Chasing master greenbacks on Red

Brook Jones, Selkirk Journal

The Walleye Masters Cup takes place on the Red at Selkirk Park Sept. 30. (Brook Jones/Selkirk Journal/Postmedia Network)

The Walleye Masters Cup takes place on the Red at Selkirk Park Sept. 30. (Brook Jones/Selkirk Journal/Postmedia Network)

The masters are coming to Selkirk as anglers are gearing up for the Walleye Masters Cup.

This year more than 100 teams will compete for a top prize of $10,000 by catching the largest greenback on the Red. Second place will take home a 2017 1436 Alumacraft Jon Boat, along with a Karavan trailer, Mercury motor and $1,000. Third place will receive $3,000.

According to Walleye Masters Cup organizer Brad Melnyk, this year’s event will break a team participation record as last year only 90 teams took part.

“We’re going to break some records I hope,” he said. “I’m up to 104 and maybe another three more.”

Melnyk said anglers from not only Manitoba, but also as far away as Saskatchewan, B.C., Alberta, and Northwest Ontario, have registered for the championship.

Melnyk said the best part about organizing an annual event such as this is the fun aspect of it.

“It’s fun and it’s the atmosphere,” he said. “The big fish are in the river. More bigger fish are being caught.”

He said the cooler and wet weather as of late is perfect for hosting a walleye fishing tournament.

“That cold north wind of the lake is blowing those minnows right into the river and the walleyes are following them right behind,” he explained. “You want this poor weather right now for the week and then come the weekend if you get a nice decent west wind or a shy north wind, it should be really good for fishing.”

Fishing Journal columnist David Obirek is gearing up for the championship at Selkirk Park Sept. 31. He’ll be fishing alongside his son 21-year-old son Daniel Obirek.

The Selkirk resident, who placed seventh in 2014 and 14th at the 2015 championship. 2014 was a memorable experience for Obirek as he caught a 10.09 pound walleye, which stands as the championship record.

“We’re capable of being in the mix and luck definitely plays at part,” Obirek said. “There are some reports that there are some good walleye on the river...It’s really anybody’s game.”

Obirek has secured a sponsorship with Guertin Equipment as they will provide him with an Alumacraft boat.

“It’s been a great partnership,” Obirek said.

The Masters Cup is part of the Central Walleye Trail, which is a competitive fishing trail in central Canada. Each year, five tournaments take place in Manitoba, two in Saskatchewan and an additional two in Ontario. The event in Selkirk is the ninth this year on the trail with the final event talking place in Pine Falls Oct. 7 and 8.

“This is a premiere walleye event in Selkirk. You never see this many anglers coming into Selkirk at this time,” Obriek said. “The tournament is growing and there is great economic spin off.”

Obirek said that some of the top walleye fishers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwest Ontario are members of this particular trail.

“There is a 50/50 split between one day and two day events on the Central Walleye Trail.

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