Sioux Lookout hosts 11th annual Walleye Weekend fishing tournament
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
The lakes were busy for the 11th annual Walleye Weekend fishing tournament. It was another full competition with 75 boats participating in the fishing action.
Tournament organizer Christine Hoey said almost half of the participating boats are from out of town.
“Around 30 of the 75 boats are from out of town. The first year we started we had 25 boats in total and now we have more boats from out of town alone,” Hoey said.
George Samuel, who has been a tournament volunteer for approximately ten years, said the tournament participation has been consistent over the years.
“This years’ turnout looks good as usual. We have no problem getting 75 boats,” he mentioned.
He also said that he’s happy to be a part of a big, hardworking team of volunteers that has quite a few youth members.
“It’s nice to see everyone contributing and it’s good to see younger community members learning the benefits of volunteering,” said Samuel.
Hoey said the tournament has only grown larger over the years. She also mentioned that the sunshine filled weekend this year was the only difference from last year’s tournament.
“It’s only continued to grow. The weather was gorgeous this year, and I would say that’s the main difference between this year and last year,” explained Hoey.
“We couldn’t have had a nicer two days for the tournament,” said tournament volunteer Jennifer Hancharuk.
Teams of two fished the MAPB (Minnitaki, Abram, Pelican, and Botsford) lakes over the course of the tournament.
Teams were allowed to turn in four fish per day, three under slot size, and one over.
This year’s winning team, with a two day total of 20.58 pounds, was the team of Kyle Hulsey and friend Jeremy Bryan. They also had the big fish of the tournament for day two, weighing in at 4.76 pounds. First place netted them $6000.
Coming in second was the team of Jay Hulsey and Garrett Hulsey, with a two day total weight of 19.86 pounds. Second place earned them $3000.
Coming in third was the team of Brandon Kamm and Cliff Sutherland, with a two day total weight of 19.29 pounds. They earned $1800.
Corey Grenier and Jamie Pelaia had the big fish of the tournament for day one, weighing in at 5.80 pounds.
For complete tournament results, visit Sioux Lookout Walleye Weekend on Facebook.
Jay Hulsey and his sons Garrett and Kyle told the Bulletin at last years’ tournament that they enjoy it because, “It’s a great community event that’s run well.”
This year, the Hulsey’s reiterated that same message and the consensus seems to be the same among participants.
“It’s smoothly organized and we always enjoy the tournament. The people are friendly too,” said Jay Hulsey.
“Participants like it because it is well organized, it’s friendly and it’s always been thought of as a positive experience,” Hancharuk said.
When asked about future tournaments, Hoey finished by saying that she’s already looking to make sure she has a large enough volunteer team for next year.
“We never have enough volunteers, but I’m looking now to make sure we have enough people helping out around the lake next year. I just want to thank the volunteers and sponsors that make this event possible. We have a great team of people, and some of them have been a part of it for eight or nine years,” Hoey concluded.