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Here's who qualified for the 2020 Walleye Championships (4 photos)

Walleye season comes to an end in this edition of Fishing in the North
Another year has come to an end on the Northern Ontario Walleye Trail. To say this season was very competitive would be an understatement. 

This year saw the anglers that qualified for the 2019 Championship in Geraldton this June competing for the grand prize of a Princecraft Hudson DLX with a 150 Pro XS and Garmin Electronics. On hand covering the championship was the Eastlink Fish On crew and show host Paul Ethier.

Leading after day one was J&B Cycle and Princecraft Pros Sebastien Lizotte and Jeff Vipond.

Day two came right down to the wire between day one leaders and six-time Angler of the Year anglers Daniel Henis and Didier Germain. After the scales finally settled, Sebastien Lizotte and Jeff Vipond emerged victorious over Daniel and Didier by a mere .60 of a pound, making them the first NOWT Championship winners.

Once again, anglers competed for points to qualify for the 2020 Championship and the 2019 Angler of the Year (AOY) ring, which just happened to be the first time a ring would be presented to the AOY winner/s.

Anglers received points for their finishes in each of the NOWT sanctioned events they fished, and only their top three finishes are used to calculate their standing in the Angler of the Year race. The top 25 anglers in the AOY rankings will qualify for the 2020 NOWT Championship to be hosted by the KRWT on the Kapuskasing River. 

Here are some interesting facts about the 2020 Championship:

  • Twenty-three anglers of the 50 participating championship anglers did not participate in 2018
  • It will be the first championship for both members of nine teams
  • It took 281.085 points to qualify this year and 268.939 last year
  • Forty-one of the anglers qualified this year with more than 281.084 AOY points
  • Only nine qualified anglers will be participating as co-angler in 2020

Here are the TOP 25 anglers fishing in the 2020 NOWT Championship:

  1. Daniel Henis and Didier Germain
  2. Jamie Robinson and Terry Bernath
  3. Trevor Bernath and Mark Lytham
  4. Steve Johnson and Jake Pepin
  5. Jeff Vipond and Sebastien Lizotte
  6. Derick Brooks and Guy Laberge
  7. Mat Browne and Marc Poirier
  8. Brett Robinson and Dylan Buckell
  9. Nick Huckson and Jason Doyon
  10. Kyle Monkman and Dean Bliss
  11. Miguel Tailleur and Denis Gendreau
  12. Jody Villeneuve and Matthew Eles
  13. John Labine and Jonathan Morin
  14. Perry Caverson and Denis Martin
  15. Dave Lepage and Kyle Lepage
  16. Kevin Robineau and Steve Gravel
  17. Luc Ouimette and Dave Barber
  18. Jessy Dechamplain and Francis Dechamplain
  19. Shane Turcotte and Cory Nephin
  20. Chad Dalrymple and Greg Geoffrey
  21. Danny Vienneau and Curtis Griffin
  22. Roger Vienneau and Diane Otis
  23. Denis Perrier and Matt Guacci
  24. Rob Laframboise and Frank Clark  
  25. Alain Mercier and Jean Mercier  

This year Angler of the Year race was a tight one. Only three points separated the two top three anglers. This year winners and now seven-time AOY winners are  Daniel Henis and Didier Germain with 326.786 points. Both  Daniel and Didier will be award the very first NOWT AOY custom made rings by Dube Designs and a Yamaha Power Inverter. Runner up AOY was Jamie Robinson with 323.534 points.

This year also saw the first Points Generator award from Yamaha Motor Canada Ltd. for the most points accumulated during the season. Fishing all seven events and taking home the Yamaha Inverter was even-time AOY Jamie Robinson, with a total of 682.451 points.  

The NOWT would like to thank their corporate sponsors, J&B Cycle and Marine, Princecraft Boats, and Mercury Marine Canada, along with all the other sponsors of the trail.   

Acknowledgments go to NOWT Treasurer Craig Salmonson for contributing the interesting facts, and Rob Racine and Paul Ethier for the pictures.