Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gibbins claim unprecedented 4th RRWT title

There is an old saying that seemed to ring true this past weekend: “The fish bite the least when the wind is from the east.”

Everyone, including this year’s Rainy River Walleye Tournament champions, Jason and Oliver Gibbins, found the bite to be really tough for both days of fishing.

The now four-time champs said they picked up two nice fish right at the beginning of fishing on Friday (Day 1).

“It was a struggle after that [all day],” they added.

However, those two fish—weighing 7.75 and 5.72 pounds—vaulted them to the front of the 90-boat field. Combined with two smaller walleye, they were about five pounds up on their nearest challenger after Day 1.

The Gibbins had 15.48 pounds while Christian Armstrong and partner, Mark Nault, were sitting in second with 10.61 pounds, just edging out Christian’s dad, Dave, and uncle, Darren, who were in third after Day 1 with 10.55 pounds.

Many anglers reported a tough day of fishing. “It was a tough day with just little taps and little fish!” recounted Ted and Leo Heyens (Team #50).

While they weighed in four fish, they sat in 38th spot with 4.36 pounds, which was a story-teller weight.
Only about five pounds separated fifth place and 50th place.

With that in mind, many anglers hoped for a better bite on Day 2 (Saturday). But again the wind blew from the east and fog delayed the start of fishing by about an hour.

Some said the delay was costly as the biggest fish caught on Day 1 appeared to be reeled up early in the morning.

For one team, however, the timing seemed to be just right. Dan Armstrong and Sean Kilpatrick (Team #85) travelled upstream about 10 minutes.

Near the Clementson Rapids, Kilpatrick had a hit that had them both excited—a big walleye. Just how big, though, would not be known until later in the day.

Tournament rules allow for anglers to bring in big fish earlier than the weigh-in- if they feel the fish could die from stress in the livewell.

Kilpatrick said the big fish fared well all day. They did, however, have some reservations about a smaller fish later in the day.

Read the rest of the report