8th Annual Eastslope Kayak Fishing Classic
Well another Eastslope Classic is in the books and it was an amazing time. We fished Gull Lake once again in central Alberta. We would like to thanks our generous sponsors for helping to make this event the huge success it has become. We are the largest freshwater Kayak fishing derby in Western Canada and have become a staple event for many of the anglers to plan holiday time around.
Our anglers traveled from near and far to attend this event with 2 anglers driving out from Vancouver Island, BC, 2 from Kamloops, BC and 1 from Saskatoon, SK and 1 from Lloydminster, SK. Our total number of anglers on the water was our highest to date with 47 anglers competing for top spot and with 3 who had register but unable to attend due to issues arising.
This year we booked the Forshee Hall on the West side of Gull Lake. It is a very large facility and had more than enough room for all of the anglers who wanted to camp at the hall. It didn’t take long to see the separation of anglers appear in camp site location. Families, friends and brands all seem to congeal into their own locations with still a ton of room for more campers.
We arrived shortly after 1 and started to unload food and prizes into the hall to get things ready for the BBQ Social and Captains meeting. This year the Eastslope partnered with Glenmore Sailboats to provide the anglers a huge BBQ with burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, cake, pop and water. After the BBQ was over we moved onto the Captains meeting and went through the rules, expectations and answered all of the questions anglers had. After that it was a free evening for the anglers. While some turned in early, others stayed up late around a campfire and had a great time with friends, old and new.
6am came and the anglers were released from the check in station to head to their preferred launch on the lake. This year’s format allowed for anglers to use any launch point on the lake or multiple launches to better cover the area they wished to fish.
The weather was beautiful and the lake was calm like glass when they arrived to unload and hit the water. Surprisingly for being Canada Day, the lake was not as busy as many thought it would be. Anglers were treated to a beautiful, hot day on the water until later in the afternoon when as always seems to happen. Mother Nature brought us a big storm with lots of water, lighting and wind.
The anglers made their way back to the hall in small groups until finally everyone had checked in and was having another meal that our wonderful ladies cooked up for them. It did not take long to see that the lake had got the better of many anglers again and the only scorable species caught was Northern Pike. Once again the Lake Whitefish, Burbot, Perch and Suckers eluded the anglers.
Once all anglers had submitted their catches it was time to get the awards portion of the tournament going. This year being Canada’s 150th birthday, we added a small contest for the angler who dressed up in pure Canadian Spirit fashion. There were not many anglers who decided to take up this challenge, but one clearly had. Wesley Kyle was dressed like a moose with Tim Horton’s cups and Timbit pack around his neck with a Canada flag for a cape…. Needless to say he took the prize of a Fox 40 Safety Kit, Scotty Ball Mount Gear Head and $50 Bass Pro Gift Certificate.
Then it was time for the announcement of the placing. 21 of the 47 anglers landed scorable fish with 6 of those anglers being new to Kayak fishing or the tournament this year. We once again held the optional cash buy-in for the team competition and ended up with 13 teams competing.
1st Place – Trophies and $140 cash for each angler
Team Rockafella – Bob and Robb Griffith – 161.5 inches
2nd Place – Trophies and $70 cash for each angler
Team Mooseknuckle – Wesley Kyle and Tyler Murray – 119.75 inches
3rd Place – Trophies and $40 cash for each angler
Team Open Loop Kayakers – Kurtis Mercer and Jordan Atkins – 78.75 inches
1st Place – Robb Griffith (New) – 84 Inches – 3 pike – Garmin echoMAP 55dv courtesy of GPS Central
2nd Place – Wesley Kyle – 82.75 inches – 3 pike – Kokatat Prize Pack courtesy of Kokatat
3rd Place – Bob Griffith (New) – 77.5 inches – 3 pike – Garmin Striker courtesy of Garmin
4th Place – Kurtis Mercer – 53.25 inches – 2 pike – Custom rod package courtesy of Dan’o Custom Fishing Rods
5th Place – Tim Norman – 52 Inches – 2 pike – Werner Paddle courtesy of Werner Paddles
6th Place – Arnold Fonos (New) – 50.75 Inches – 2 pike – AT Paddle courtesy of Adventure Technology Paddles
7th Place – Tyler Murray – 37 inches – $200 gift certificate courtesy of Aquabatics Calgary
8th Place – Tie – Elmer Warrington – 31 inches – Scotty accessories courtesy of Scotty Fishing Products
8th Place – Tie – Dan Bourdages – 31 inches – $100 gift card courtesy of Alberni Outpost
10th Place – Jim Kind – 29 inches – Prize pack courtesy of The Fishin’ Hole Canada
11th Place – Armin Ulrich – 27.25 inches – $50 gift card courtesy of Undercurrents and prize pack from the Eastslope Classic
12th Place – Doug Hamm – 27 inches – Binoculars courtesy of GPS Central and Scotty accessories courtesy of Scotty Fishing Products
13th Place – Tie – Kat Nicholson – 25.75 inches – $100 gift card courtesy of Alberni Outpost
13th Place – Tie – Dave Sauve – 25.75 inches – Prize pack courtesy of Buff Canada and the Eastslope Classic
15th Place – Tie – Jordan Atkins – 25.5 inches – Prize pack courtesy of the Eastslope Classic
15th Place – Tie – Doug Zech – 25.5 inches – Tackle bag courtesy of The Fishin’ Hole Canada
17th Place – Mike Patterson – 25.25 inches – Fly rod courtesy of Superfly International
19th Place Tie – Jordan Forsythe – 25 inches – $50 gift card courtesy of Undercurrents and prize pack from the Eastslope Classic
19th Place Tie – Terran Bernhard – 25 inches – $100 gift card courtesy of Alberni Outpost
21st place – Tie – Riley Beach – 24.75 inches – Cooler courtesy of the Eastslope Classic
21st place – Tie – Devon Fitzpatrick – 24.75 inches – 2 way radios courtesy of GPS Central
Next came our anglers who did not manage to catch or photograph a fish that met the minimum size requirement. For these anglers we used their ID Tag number in a random draw to decide the order they selected their prizes. Pictures shown in alphabetical order of names. Prizes courtesy of Scotty Fishing Products, Best Lure Co., Valhalla Pure Outfitters – Red Deer, Undercurrents, Buff Canada, XZone Lures, The Rod Glove, YakAttack, MWK Fishing, Fishing Scoop, The Fish Grip, Len Thompson Fishing Lures, Silvertip Fly Company, GCL Fishing and Forged Flyfishing
This year we we lucky to have Nootka Marine Adventures sponsor our derby with 2 tickets for the Moutcha Bay Kayak Derby and 3 nights camping. That prize was selected by Travis Houston. There was one other very happy angler, Curtis Jensen, that was super stoked that travis won this as they will be going together. See you guys there!!!
All in all it was another great and successful tournament and we are already starting to plan ahead for next year.
Again thanks to all of our amazing sponsors and the anglers for making this event a success and we hope to continue working with everyone for years to come promoting the great event and the sponsors who continue to provide us with amazing prize packs for our anglers.
Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more photos from the events and links to our amazing sponsors.