15-pound walleye lands Michigan duo in winner’s circle
By John Hageman
Rossford, Ohio — On the weekend of April 1-2, the City of Rossford Visitor and Convention Bureau teamed up with Bass Pro Shops to host their inaugural Rossford Walleye Roundup Tournament.
A conflict with the already-filled 60-boat field of Lake Erie Walleye Trail Tournament teams at Magee East Marina likely prevented a full line up of competitors. Only 13 pairs of anglers competed for a generous purse of prize money and attractive promotional packages provided by Bass Pro Shops and several tackle suppliers.
The anglers from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana were allowed to fish all waters within Ohio and Michigan, including the Maumee River, where the annual spawning run was underway.
Coming in first place and taking home $4,500 and a pair of trolling combos, free hotel room, and entry into next year’s contest was the team of Brent and Ethan Wright, of Millington, Michigan.
They ended with a winning two-day catch of 44.75 pounds of walleyes, largely as a result of their first day’s catch of 36.17 pounds, landing an incredible 15.12-pound beast, possibly the largest walleye ever entered into a tournament anywhere.
Coming in second place were Ohio anglers Ronnie Rhodes of Sheffield Lake and Joe Whitten of Curtice, who had a two-day total weight of 31.48 pounds and split a $1,750 check.
Third place also went to an Ohio team of Sammy Cappelli of Poland and John Gribble of Madison, who earned $750 with their two-day catch of 23.0 pounds. Fourth place, the last to pay off, was claimed by Michigan anglers Dan Timmerman and Brent Brophy ll, who were rewarded with a check for $500.
Butch and Denny’s bait store from Curtice provided filleting service for walleyes that were donated to the annual fish fry at St. Mary on the Lake Church in Manitou Beach, Michigan and the Cherry Street Mission in Toledo.
Bass Pro Shops provided kids activities such as practicing casting fishing lures and a fishing derby, face painting, dog care seminars, and pet photo sessions. Partners for Healthy Streams and the Toledo Sail and Power Squadron were also on hand to provide information about their organizations.