2000 Lake Erie Walleye Tourney Wrapup

Lake Erie played host to many walleye tournaments this past season. Each year in the fall issue of Lake Erie Walleye Magazine we post summary results of selected tournaments. In the spring and summer issues, we post upcoming tournaments. If you know of a tournament on Lake Erie that you would like to see covered, call us at 1 800 347-4519. Send us results of your tournament along with some good photos and we'll make every effort to showcase your tournament.


The West Cleveland Walleye Association proved there are still a few walleyes swimming in lake Erie as Tim Nesselhauf of Sandusky, and teammates Dale and Kathy Lawrence won the clubís recent Fifth annual West Cleveland Open Walleye Tournament on Lake Erie held this past June 17th.

The winning limit of six walleyes measured 152.75 inches, a 25-inch average, to capture $885.

1. Tim Nesselhauf(Sandusky), Dale Lawrence,

Kathy Lawrence 6 walleye, 152.75 inches, $885

2. Tony Sambunjak(Parma) Anton Sambunjak, Petre

Bogdon, Jim Dacey,6, 149.75, $465.

3. Don Nagel (Avon), Tom Puskarich, Don Madden,

Bob Kresse, 6, 149.5,$300

4. Jim Esser(Elyria), Matt Esser, Dick Esser, Ralph Snwgola, 6, 135, $175

5. Chris Songer(Bay Village), Dave Rothhaas, Tom Reindel, Bill Pelger, 5, 122.25, $135


A total of 186 teams competed on the Fathers Day weekend for over $40,000.00 cdn. in cash and prizes in the
"444 International Walleye Tournament". This was the 9th season the tournament was held in Port Colborne, and put together by the Port Colborne & District Conservation Club. The now famous "444" stands for 4 people(max) per team, 4 walleye weighed in per day, and 4 pairs of fishing poles. This year's winning team had 3 fishermen led by Ron Bosak of Port Colborne with Dan Campbell and Chuck Campbell who had brought in 62.67lbs of walleye over the 2 day tournament. This tournament has attracted numerous anglers from across Southern & Central Ontario, and upper New York State. Since the tournament's inception there has not been a single team that has dominated over the field, proving at this time of the year how tough it is to put together 2 good days of successful fishing on Lake Erie. The top 2 teams after Saturdayís weigh in were well down the list after the final tally was in on Sunday. You just donít know what Lake Erie will throw at you. The Father's Day weekend this year was very wet and conditions on the lake were not extremely favorable, but most of the die hard fishermen and women stuck it out. This year's top five finishing teams were:

1. Ron Bosak, Dan Campbell & Chuck Campbell ($6,510)

2. Richard Sewell, Dave Ried, Gary Gregory, Roderick Scott ($2,790)

3. Dave Malloy, Ian Birrell, Noah Clarke, Rick Barren ($1,860)

4. Wayne McDonald, Chris Buzoygan, Dale McDonald, Wayne McDonald ($930)

5. Gary Jensen, Robert Hellingsworth, Joseph Hellingsworth ($697)

Saturday's big fish (12.08 pounds) was caught by D. Hurd ($465) and Sunday's big fish (10.98 pounds) reeled in by B. Bitner ($465)



This year the Southtowns Walleye Tournament, chaired by Tom Marks, was held June 10th thru the 18th and once again anglers brought in some excellent fish. As anyone who fished any of the waters from the Western Basin to the Eastern Basin of Lake Erie in June knows the walleye were tough to find. The water warmed up late so the "bite" was slow, but if you put in the time and were willing to search and experiment with the presentation, you caught fish. We saw large fish caught off the breakwalls for the Buffalo Harbor, fish in shallow near-shore waters, and suspended fish in deep mid-lake haunts. There was no one special location to find walleye this year. Despite the cooler water and threats from storms, the catch was impressive. The total was down slightly from 1999 but we saw larger walleye and more of them.


The Southtowns Walleye Associationís Millennium Tournament, as it was called, saw around 2,000 participants strive to catch the largest walleye. New to the tournament this year were bonus prizes for the three largest smallmouth bass. The addition of the bonus smallmouth bass prize makes it possible for anyone to win a prize since in June the best bass fishing is near shore and even from shore.

The Millenium Tournament will go down in the books as a new record for the Southtowns Walleye Association. The largest walleye was a 12.41-pound walleye caught by Cindy Ciszkowski, the first woman to win the tournament. Cindy is not a new comer to the tournament however; she has finished in the "money" before. In 1995, she placed second with a 10.32-pound walleye. The Millenium Tournament had five walleye in the 11-pound class, 28 walleye in the 10-pound class, 80 walleye in the 9-pound class and the balance of the 200 "money fish" were in the eight-pound class. The smallest being 8.26 pounds, impressive for such a tough early season. There is no doubt in my mind we have a world class trophy walleye fishery at our doorstep, best of all it is accessible with plenty of facilities for launching, lodging, and charters.

The bonus smallmouth bass prize went to Lonnie Palmer for a 6.17-pound smallmouth. We are walleye fishermen but we do catch bass so I expect the bonus prize to grow and I know we will see some big fish entered in the future. The bass fishery in the Eastern Basin of Lake Erie is extremely healthy with a lot of big fish being caught every year.

The Southtowns Walleye Association is planning the 2001 Tournament for June 23rd to July 1st and the awards picnic on July 7th. Perfect timing for the kids just out of school and the walleye fattening up on all the bait moving out of the Niagara River into the lake. The walleye fishing has been outstanding from July to September with no signs of slowing as I write this so I expect we will see great fishing during the Tournament next year. The fish have gotten steadily larger the last several years and if the pattern holds we will set a record in 2001 for the largest walleye ever entered in our tournament. Thank you to everyone who helped and participated this year and I hope to see everyone on the Lake in 2001 trying to capture the record.


In 1999 the United States Fishing Association held 6 Team Walleye Tournaments on Lake Erie. Below is a table that summarizes the results.

Date Location Top three finishers/winnings

April 1 Catawba Island Jim Stedke, $900.00 (USFA), Kevin Kohlrieser, $500.00 (BoatOhio)

Chad Johnson, $620.00 (USFA), Kris Carlson ,$200.00 (BoatOhio)

Ronald Newmister, $520.00 (USFA), Mike Newmister, $100.00 (BoatOhio)

May 20 Huron Jeff Becker, $695.00 (USFA), Bill Becker, $500.00 (BoatOhio)

James Webster, $395.00 (USFA), Kenneth Webster, $200.00(BoatOhio)

Peter Dolhancyk Jr., $295.00 (USFA), Jeff Dooley, $100.00 (BoatOhio)

August 19 Geneva Robert Hall, $655.00 (USFA), Randy Moffett, $500.00 (BoatOhio)

Jim Esser, $355.00 (USFA ), Matt Esser, $200.00 (BoatOhio)

Bill Becker, $255.00 (USFA ), Jeff Becker, $100.00 (BoatOhio)

August 26 Fairport Harbor Jim Stedke, $615.00 (USFA ),Mark Brumbaugh, $500.00 (BoatOhio)

& 27 Jewell Hall, $315.00 (USFA ), William Roth, $200.00 (BoatOhio)

Ronnie Rhodes, $215.00 (USFA), Jim Schroeder, $100.00 (BoatOhio)

June 10 Lorain Jim Stedke, $795.00 (USFA ), Kevin Kohlreiser, $500.00 (BoatOhio)

James McGowin, $495.00 (USFA ), Robert Adler, $200.00 (BoatOhio)

Rich Long, $395.00 (USFA ), Darryl Swank, $100.00 (BoatOhio)

June 11 Lorain Jon Ondo, $675.00 (USFA), Edward Ondo, $500.00 (BoatOhio)

Jim Stedke, $375.00 (USFA ), Kevin Kohlreiser, $200.00 (BoatOhio)

Larry Lambert, $275.00 (USFA ), Larry Loeckel, $100.00 (BoatOhio)


The 1st Annual Scotty's Walleye Challenge was held in Port Colborne's Sugar Loaf Marina this Past July 21,22 & 23rd. The event was marked by an 83% full field. The 1000 boat tournament paid $16,400 to the winners along with a total payout to 15th place of $41,000. Teams entered 6 fish/day for 3 days with the total weight determining the winner. The local Marine Rescue Unit and Sportsman's club raised over $5,000. Top five finishers were.

1st Tommy "O" (West Seneca, NY), 140.535, $16,400

2nd Gary Jensen (Orchard Park, NY), 140.430, $6,150

3rd M. Slawaticki (West Seneca, NY), 132.420, $4,100

4rth Bill Mustard (Wainfleet, Ontario), 126.570, $2,050

5th D. Shaffe (Grand Island, NY), 124, $1,230

Contact Gord Clare, at (905) 834-8335 for information regarding next years tournament.