It’s official. A new spring walleye tournament will be held on the Rainy River at Emo next year.
The deal was sealed last week after a vote at an Emo Chamber of Commerce meeting, president Colleen Vennechenko said.
The tourney—named the Emo Walleye Classic—will be held May 31-June 1, a date which was made official this past Monday,
“I was very pleased with [the decision],” said Vennechenko. “I think it’s something Emo can definitely handle.”
A chairperson for the live-release derby will be named by the end of the week, and about six directors sometime thereafter, added Vennechenko.
Several prominent names have been batted around but Vennechenko said only the final choice will be announced.
“Once we have a chairperson in place, we’ll really get things going,” she enthused.
At this stage, the derby will consist of 50 two-person teams fishing on the Rainy River. The entry fee is $600, and the Chamber has compiled a growing list of anglers who have shown interest.
As a first-year endeavour, the Emo Walleye Classic won’t have the same attractions as the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. But Vennechenko said a food booth and various activities are planned,
She added Lionel Robert, owner of Lion Rob tournament services and longtime emcee of the FFCBC, is on board to host the Emo derby.
“He’s definitely in as an announcer,” Vennechenko said. “But in what other capacity, we’re not sure.”
Robert and reps of other district fishing tournaments made a presentation to the Emo Chamber in mid-October. From there, interest picked up after a question-and-answer sessions Nov. 5, where Vennechenko said the idea was very well-received by the community.
“We have a great base for volunteers. We’ve had different community groups to help out,” she said, adding the Chamber already has a list of interested volunteers at this early stage.