Winnipeg River Greenback Championship draws decent numbers, despite COVID

Photo courtesy of the Winnipeg River Greenback Championship

By Don Norman

The last of this year’s pickerel derbies came and went over the Weekend of October 17-18. Considering the challenges organizers faced with COVID, the Winnipeg River Greenback Championship did quite well. “We actually had a pretty good turnout, said Drew Raymond, one of the organizers of the Derby (her father is Laurent who runs the event). “We had 47 boats out. We actually had 50 entries, but then there was some last minute cancellations,” she said noting that they normally get only a few boats over 50.

However, she did say things were different. They didn’t have the rules meeting, instead it was held online. There was no calcutta. There was no awards banquet with dinner at the Papertown, but they did hold the awards ceremony there but the crowds were sparse enough to maintain social distancing restrictions.

Other than that, things went as well as could be expected. There was some snow and high winds on Saturday, but any serious angler competing in a fall fishing derby in Manitoba is pretty prepared for that. But despite the hardy nature of the competitors, you could hear a few complaints uttered as they came to weigh their fish. “They couldn’t even sign the paper because their hands were too cold.”

The First place winner of the $7,500 prize was Thomas and Derek Robinson from Lac du Bonnet for their 35.05 lb two-day haul.

The Second Prize of $4,000 went to Vern and Brent Wyatt from Oakbank for their 32.14 lb catch.

The $2,800 third prize went to Chris Blayd and Gary Phillips out of Winnipeg (29.33 lbs).

Cody and Jodie Cyr from St. George walked away with $2500 in combined prize money for taking 4th place along with the top mixed team prize with their 28.34 lb haul.

The biggest day 1 fish was caught by the Chris Blayden/Gary Phillips team and weighed in at 8.74 lbs. The day 2 winner was the Tony Shirly/Paul Marion team, whose fish weighed in at 8.94 lbs. Both of those teams took home a $1200 prize for the honour.

Full results can be found at the Greenback Championship Facebook page.

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