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Fishing the North: Mattagami First Nation Fall Classic recap (7 photos)

The weather cooperated and this year's tournament saw some impressive catches

Many anglers like to pre-fish the week before a tournament and the ones that did prior to the Mattagami First Nation (MFN) Fall Classic on Sept. 8 and 9 faced single digit temperatures, strong winds and rain.

This made for an interesting tournament as the weather forecast called for double digit temperatures and clear skies.

The weather man didn't disappoint as anglers had an hour delay due to the fog that covered the lake on day one.

Although the morning was still cool, it didn't take long before anglers started to peel off layers of clothing as the fog started to lift.

As the day progressed, temperatures continued to rise. A slight breeze made for a difficult day on the water for anglers.

Those that did make the proper adjustments came in with some bags of walleyes, many of them big, to be weighed in.

At the end of day one, anglers J.C. Cayen and John Vrolyk weighed in at 14.28 lbs moving them into first place. Jody Villeneuve and Chad Vis nipped at their heels with a 14.05 lbs; and Jonathan Morin and John Labine came in at 13.52 lbs.

Big fish of the day went to Team #20 (Jody Villeneuve and Chad Vis) with an impressive 10.32 lb. walleye. Second place went to Team #32 (J-C Cayen and John Vrolyk) at 7.67lbs and third went to Team #36 (Simon Jacques and Marc Champion) with 6.50 lbs.

Day two anglers awoke to a slightly warmer morning. Again as the morning went on, anglers started removing their morning layers as the temperatures started to rise.

Unlike day one, anglers welcomed the wind which helped turn the fish on.

Day two top weights to anglers Robinson and Bernath who weighed in a 15.90 lb bag of walleye. They were followed by Belanger and Belanger with a 14.56 lb bag and Lytham and Bernath's bag weighing 13.90 lbs

Big fish went to Team  #09 (Jamie Robinson and Terry Bernath) with a 9.38 lb walleye. Second went to Team #25 (Eric Belanger and Luc Bélanger) with a 8.70lb walleye and third went to Team #74 (Josh Childs and Rob Longo) with a 6.79lb walleye.

The top 10 anglers of the tournament were:

  • First - Jamie Robinson and Terry Bernath
  • Second - Mark Lytham and Trevor Bernath
  • Third - Jody Villeneuve and Chad Vis
  • Fourth - Dave Lepage and Guy Dubosq
  • Fifth - Eric Belanger and Luc Bélanger
  • Sixth - Chantal Cauchon and Ken Perreault
  • Seventh - J.C. Cayen and John Vrolyk
  • Eighth - Craig Salmonson and Rock Bouchard
  • Ninth - John Labine and Jonathan Morin
  • Tenth - Cory Nephin and Shane Turcotte

This is the second time this season that Jamie Robinson and Terry Bernath have came from behind to capture a win. The first was during the Dubreuilville Magpie Walleye Derby were they came from 66th place on day one. During the Mattagami First Nation Fall Walleye Classic they cam from 19th place on day one to steal the win.

This year was the first time that the Fall Walleye Classic held a mystery weight prize worth $100.

The lucky winners of the mystery weights were as follows:

Day one:

  • 56th - Team #79 Daniel Guillemette and Bill Boychuck - 6.82lbs
  • 73rd - Team #81 Dan Tailleur and Gilbert Mondoux - 4.51lbs
  • 77th - Team #66 Gaetan Dorval and Steve Dorval - 4.09lbs

Day two:

  • 24th - Team #26 Chad Dalrymple and Jeremy Geoffrey - 7.19lbs
  • 61st - Team #50 Dan Woito and Tom LoRegio - 3.91lbs
  • 77th - Team #22 Jeff Cogar and Jess Vermette - 2.54lbs

A statement from Tournament Committee member Crystel Vallee reads:

Mattagami First Nation Fishing is so proud to say that its 5th Annual Fall Walleye Classic was a success. Even so that we decided keep this tournament alive. This means we are going to have a 6th Fall Walleye Classic and many more we hope.

The committee is still stunned about the record registrations of 94! We saw anglers from all over. Some drove 900 km. We saw new faces and even had one angler who just finished chemo come out to compete.

MFN Fishing, or any events I should say, could (not) do it without all its volunteers. The committee would like to thank Larry Naveau, Dr Lee for letting us use your pontoon boat, Andy Yu and David Reid.

Thanks to our Tournament extended families… because at every tournament we can count on them for helping. Your time and commitment is so appreciated. This family consists of the Bélanger Family, Luc, Jen, Eric, Sam, M. Bélanger, Doris and her daughter, Lana, Michelle, uncle Kelly, and Krista. We also had the chance to work with new volunteers… hoping they too become our extended family… we would like to thank Marc, Luc for doing security on the lake, Lisa, Marie-Lynn.

We can't forget about the number of youth that keep coming out to help, so we would like to thank Dave Bélanger, Zachary Morin (about 12 years old), Madisson, Aaliyah, Jannelle, and Jordan. We would like to thank Craig at Krazy Krazy and Didier and Doris for your generous donation to our young volunteers. Craig been a huge supporter of our tournament. Doris and Didier donated in memory of their son, Dude.

The success of this tournament we owe to our sponsors: CSPNE, Guiho Sawsales and Marine for trailer, truck, sponsor prize; NISG; BNP; Custom Concrete; Albert’s Sports and Workwear; Nasco Propane; Wabun; Mikey’s; J&B Cycle and Marine; The Cache Campground; Guy’s Cabinet Shop; Fresh Off the Block (Luc Romain); Princecraft; Dumoulin’s; and Elegant Awards for those amazing trophies. 

Thanks to our families, our friends for your support. The NOWT and the anglers.

A big shout to Bite Me Baits for being on hand again this season (and) supplying anglers that needed more bait during the tournament. Like always, the bait was top notch.

I would like to a second to thank the tournament committee, organizer Jessica Naveau, Crystel Vallee and Dominique Morin. These Ladies put in endless hours of their time each year just to bring us a tournament to come and compete in. They are faced with some tough decisions each year planning and enforcing rules during the tournaments. We owe it to them to show our appreciation and respect for the thankless job they do for us anglers. Remember without them there is no tournament.

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