For the first time in its 25-year history, a Saskatchewan premier has actually fished in the Saskatchewan Premier’s Walleye Cup.
But despite his name and his enthusiasm for the sport, Premier Brad Wall did not land the big one – or any big one – over the two-day event.
Instead, he only managed to reel in several tiny ones.
“This is embarrassing,” the Premier told The Globe Sunday afternoon. “The three fish the first day weighed a total – a total of 2.6 pounds (1.2 kilograms). … And the next day I think it was about the same … we made 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) total for the two days.”
Mr. Wall believes he and his partner, Ed Carleton, a friend since Grade 6, placed in the bottom third of the tournament. The fishermen are allowed to keep five fish each day to be weighed for fabulous prizes.
The tournament, which started when Grant Devine was premier, takes place in Nipawin on Tobin Lake. The live release event is billed as one of the province’s flagship fishing events, attracting fishermen from all over the region and the United States.
And no one made jokes about Premier Wall and walleyes. This is a very serious event – more than 300 fishermen in 150 boats. Each boat pays upwards to $1,000 to fish for serious cash prices, including $25,000 for the best two-day total weight.
The winners, Justin Malachowski and Ryan Warawa from Alberta, ended up winning more than $32,000 after weighing in 10 fish for a total of 26.1 pounds (11.8 kilograms).
The Premier, meanwhile, had an explanations for the ones that got away. The water was “very muddy,” he said.
“Typically, this tournament has big, big weights that win … like a lot of the guys were saying that the total two-day weight is what the good boats are getting on one day. That’s how tough it was.”
Not so tough, however, to prevent the Premier from Tweeting while fishing for the big whopper – and perhaps this Tweet provides a clue as to why he didn’t do so well: “Shut up and fish,” he wrote, adding the hashtag “thingsmycaptainsays.”