Emo Walleye Classic nixed due to COVID-19

Jamie Mountain

As the days go on, more and more events and gatherings are being forced to be cancelled due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

You can add the Emo Walleye Classic to that list as the organizing committee on Sunday announced that the tournament would be axed this year as the community’s health and safety amid this pandemic is paramount.

The 19th edition of the three-day tourney was slated for May 28-30.

“This decision to cancel the tournament this year did not come easy,” said EWC organizing committee member Gary Steele.

“This would have been our 19th year running, but with the COVID-19 virus holding all our unknowns at a standstill, we felt it was in the best interest of the community and our anglers to cancel the tournament.”

Steele noted that this year’s tourney already had 27 teams signed up to participate prior to the cancellation.

The EWC vendors and sponsors were coming on board to help them out again this year and the tournament had also started to advertise for teams and volunteers.

“We felt it was time to make the decision before we got in so far that things would have been not so easy to decide on, both the safety of everyone and financially as the tournament committee,” Steele noted.

“At the present time, we are in contact with our teams already signed up and our sponsors that have come on board already. They all understand the situation we are in and why the decision was made.”

Steele said that most of the anglers who signed up to compete this year are staying put and will fish the tourney next year.

The committee was supposed to contact everyone who had paid to participate, as well those who gave sponsorships, to see what they would like done with their money.

“It’s a real great feeling that we get knowing our anglers and sponsors are willing to wait for this tournament ’til next year,” Steele enthused.

“It shows the committee that we run an excellent tournament and commitment from anglers and sponsors is greatly appreciated.”

Moving forward, Steele said that the organizing committee would be looking forward to and planning for next year’s tourney, with the expectation that it would run on its usual dates next May.

“We will get through this COVID-19 virus together and come back next year better than ever,” he vowed.