Really big fish

What a difference a day can make!

Day two of the AMARA-CAN Walleye Classic was a hot one and the fishing for most teams was just as hot. Team 12, captained by Don Ruppert, along with Scott Wind, Art Wind and John Schultz, brought in a tournament record two-day total weight of 87.20 pounds. Ruppert’s team was in second place Saturday, but put together a five-fish total Sunday that weighed in at almost 44 pounds. They had the second heaviest walleye of the day on Saturday with a 10.38-pound catch. They bettered that with the largest fish on Sunday, a 11.24-pounder.

Team 12 reported that they were fishing just west of Sturgeon Point in 68 feet of water near the Canadian border. They were using 5-inch Renosky stick baits off the planner boards set way off to the side. They were marking lots of fish on their electronics but found the active fish were up high in the top 20 to 30 feet of water, so they were using two- and three-colors of lead core line with 75-foot leaders. The team also noticed they were hitting the bigger fish trolling east. Trolling west, they were picking up smaller fish. So they would set up, troll east for about one mile, then tear down and head back to their original point and start over. That hard work paid off with the top prize of $2,350 for first place, $300 for top fish Sunday and $200 for second biggest fish on Saturday.

Brad Milleville, Captain of team 99, moved up a position from Saturday to capture the second-place prize money of $1,330, with a two-day total weight of 84.70 pounds. Captain Daryll McNeil, of team 92, moved up three positions to take home the third-place prize money of $950. They had a total weight of 83.48 pounds. Captain Dan Campbell, of team 94, made the Top 10 teams when it counted the most, taking home $600 with a total weight of 81.72 pounds.

Captain Mike Fletcher, of team 95, dropped from the lead Saturday down to fifth place, taking home $400 in prize money, with a total weight of 80.62 pounds. Captain George Jensen, of Team 103, moved up a position for a sixth-place finish and $300 with a total weight of 80.24 pounds. Captain Joe Jemiollo III, of Team 2, slid back three spots to take seventh place and $250.

Seventh through tenth place all paid out $250, with Captain Dan Bognar, of Team 96, dropping from fifth place to eighth with a 79.74 pound two-day total. Captain Hunter Peterson (Team 31) moved into the Top 10 with a total weight of 79.34 pounds and Captain Russ Criddle (Team 97) moved into the final spot with a 79.12-pound total.

Rich Kacmarski (Team 88) took home the second-largest fish on Sunday and $200 with a 10.40-pounder while Gary McCracken had the third largest fish on Sunday and won $100 with his 10.0-pound walleye.

The AMARA-CAN Walleye Classic is making plans to return to Dunkirk in 2014 with July 12 through 13 as the tentative scheduled tournament dates. The New York Walleye Association, The City of Dunkirk, Gander Mountain and Budweiser are the proud sponsors of this event, with accommodations provided by the Clarion Hotel and Chadwick Bay Marina.

Additional sponsors included Anchor Marine, American Image, Brobeil Marine, Buffalo Press Inc., Rainbow Sports, Big Catch Bait & Tackle, West Marine, Tony Scimes Tackle & Variety, Fish Hunter, Challenger Lures and Weekley’s Wholesale Bait, Inc. For more information on the AMARA-CAN, contact NY Walleye President Bob Zoeller at 875-8148.

Gene Pauszek is an outdoor columnist for the OBSERVER. Send comments to