Photo: Mike Trevett in the red t-shirt and Ray McCabe in the white t-shirt are presented the award for 1st prize.
Ray McCabe and Mike Trevett have been fishing together since they were kids. They started competing in tournaments almost 20 years ago when they were just 16 years old. McCabe says today’s win seems surreal. “It wasn’t like we had a great weekend-we didn’t think. We thought we’d be in the top ten but to actually win, wow.” McCabe is from Little Britain and Trevett from Ashburn, near Brooklin.
The 37th Annual Canada US Walleye Tournament was held on Sturgeon Lake in Bobcaygeon over the weekend. 140 teams of two took to the waters for bragging rights and some big prize money. McCabe and Trevett won $10,000 for the top spot. “We’ve been close before.” says Trevett “This just put us over the top today, it was so amazing, it’s such a prestigious tournament to win”.
Anglers come from all across Canada and the US to take part in the live-release tournament. Former tournament director, Tom Hunt says this year was a huge success. “We gave away $72,000 in cash and prizes we’ve already sold 128 teams of the 140 for next year.”
362 fish were caught this year and only one died before it could be released back into the lake. Organizers say last year they lost a lot of fish due to the heat so they made a number of changes for 2017. “We focused on social media and educating the anglers so they knew the procedures and process of keeping the live boats running all of the time. When it get’s hotter the anglers should take more care whether they are in a tournament or just out on the lake doing sport fishing.” Hunt tells Kawartha 411.
Some anglers say the conditions this year were no walk in the park though. “Yesterday was a lot better, today the sun got high and hot and that got the walleye burying in” said winner Ray McCabe.”We didn’t get our limit today but the fish we got were quality, good fish,” added Trevett.
The tournament is run entirely by a team of local volunteers, it’s a real community event. The Bobcaygeon Kinettes operated the snack bar while even more volunteers sold 50/50 tickets and manned the silent auction table. Hunt says they will take a few weeks off and then begin preparing for next years tournament. ” We will do a recovery meeting and then start planning for next year. We will be having a new trade show and event coordinator so the trade show will be even better.”
McCabe and Trevett may be back next year but for now they are savouring in the victory. “To win the big trophy, to come in and see your name there year after year, we are a party of history now”, says McCabe, with a big smile on his face.
Click here for a link to the names of all the winners: http://www.canadauswalleye.com