Rookies win Walleye Classic

By Daniel Adam
Staff Writer

Rookies Payne Hunter and Shawn Brown took the 2022 Emo Walleye Classic title with 33.18 lb. This was Brown’s first ever tournament, and Hunter’s first “big” tournament — he’d fished a few derbies before.

They used a small Lund, a 25-horse motor, and a cooler for a livewell.

“It just proves you don’t need a big boat to catch fish,” said Brown. “You’ve just got to know where they are.”

Hunter said the fish were in 12-13 feet of water, and that he and Brown fished the same spot both days.

“We probably caught 20 fish today,” said Hunter. “We crushed it.”

Anglers are allowed four fish per day — two over 18 inches, and two between 12-18 inches. Hunter and Brown had 12.45 lb. on day one, and 20.73 lb. on the second and final day.

“Fishing was great today,” said Hunter. “I was glad everybody had fish.”

Despite the high water, anglers didn’t seem to have any trouble reeling in fish. Most boats had filled their bag both days, and no team came up empty either day.

Angler Mike Maxton said the water levels helped him and his son Javyn.

“High water was good for us,” he said. “It positioned the fish where we needed them to be to catch them.”

He said the fish were mainly in creek beds and current breaks. Mike has experience in this tournament, and has fished it with Javyn once before as well.

TJ Barker proved he was a better angler than his dad Jon this weekend, reeling in most of the pair’s big fish and helping them finish 7th out of 31. TJ also won the Walleye Classic’s Rookie Award.

And although Edward Cabral and Jamie Blattner didn’t get Cabral’s wish of a top-10 finish, they redeemed themselves with 21.37 lb., far exceeding their 2017 two-day total of 5.95 lb.

They also won the Day Two Hidden Weight award.

For full tournament results, look to your left.

2022 Emo Walleye Classic Final Standings

Place Team Day 1 Day 2 Final

PlaceTeamDay 1Day 2Final
1Payne Hunter and Shawn Brown12.2420.7333.18
2Doug McBride and Steve Ballan13.3519.1432.24
3Bill Godin and Greg Swire16.2611.7428.00
4Dan Pollard and Josh Pollard15.0312.6527.68
5Jim Steele and Jessica Steele12.7214.4027.12
6Les Morrison and Oliver Gibbons16.0510.4526.50
7Jon Barker and TJ Barker14.2211.8226.04
8Aaron Bisson and Tony Bisson12.9012.2925.19
9Dale Hartlin and Curtis Hartlin9.0115.1424.15
10Jaxon Calder and Steven Halverson11.5112.6224.13
11Riley Caul and Brandon Marr12.2211.2923.51
12Dennis Smith and Terry Allan11.2512.0823.43
13Greg Hartlin and Tyler Cousineau Day10.1113.0123.12
14Ted Heyens and Kelvin Caul Day9.9613.0423.00
15Terry Wilson and John Spuzak9.0113.0222.03
16Mike Maxton and Javyn Maxton8.9813.0322.01
17Ed Carlson and Jason McQuaker10.3911.4121.80
18Jamie Blattner and Edward Cabral11.3510.0221.37
19Mike Redford and Tony Flatt9.4911.8121.30
20Keith Wilson and Brian Wayash Sr.12.568.7121.27
21Hannah Fritsch-Mills and Patrick Mills11.699.5621.25
22Todd Grennier and Kalin Grennier9.0312.0221.05
23Irwin Hughes and Amber Hughes11.029.7720.79
24Grant Swire and Leroy Wilson9.9610.4420.40
25Carter Robinson and Ryan Redford10.079.1319.20
26Travis Wood and Erin Wood10.658.5119.16
27Frank Grunewald and Frank McWhinnie12.245.8418.08
28Travis Rob and Mike Gagnon9.448.4017.84
29Rylan McQuaker and Joleigh Hayes9.668.1817.84
30Darwin Thompson and Jesse Thompson7.419.3116.72
31Maverick Smith and Jaiden Van Dulmen5.318.1313.44