Local team nets crown at Emo derby

The second-annual Emo Walleye Classic wrapped up Saturday evening with local anglers Todd Baker of Emo and Greg Stahn of Devlin taking home the $10,500 top prize.
Team #29 had started day two in third place having netted 8.12 pounds on Friday—a respectable showing though they still had some work to do to claim top spot.
After the first day, the team of Lorne Wood and Monte Mann (Team #11) led the pack of 55 teams (one team had dropped out) with a weight of 10.78 pounds.
They were ollowed by Paul Jewiss and Dale Strachan (Team #20) with 8.86 pounds—including the large fish of the day weighing 5.96 pounds. Both teams picked up $600 for their efforts Friday.
But Saturday was a different kettle of fish, so to speak.
Though six less fish were caught Saturday than on Friday, their combined weight was over a pound more. That had to do a lot with some very large fish caught.
Vance Allen and captain Jerry Elliot of Team #28 landed a 5.68- pound fish, and a Day Two total of 8.80 pounds, for tournament total of 13.86 pounds, vaulting them into first place from 10th.
But their time atop the leaderboard wouldn’t last for long.
As the drama unfolded, the seventh place team from Friday (Doug McBride and Steve Ballan of Team #5) weighed in with a Day Two total of 8.68 pounds—giving them a two-day total of 15.16 pounds which would have won them last year’s tournament.
But this year it wouldn’t be enough.
Team #3 of Dale Labelle and Wayne Angus, who stood in fifth place the day before, went to the weigh-in next. Their grand total for the day was an impressive 8.38 pounds—giving them a two-day total of 15.60 and stealing the lead away from Team #5.
With three teams left to weigh in, they’d guaranteed themselves a top five finish, but would they have enough to win? As the leaders from Day One paraded in front of the crowd in their boat getting ready to weigh in, the crowd reached a fevered pitch cheering on the anglers with loud music screaming from the sound system in the Emo arena.
They had four fish in the live well with a combined weight of 5.90 pounds, giving them back their lead with only two teams left.
As Team #19, consisting of Frank McWhinnie and Frank Grunewald, who had been in fourth place after Day One, reached the weigh-in station, the crowd was standing, cheering, and wondering if anyone could catch Team #11.
A quick question to the team asking if they could take the lead garnered a sly smile and the response: “We hope so.”^They slowly pulled their fish from the boat, revealing a monster walleye which, by the reaction of the crowd, everyone knew would be enough.
Team #19 had a combined Day Two weight of 8.94 pounds, including the 6.06-pound whopper that would, for a short time, be the big fish of the day and tournament.
Their total stood at 17 pounds even—giving them the lead.
As the last team of Baker and Stahn made their way to the front, the crowd had been whipped into such a frenzy by the exciting results that they were drooling with anticipation for the result.
Everyone knew there was a big fish in their live-well.
The pair needed a total of 8.88 pounds to reach 17 pounds and a share of the lead. Though they had some impressive fish in the tank, when they slowly heaved their final fish out to the song “We are the Champions,” everyone knew they had the tournament.
The monster walleye would weigh in at 8.80 pounds—almost solely enough for them to take the lead—and give them a Day Two total of 11.10 pounds and grand total of 19.22 pounds.
The catch would earn the team an extra $1,200 for the big fish of the day and the big catch of the day—giving them combined winnings of $11,700.
The tournament saw a total of 286 fish caught weighing a total of 345.78 pounds.
Not one fish was reported lost.