Godin, Galusha capture EWC crown

Saturday night belonged to Bill Godin and Ralph Galusha.
The pair jumped out to a convincing lead on Friday and did nothing to relinquish on Saturday to capture this year’s Emo Walleye Classic—and the $11,000 top prize.
The Devlin anglers had been waiting for a finish like this for some time. They had been in the top 10 for the past four years, but never higher than seventh.
Perhaps those results bred in them some humility. Galusha admitted on stage before receiving the large wooden trophy that “I didn’t think we had it.”
“We didn’t do very good pre-fishing,” he noted afterwards. “We weren’t expecting this at all.”
Godin and Galusha weighed in a heavy 10.42-pound haul on Day One—well ahead of the second-biggest catch of 7.85 pounds by Wayne Angus and Mike Vacura.
While the champs were eclipsed by strong Saturday finishes by Doug McBride and Steve Ballan, as well as Frank and Corey Curtis, their 9.05 pounds was enough to give them a nearly three-pound lead in the final standings.
The two admitted, though, that their double-digit poundage Friday made it harder to stay patient and wait for the big bite on Saturday.
“You’re in first and the whole time you’re thinking you should be running somewhere,” Godin said.
“The pressure’s on,” Galusha added.
The two also were one of the few teams to not have a stronger finish on Saturday. Half of the top 10 had stronger second days, and the total tournament haul on Saturday yielded 17 more fish and nearly 30 more pounds.
“Slower bite today,” Godin shrugged. “Didn’t catch nearly as many fish today.”
“We threw back 20-inchers yesterday,” Galusha admitted.
The biggest fish of this year’s EWC was caught by Ballan, which weighed in at 6.68 pounds.
He said the catch was really just about “being in the right place at the right time,” but admitted that even with the big catch and a tournament-leading 10.75 pound one-day haul on Saturday, he and McBride were doubtful of victory.
“We’re five pounds behind the leader after Day One, so doing the math you didn’t think we had enough,” he said.
Other notable finishes at the EWC included Jared Baker and James Kaemingh, who brought in the biggest fish on Friday—a 5.57-pounder.
And at the ages of 16 and 18, they would have cracked the top 10 in their first walleye tournament if not for being docked weight for tardiness.
Meanwhile, Nibs and Jeff Kreger, who made up for a weak 1.73-pound catch Friday with a 8.14-pound haul Saturday—led by a “big fish” contender that vaulted them into sixth place overall.
It was not a good weekend for last year’s champions, though. Todd Grennier and Eric Lessman went from first to worst after getting skunked both days.
Lincoln Dunn, stage and marketing director for the EWC, was pleased with how the event went, saying the organizing committee “really didn’t have any issues.”
“Overall, I’m ecstatic with how things have been,” he enthused.