EWC was ‘great weekend’
High water levels on the Rainy River, fewer teams participating than in previous years, and less-than-ideal weather conditions did nothing to dampen the spirits of Lincoln Dunn.
One of the two chairmen of the organizing committee for the 13th-annual Emo Walleye Classic found plenty to be positive about at the conclusion of this year’s tournament Saturday.
“For the most part, the weather co-operated,” he noted. “We had a little rain on Saturday, but at least the thunderstorms came in-between the two fishing sessions.
“We had some good weights and a big hog on Saturday for the tournament big fish [9.18 pounds], and an exciting top 10 where no one knew who was going to take it,” added Dunn.
“We had great attendance at the weigh-ins on Saturday and everyone was having a good time,” he remarked.
“I’m pretty pleased.”
Saturday’s morning launch became a little more intricate than anticipated.
“It was a little worrisome with all the fog we had on the river,” Dunn admitted.
“You couldn’t see the other side [of the shoreline] and the boats all had to put on their navigational lights,” he noted.
“But once it burned off, it made it safer for the guys and women fishing in the tournament.”
With 13 years of helping stage the EWC under his belt, Dunn said he and many on the organizing committee have pretty much lived through all the problems that can occur at the tournament and that they were prepared for anything.
“Whatever can go wrong has gone wrong in the past, so we were able to mitigate any of the glitches this time around,” he explained.
With only 35 teams registering for the tournament, and just 33 hitting the water on Day 1, it was the lowest turnout of competitors in the EWC’s history.
But Dunn is confident brighter days are just down the road.
“The potential for new industry starting in the district soon will hopefully create opportunities for new employment and bring an influx of new locals to the area,” he remarked, referring to the future construction of a gold mine north of Barwick beginning early next year.
“We’re cognizant that fishing tournaments are the ultimate luxury and with money being tight for many people, fishing tournaments are the first thing on the chopping block,” he conceded.
“We also know it’s cyclical,” Dunn added.
“Hopefully, things will pick up over the next year or two and we will reap the benefits from it.”
Dunn also showered his fellow committee members with plenty of heartfelt gratitude for their efforts in once again pulling off the tournament with a minimum of disruptions.
“I can’t say enough about the people I work with on the committee,” he stressed.
“They worked tirelessly all weekend long and stepped up over and over again.
“It’s a lot of work to get this tournament organized and I’m fortunate to work with such talented people that make me look good,” Dunn said.