Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Devlin duo rule EWC again

Bill Godin and Ralph Galusha took the lead after Day 1 of the 13th-annual Emo Walleye Classic.
They weren’t about to give it back.

The Devlin-based anglers maintained a consistency over two days of fishing that carried them to the EWC championship with a total weight of 17.84 pounds—making them the first three-time winners in the event’s history after finishing on top in 2007 and 2010.
“This means more to me than anything,” a thrilled Godin said about the duo carving their names into the record books and picking up a cool $6,000 cheque in the process.
“The prestige of having three of these under our belt means everyone else has to chase us now,” he added.
Godin and Galusha hauled in 9.62 pounds to lead after Day 1 on Friday.
They had just enough in their bag Saturday, with a mark of 8.22, to hold off 2009 champions Ted Heyens of Stratton and Kelvin Caul of Devlin, who finished second at the EWC for the second time with a total of 16.79.
“One more [large]-sized fish and we would have been OK,” lamented Caul.
Godin and Galusha stuck to what they knew best and stayed on the eastern portion of the Rainy River during the competition.
An abnormally large number of their opponents, on the other hand, headed west to try and find the best holes.
“That’s been our bread-and-butter up there,” noted Galusha.
“We’ve had success there before.”
Godin credited patience to being an integral part of their latest victory.
“It looked like there was a lot of guys doing a lot of running around,” he surmised.
“We stayed around one spot and decided to out-wait the fish,” Godin added.
“They would come in waves,” he noted. “There would be some, then it would be quiet, then more again.”
Godin said the fishing was a lot tougher Saturday.
“We got our two bigger ones one early and another closer to 1:30 p.m.,” he recalled.
The pair arrived for their grand entrance into the arena as the final team in the top 10 from Friday not certain at all they would be ending the day as champions.
“I thought [Heyens and Caul] has us,” Godin admitted.
“We had talked to him earlier in the day and he said he had caught a big one, so I figured they had bumped us.”
For a while, it looked as though nobody was going to dethrone the defending champs, Les Morrison of Baudette and Oliver Gibbons of Morson, who were aiming to become the first repeat winners at the EWC.
Morrison and Gibbons looked dead in the water after starting out Saturday in 17th place in the 33-team field following a Day 1 total of just 4.12 pounds.
But the duo put a stranglehold on the hot seat with the best total of Day 2 (11.06 pounds) as team after team that followed couldn’t best their two-day total of 15.18.
With four teams left to check in, Morrison and Gibbons grimaced when Patrick LeMaistre and Ryan O’Connor of Kenora pulled out the last of their four fish, which looked to be a whopper.
But the sizable walleye only bumped LeMaistre and Gibbons up to fifth place overall at 14.16 pounds—causing a shocked Gibbons to turn to his partner and clearly mouth the question, “Really?”
After Emo’s Rod Woodgate and Dylan Swire also fell short, Heyens and Caul arrived in their boat, with Heyens smiling and motioning to Morrison and Gibbons while pounding his chest in a good-natured check on how fast the heart rate was for the hot seat tandem.
When Heyens held up an impressive fish as the last of the four the team caught, the crowd roared while the defending champs respectfully applauded in recognition their reign was over.
“It was fun while it lasted,” grinned Morrison, whose team’s third-place money was bolstered by an extra $400 earned while surviving eight rounds in the hot seat during the top 10.
“But we figured one of the last four was probably going to put us out.
“We started east on Day 1, then headed west an hour later,” he added.
“We should have kept going east. It was the wrong decision.”
“I’m glad [Morrison and Gibbons] didn’t have six or seven pounds yesterday [Friday] or we would have been done,” Godin noted.
A total of 35 teams registered for this year’s EWC but two didn’t make it out for the launch either day.

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