The 3rd Annual Madge Lake Walleye Cup (MLWC) is on the books and the weather was in “full co-operation mode.”
Elias “Louie” Bakopoulos and Stan Ricci, both of Regina, took home the win on September 14th in Duck Mountain Provincial Park with 12.74 lbs. In addition to their first place finish, the pair also took home top new team, CWT (Central Walleye Trail) team and traveling team for a total of $6,800 in cash and prizes, said a release.
Lance Marcotte and Karen Soke, both from Estevan, took second place with a 12.32 lb five-fish basket, as well as the top mixed team. Rounding out the top three was the team of Darrin and Cooper Ziprick, both of Thompson, Man. with an 11.66 lb basket. Cooper also won the youth angler category.
The top local team was Landon and Greg Nicol of Kamsack.
Jaymes Heibert of Kleefield, Man. and Alex Penner of Steinbach, Man. found the 4.08 lbs big fish of the 2019 MLWC, the release said.
The MLWC is a one-day tournament on Madge Lake in “gorgeous Duck Mountain Provincial Park,” according to organizers. “One-day events like the MLWC provide a great opportunity for people to get into tournament fishing,” said James Turner, tournament director. “With a one-day, the fun is dialed up because you don’t have that pressure of having to worry about your standings going into the next day. You can just enjoy the experience.”
Turner added that the Central Walleye Trail, of which the MLWC is part of, specifically encourages one-day tournaments as a means of including everyone, not just the hard-core competitive anglers. “There are a lot more ‘family’ teams, be that parent and child, grandparent and grandchild, spousal, siblings, and so on than you will typically find in a two-day tournament,” he said.
“The MLWC this year was a success for several reasons. Going into its third year, it continues to grow, both in terms of teams and sponsorships. It’s the only one day tournament that IOMPresents runs, so it draws a slightly different group of competitors.
The MLWC is also a success because it’s the last stop on the Sask Slam tournament trail, Turner said. The Slam is comprised of all three IOMPresents walleye tournaments here in Saskatchewan. It’s a “thank you trail” in that there’s no fees to participate.
“It’s comprised of anglers that fish all three tournaments,” he continued. “The Team of the Year was Jaymes Hiebert and Alex Penner. The Angler of the year was Elias Bakopoulos. The Big fish of the year, caught during the Calling Lakes Classic, was the team of Troy Popowich and Dan Metcalfe, both of Regina.
“It was also a success because of our fantastic volunteers,” Turner continued. “I swear, if I could clone the Friends of Madge Lake organization, I would!”
The MLWC is one of four catch-and-release fishing tournaments hosted by IOMPresents, the events management division of Innovative Outdoorsman Marketing. It is the eighth stop on the Central Walleye Trail, (www.centralwalleyetrail.com), and the third on the Sask Slam, (www.iompresents.com/SaskSlam).
The MLWC wants to acknowledge its valued sponsors, which include Alumacraft Boats, Mainline RV & Marine, Waves Ice Cream & Mini Golf, Woodlake Marine Ltd, Madge Lake Developments, Innovative Outdoorsman Marketing Ltd, P & G Plumbing & Heating, Jim Beam Black Bourbon, Kamsack Liquor Store, Dr. Bob’s Marine Clinic, Molson Coors, Madge Lake Golf Resort, Duck Mountain Provincial Park and many others.
The Iron Grill Steakhouse catered the food for the event and featured “an exceptional Ukrainian feast” on Friday evening, said Turner. Rob McDonald was the photographer.
“We wish to acknowledge our fantastic volunteers from the Friends of Madge Lake organization,” he said. “All of you are as essential to the success of the MLWC as the sponsors, IOM’s staff, and the countless fish here at Madge.”
The event is looking forward to hosting 75 teams in 2020, Turner concluded.
For more information one may go to the MLWC Facebook page @IOMPresentsMLWC, the website at www.iompresents.com, or contact the tournament director.