There aren’t too many places that are synonymous with walleye fishing as much as northern Manitoba is. The countless lakes and rivers that flow in the upper half of the province have long been the backdrop for many generations of walleye anglers both local and visiting alike. Famous Paint Lake near the City of Thompson is one of the longstanding focal points of this incredible walleye fishing resource in the north.
The last two seasons, this sprawling body of water in Paint Lake Provincial Park has hosted the Kickerfish Northern Manitoba Walleye Championship. A one-day two-person team format competition to crown the best competitive anglers at this end of the province. Dozens of local teams in addition to travelling entrants from across ‘the north’, southern Manitoba, and even as far away as Alberta have comprised the 50 boat fields the last two years.
The tournament, taking place on Sunday September 1st this year is a live weigh-in and release event hosted out of Paint Lake Lodge and marina. Each team can bring in a maximum of six fish with no walleye measuring at or over 55cm as per provincial regulations. The winning weight in pounds each year has been 16.12 and 15.86, so teams have their work cut out for them to find the six fattest legal fish in the lake.
The NMWC is the only open water walleye tournament in the Northern Region. It is very competitive amongst participating teams with bragging rights up for the taking in addition to the $10,000 boat, motor, and trailer package for first place. Many boats begin practicing for the event weeks ahead with the days leading up seeing most teams spending time on the water trying to hone in on the winning pattern.
Local businesses have embraced the tournament with several supporting the event as major sponsors including Paint Lake Lodge, Bob’s Towing, Rock Country GM, and Calm Air. With valuable support from local businesses such as Nickle City Motors, Twin Motors, Leo’s Home & Decorating, A&W Thompson, and Walleye Mafia, as well as big brands Cabela’s, Evinrude, Humminbird, Minn Kota, and Alumacraft Boats, this year’s tournament is poised to hand out the largest purse in prizes yet.
The fun weekend includes an always entertaining Rules Meeting Saturday night and a free supper at the Awards after the competition. $300 entry fee per team. Over $25,000 in cash and prizes to be won! Registration is open now with full rules and details at kickerfish.ca with entries accepted up until the Rules Meeting 6pm at Paint Lake Lodge.
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