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CAHIERS SPÉCIAUX

Alex and Eric Savage accept their $3,180 cheque  after taking first place during last Sunday’s fishing tournament, hosted by the Lavigne Community Centre.

SRH Museum Pike Tournament organizers René Rochon (left) and Nick Rankin present the $3,500 2nd place prize to the local team of Harold Nesbitt and Chris Anderson. The two also won biggest fish of the tournament, which added an extra $1,000 to their total.

by Brad Aubin
Tribune

It isn’t summer in West Nipissing without the Top 50 Pike Series Tournament Trail – and over the weekend, two of the series’ 10 tournaments had anglers competing on local waters. The Sturgeon Falls Curling Club’s Museum tournament was held on Saturday and the Lavigne Community Centre’s tournament followed on Sunday, for an action-packed weekend of fishing fun.

Over 200 anglers took off from the Museum to hunt for the day’s biggest pike on Saturday, to the delight of organizers who have been hosting for the Curling Club for 5 years.

“We had a good bunch of locals as well as folks from out of town attend the tournament,” says organizing committee member René Rochon. “The day went phenomenally well thanks to our almost 30 volunteers and the anglers. It was a beautiful sunny day and everything went off without a hitch! We had over 104 boats go out and out of those, 88 came back with their full limit. We always love hosting this event and we think that the museum is a premiere location as it enables for a stress-free blast off, weigh-in, as well as ceremony afterwards!”

The first place prize of $6,000 went to Shane and Dan Kerr of Warren, for their catches totalling 395.4 cm. Second place and $3,500 went to locals Chris Anderson and Harold Nesbitt, who caught pike totaling 394.4 cm. Netting third place and $2,000 were locals Pierre Senecal and Roger Tetrault, with 385.8 cm in catches. Anderson and Nesbitt also caught the day’s biggest fish, at 77.20 cm, earning them an extra $1,000.

On Sunday, the anglers flocked to Lavigne for their chance at big money. 56 teams attended the tournament. It was the first time the Lavigne Community Centre hosted the event, and President Jean Roberge was ecstatic with the results.

“We saw a lot of local faces and a lot of out of towners come and enjoy the waters and the competition,” he said. “It was our first time hosting and we had a blast. The blast off took place at the municipal docks, and the weigh-ins took place at Bowhey’s West Nipissing Resort. Afterwards, we all went to the Lavigne Tavern for prizes and a good time.”

Sunday’s overcast day gave the anglers a break from Saturday’s bright sun, and just about every team brought back their limit of 5 pike.

First place honours and $3,180 went to Eric Savage and Alex Savage, with catches totaling 380.6 cm. Michael Party and Shawn Davidson caught fish totaling 377.80 cm, winning second place and $2,120. In third place were Brad Gilson and West Foster, who also caught 377.80 cm in fish (the tie was broken based on the largest fish caught); they earned $1,325. The day’s biggest fish, at 85.4 cm, netted Eric and Alex Savage an extra $560. 

“Overall it was a great experience for us and our volunteers hosting the tournament. It proved to be good for local businesses as well. The anglers were all great and we didn’t have trouble with anybody. If the Top 50 asks us again, I’m sure we’d all love to host the tournament again!” Roberge summed up.



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Big fish bring big prizes, bragging rights