walleye tournament

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 www.amasportsmen.com. The AMA Sportsmen Club is located at 468 Lowes Side Road in Amherstburg.

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.”

AMA Sportsmen’s Club packed as walleye tournament concludes

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The AMA Sportsmen’s Club annual walleye tournament is a long-standing tradition in Amherstburg but perhaps no tournament was bigger than this year.

For the first time that anyone can recall, the tournament sold out this year and most of the ticket holders came to the club Sunday afternoon for the wrap-up party. The big catch was the $10,000 grand prize winner, who turned out to be Chris Bondy.

Walleye tournament chair Bill Richards and AMA Sportsmen’s Association president Rod Ferriss present the $10,000 cheque to Chris Bondy.

Walleye tournament chair Bill Richards and AMA Sportsmen’s Association president Rod Ferriss present the $10,000 cheque to Chris Bondy.

Bondy was ecstatic as he claimed his prize, telling organizers he couldn’t believe he had won. Fred Gibbons won the ATV, saying he most likely will keep his prize but plans on talking to his wife first.

Bill Richards, chair of the walleye tournament, said the tournament sold all 1,000 tickets that were printed. He credited the volunteers for making the tournament as successful as it was as “they just do what they have to” to make the derby run.

“It’s the largest one I’m aware of in southwestern Ontario,” said Richards.

Richards said four major sponsors signed up late in the process but thanked each and every sponsor and ticket holder for their involvement.

Fred Gibbons sits atop his newly won ATV at the AMA Sportsmen's Association walleye tournament wrap-up party.

Fred Gibbons sits atop his newly won ATV at the AMA Sportsmen’s Association walleye tournament wrap-up party.

“They are wonderful to us,” he said.

Richards added they always like new sponsors and appreciate what anyone can offer them, regardless of how big or small.

He said the tournament might not be able to get any bigger.

“We’re getting to the point where we’re just at the maximum,” he said.

Some of the winners of the AMA Sportsmen's Association walleye tournament gather for a photo.

Some of the winners of the AMA Sportsmen’s Association walleye tournament gather for a photo.

The fishing was good this year, with a lot of smaller fish caught overall with the larger fish that were caught being in Lake Erie as opposed to the Detroit River. He estimated the average fish to be about 14-inches.

Club president Rod Ferriss also thanked the sponsors and those who volunteered to assist as without them, the tournament wouldn’t be as successful as it was. The majority of the participants were from Windsor-Essex County, he believed.