Walleye week in Kenora

After three weeks on the road in the southern U.S., I returned home this past weekend after wrapping up my third season fishing the FLW Tour.
The final tournament of the season took place last week at La Plata, Md. on the Potomac River.
Heading into this event, I had a shot at qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup—the year-end championship—if I had a good tournament so there was some added pressure to do well.
As it turned out, the Potomac River was the toughest place I’ve ever fished.
Over the course of three practice days, fishing from dark to dark, my Dad and I only caught eight bass total. Then on Day 1 of the tournament, I managed to catch a five-fish limit for 12 pounds and landed in 28th place.
I felt that if I could catch the same weight again on Day 2, I would have a chance at moving up into the top 20 and have a good shot at making the Cup (not to mention earning a cheque for $10,000 for finishing in the top 60).
Unfortunately, I came up a little bit short. The weights were very tight at this tournament and though I managed to catch a limit again on Day 2, they only weighed nine pounds and I slipped back to 78th place—missing out on everything.
Overall, it was a decent season. I feel like I improved a little bit more from the past couple of years and I had a good time.
I’m hopeful I’ll get the opportunity to fish again next year.
This week, meanwhile, there’s a new walleye tournament starting up called the Kenora Walleye Open.
The two-day event is being put on by Manitoba angler JP Kennedy, who has been running a tournament out of Minaki, on the Winnipeg River, for several years. But due to angling regulations on the river, he was forced to move the event to a different body of water, so Lake of the Woods was the nearest and best choice.
My buddy, Jay Samsal, and I are teaming up for this one. Though we have fished together many times, this is our first shot at fishing a tournament together.
Some 100 teams are signed up for this event and I think that everybody is going to have a great time. The walleye fishing on Lake of the Woods has been good despite a slight lull over the past week (likely due to a strong mayfly hatch).
Teams are permitted to bring in four fish each day. One can be over 23 inches in length while the other three must be under 18”.
Dead fish are not permitted to be weighed in so anglers must take good care of their fish.
The way these walleye tournaments operate, teams can bring their fish to the scales as soon as they catch one, so big fish don’t need to spend much time in a livewell at all.
Walleye don’t do as well in a livewell as bass do, so this is convenient and good for the fish.
The tournament is taking place Saturday and Sunday, and will be running out of the new Tall Pines Marina on the west side of the Kenora, with weigh-ins starting each day at 3:30 p.m.
Come on down and check things out!