Virtual Emo Can Am Rainy River Spring Fishing Tournament April 10 – 11
It is no secret there have been some big walleyes living in the Rainy River this spring. Unseasonably warm temperatures combined with less ice this year has created open water up and down the Rainy River. Boat ramps are opened up and anglers are reporting good fishing. If you think you have the walleyes “dialed in” on the river, perhaps this Emo Walleye Classic virtual fishing contest is for you.
Organizers in Emo, Ontario have created a virtual walleye tournament on the Rainy River. Normally, this tournament would be towards the end of May and would be a traditional tournament with teams taking off from Emo, fishing the Canadian side of the Rainy River only, traditional weigh-ins with live fish and even a top 10 boat parade. These are not normal times.
As last year’s tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic, organizers wanted to do something to keep the tradition alive even during these not so normal times. It sounds like they have done it, with some tweaks of course.
-The tournament is a two day tournament, taking place Saturday and Sunday, April 10 and 11 from 8am – 4pm Central.
-This year’s tournament is a virtual tournament. The tournament will rely on technology in the form of the well known fishing tournament smart phone app, Fish Donkey.
-Being this tournament is virtual, anglers from both sides of the border can take part.
-Anglers can be on the water and at their spot before the start of each day which is 8am.
-Anglers will have to submit a video at 8am showing their livewell and different parts of their boat, which ultimately takes the place of a boat inspection for a normal in person tournament.
-Anglers will take a picture holding the fish with the left side of the fish showing.
-The second image will be their fish on a measuring board with the fishes mouth closed and touching the “bump” on the bump board which is the measuring board. The tail can be swung back and forth with the picture taken showing the maximum length of the fish.
-Finally, a video should be taken showing the fish being removed from the measuring device or “bump board” and successfully released back into the water.
For official rules, check out the rules in the Fish Donkey App. The app is free to download and an angler can read up on the rules and other details of the tournament before entering. When in the Fish Donkey App, search for Emo Walleye Classic Can & American. All information as well as how to register and pay for the tournament will also be there.
This tournament is organized and run by the non-profit called the Emo Walleye Classic Committee.
The purpose of this tournament is normally to get like minded folks coming together for a fun event as well as stimulating the local business community of Emo, Ontario with anglers in town, etc.
Proceeds from this tournament are put into the winnings for successful anglers. This year’s top prize is $10,000 CDN.
Virtual tournaments are becoming more and more popular. In this case, the virtual aspect overcomes many hurdles. With a closed border, it allows both Canadian and U.S. anglers to enter. It prevents groups of people which during the pandemic is a good thing. Teams of two will be in their own boats out amongst nature.
Thinking outside the box and conducting a virtual tournament allows a local fishing tournament heading into it’s 20th year to continue the tradition for all of the right reasons. We wish our friends across the river in Emo all of the best with the tournament. If you decide to fish the tournament, have fun, good luck and make some memories!