July 16, 2009

Governor’s Walleye Cup Derby shy on numbers

Governor’s Walleye Cup Derby shy on numbers
By STU MERRY
The 34th Annual North Dakota Governor’s Walleye Cup Tournament is here.
More than 200 two-person teams are ready to test their skills, hoping that come Saturday night at the Garrison City Park bandstand they will be crowned champion of the state’s premier fishing tournament. Derby officials noted Tuesday calls were still coming in to enter the tournament and there’s still room to reach a full 252-team field.
Joyce Pfliger, Governor’s Cup Committee member, noted there have been a handful of withdrawals as the tournament draws near – one participant from Dickinson, Wayne Grimestead, was forced to pull out because his was one of the homes lost in the Dickinson tornado July 8.
Telling Pfliger about his situation when she inquired where to return the entry fee, Grimestad said to send the refund to his sister.
“I lost everything --- I don’t even have a house,” he said.
This is the third year in a row the Governor’s Cup hasn’t filled. In 2007, 238 teams took part in the tournament. Last year, that number fell to 219. As of Monday, 199 had registered for this year’s event but officials note calls continue to come in.
Last year there were a number of reasons anglers could have used to pass on the Governor’s Cup – high gas prices, low lake levels, size of fish …
“Normally we would fill right away,” Pfliger said. “But that’s not happening anymore.
“A lot are waiting, holding on to their money. With the computer, people can see there’s still room so many hold off on registration,” she speculated.
The Governor’s Cup isn’t the only tournament feeling the bite of diminished entries. The Dakota Walleye Classic, set for next weekend out of Beulah Bay, is also shy on numbers. As of Monday, about 150 teams had registered for the event. A full field is 195.
In a story filed by BHG News Service’s Robyn Rohde, Steffanie Boeckel, Beulah Chamber of Commerce executive, said last year’s Dakota Walleye Classic was the first time in history the field had not filled. Only 187 participated.
 


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