'Ole and Lena' win Cirks tournament in Nevis
Last weekend marked the 25th annual Gene Cirks Memorial Scholarship Fishing Tournament on Lake Belle Taine.
A total of 44 boats participated in the event, down slightly from the past few years when the maximum field of 50 boats were registered.
Many anglers reported a below average day for the body of water, yet the fishery stayed true to form and offered some big ones along with a high number of registered fish.
At the end of the day, 300 length-worthy fish had passed over the official scale, 26 walleye, 94 northern pike and 180 bass. 99 percent release/survival rate was reported from the weighstation.
Compare those numbers to the first year of the tournament. In 1986, 25 boats participated and a total of 89 fish were entered, 24 smallmouth, 31 largemouth, 21 walleye and 13 northern pike. Tournament officials were happy to see all but 28 fish survive.
That exemplifies the knowledge participants have gained over the years, in technique, conservation; utilizing specialized methods to ensure the fish return to the lake in a healthy state, and a dedication to eliminating the spread of aquatic invasive species at the boat landing.
At last Saturday's awards, the husband and wife team of Jeremy and Kayla Anderson stood in the winner's circle, weighing a total of 34.65 lbs. of fish, including 12.27 lbs. of walleye (3 fish), the largest of theirs weighing 6.8 lbs., 3 northern pike and 6 bass. Their 12 fish secured the win, since no other team entered more than 10 fish cumulatively.
The Anderson duo earned their walleyes early, while several other boats observed their catches. Jeremy Anderson later mentioned, "I never even moved with the trolling motor, I just stayed on top of the fish and we caught the right ones."
Jeremy and Kayla also earned the Uff Da! Days Ole and Lena award for the highest placing male/female team.
Finishing second (who also placed second in the Osage Lions tournament the week before) were Jason Koskela and Roger Weaver. Their total was 29.43 lbs.
Third place with 27.06 lbs. was Keith Blumberg and Mike Fitch, while 4th went to Jimmy Gleason and Ray Scully with 25.82 lbs. and the biggest walleye of the event at 7.04 lbs.
Brian and Aaron Halik obtained 5th place with a last minute walleye that put them near the top, total weighing 24.76 lbs.
Tournament veterans Mark Roth and Ron Hughes weighed 23.95 lbs. for 6th, while Ken and Andrew Gabriel landed 7th place with 22.59 lbs.
Eighth place went to Guy Barr and Suzie Barr with 19.58 lbs,. 9th was Kelly and Dana Cirks with 19.29 lbs. and Jordan Anderson and Jason Durham ended 10th with 19.27 lbs.
The tournament's largest bass weighed 4.08 lbs. and was entered by Wade Stoltz and Davis Bolloy. Biggest northern pike was entered by Scott Cirks and Josh Fisher. It weighed 4.14 lbs.
Tournament co-chairman Kelley Cirks commended the volunteers for their wonderful support. "We couldn't have done this without them." beamed Cirks.