July 14 saw anglers wake to a beautiful windless morning at the Cache Campground on Kenogamissi Lake for the Lund Angler Young Angler tournament hosted by Guiho Saw Sales and Marine.
As anglers started gathering for the morning meeting, Andy Yu came over to introduced me to Kenneth Harrison. Andy told me that Kenneth was hired by Tourism Timmins and asked if I would take him out on the water to shoot some video of the tournament. All I can say is be sure to watch for Kenneth’s AYA video on the Tourism Timmins website in the near future.
While the competitors were waiting for the start of the tournament, something strange happened. Not in all my years of tournament fishing and fishing in kids tournaments, have I ever seen starting boat officials have to start calling boats up to the starting line. Talk about a relaxed bunch of anglers.
As the last boat left, Clint Chartrand asked Steve Vachon to pull up the anchor. Steve reached over to pull up the anchor and started laughing as the anchor rope wasn't tied to the boat. None of us realizes we were drifting as Clint called out the boat numbers, Steve held up the numbers, and I filmed for the live stream on Facebook.
Clint suggested that we look for the rope to the anchor as it should be floating. As luck would have it, Clint spotted it. He then told me that as a Navy CIC Officer in the Canadian Forces Reserves they were trained for this type of situation. I turn to him and replied, “Maybe the should make tying knots part of their training program,” at which point we all started laughing.
Shortly after blast off, Kenneth and I headed out to capture some footage for the Tourism Timmins video. It didn't take long for us to start commenting on how hot it was getting and without any or a slight breeze in some areas of the lake, we knew that the bite would be a tough one.
I have to hand it to all the anglers as they made sure their young anglers had plenty of refreshments, food and sunscreen on board. Some even took a well deserve dip in the lake to cool off. Now that's how you fish in hot weather.
Although it was hot, only a couple of teams came in a half hour before the tournament was officially over. One such team was Team Fish On to weigh their hog of a walleye that Yannick Germain hooked into. The beast weighed an impressive 8.8 lbs.
After weighing it in, Princecraft pro Craig Salmonson and I raced this giant back out the channel where it immediately headed back to the depths showing no signs of stress.
As the young anglers started bringing their catches of the day to the weigh scales, it was very apparent by the smiles on their faces that they had a great day on the water fishing in spite of the heat.
While everyone was waiting for the officials to tally up the weights and announce the winners, Eric Germain came over to talk to me about the fish Yannick had caught. Smiling from ear to ear, Eric, Yannick and Danny told me blow by blow how Yannick reeled the monster up as Danny netted it under instructions from their dad Eric.
This year the format was changed to where all competitors names where put in a can and the name of the team drawn would win the 2018 Lund A12 Utility Boat and a Mercury 5HP outboard and trailer.
I I told Eric it was a shame he don't win the boat this year, he replied, “I’m good with it. I'm glad they changed it to a draw as it is, after all, for the kids. I have already won the greatest prize – spending the day with my two boys and being with them when they caught this true trophy. What more can I ask for?”
Well put Eric.
The final tournament results were as follows:
- Team Fish On - Eric, Yannick and Danny Germain took home the first place prize of 2.5 Suzuki outboard
- Second place prize was a Minn Kota trolling motor that went to Team Humminbird - Sebastian Lizotte, Denick Laflamme, and Maxime Pelletier
- Third place was Team Sparkles and Glitter - Dan Secord, Ameria Wesley and Kaiya Kirkwood took home a Lowrance fish finder
- Big Fish winner went to Team Fish On - Yannick Germain. He will receive a replica of his 8.8lb walleye courtesy of Mark Jensen
When Team Pepere, Jack Scalabrini, granddaughters Maelle (8) and Aurellie (5), was announced as the winner of the 2018 Lund A12 Utility Boat and a Mercury 5HP outboard and trailer. the crowd erupted into loud applause. Many know Jack from the years he has fished in the NOWT with his sons, Mark and Luke. To see him win this package with his granddaughters was only fitting.
After the presentation and pictures where done, I went over to congratulate Jack and his granddaughter. Jack told me that the reason they won the boat was because his granddaughters wore their lucky Irish nail polish with sparkles and that the boat was going to Ottawa with is son Alain and his girls when they head back home after their visit.
Eric and his boys then came over and asked Jack and the girls if he could have a picture taken of them in front of boat, to which Jack agreed right away.
The next day I received a phone call from my friend and Princecraft pro Sebastian Lizotte. Sebastian told me about how his young angler Denick Laflamme out-fished him during the day. He went on to tell me he had learned something from Denick that he will now be using when the bite is tough in an NOWT event. He went on to say that for this reason, he and his nephew Maxime Pelletier had decided that Denick should have the Minn Kota trolling they had won.
I have to say that this year’s AYA tournament was one this angler will remember for a long time to come. The sportsmanship between all the anglers and unselfishness of the prizes is truly what the Lund Angler Young Angler Tournament was designed to accomplish.
Guiho Saw Sales and Marine would like to thank Denis and Michelle of the Cache Campground for all of their hard work setting up and for helping to make this another successful AYA event held at the Cache Campground, all of the sponsors that donated prizes for the tournament, Topper Pizza, Mr. Sub, and all the hard working volunteers. Without you, none of this would have been possible.
To wrap up this event, I would like to say that I am honoured to know many of these anglers. To teach future anglers not only how to fish but what tournament fishing is all about, sportsmanship, making new friends, sharing your stories and must importantly building memories that will last a life time. I take my hat off to you all.
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