Slow fishing, other factors affecting local tournaments
By Stu Merry, BHG News Service
For the third year in a row the two premier fishing tournaments on Lake Sakakawea will not fill. Joyce Pfliger with the North Dakota Governor’s Walleye Cup, which begins with registration today (Thursday) at the Garrison Auditorium, said the field will be about 200 – far short of the maximum 252. Boats will launch from Garrison Bay Friday and Saturday morning. Weigh-ins will once again be at the Garrison City Park. Steph Boeckel, tournament coordinator for the Dakota Walleye Classic out of Beulah, said registrations have been coming in slowly. A full field in the DWC is 195. Boeckel said the present count is 123. The hope is a few more register before the tournament, which is set for July 23-24. Officials with both tournaments say with reduced numbers, the top prize will remain, while the payout structure will be prorated. The lake is looking better than it has over the past 10 years. But looks can be deceiving. The lake has recovered well from years of drought, but it takes time for the fish population to rebound.