.

Ronald Bastien (left) collects the $10,000 grand prize cheque for his son-in-law Dave Labutte at the wrap up party Sunday. He accepts the cheque from AMA Sportsmen Club president Luc Tremblay.

The second prize 9.9 Suzuki boat motor was won by Kevin Gale, and the third prize Simard go7 XSE Fish Finder was won by Tasha Raehler.
The biggest fish grand prize winners for the men:
1st – Larry Durocher at 31 inches measured in on June 27 at 12:50pm 500 cash prize and trophy
2nd – Dylan Gignac at 31 inches measured in on June 27 at 5:13pm 300 cash prize and trophy

3rd – Dave Garner 30.5 inches measured in on July 1 at 5:45pm 200 cash prize and a trophy


The biggest fish grand prize winner for the women:

1st – Nancy Ridsdale at 30 inches measured in on June 26 at 3:55pm 100 cash prize and trophy

Youth grand prize:
Tyler Gignac 28.5 inches measured in on July 1 5:25pm 100 cash prize and a trophy.


Longest perch prize winner:

Leon Nussio 13 inches measured in on July 1 1pm 250 cash prize

Longest sheep head:
Mike Hamlin 30.5 inches measured in on June 28 8:11am $100 cash prize


Longest catfish:

Lisa Douglas 28 3/4 measured July 1 2:45pm $100 cash prize.

Daily winners, each winning $100 cash prize:

June 23 Bob Sutts 28 5/8.
June 24 30 inches Larry Truman
June 25 27.5 inches Alan Major
June 26 28 3/4 inches Rod Ferris
June 27 30 inches Buck Gignac
June 28 Bruce Gardin 291/4 inches
June 29 24 1/8inches Jeff Anderson
June 30  27 3/4 Frank Kalas
July 1st 29.5 inches Larry Mulder


“For the tournament we have three locations to get your fish measured at, Coopers in town, The Village Store in Colchester as well as at the AMS Sportsmen Club,” said Tremblay. “Without all our sponsors and donations this tournament could not happen. We get donations from many different companies and we are very grateful for all their support. A reminder if you are interested in getting a ticket, get them fast as we sold out in no time this year. We plan on selling 1,000 tickets again next year.”