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Hook & Hunting: National Walleye Tournament leads into Kids Fishing Day in Sault Ste. Marie

Dense fog delayed the start of the National Walleye Tournament by two hours in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday morning, but that didn’t stop the fisherman from participating.

Just after 9 a.m., fishermen from all over the country and Canada were finally able to head out on the St. Marys River. There are 98 boats with nearly 200 fisherman in the competition this year and they’re due back by 3 p.m. for Thursday for the first round weigh-ins.

“We get to actually put something in their hands that they can use and catch some fish. I think it’s important that we continue to promote that and really treasure that as a value to our future of this sport,” said Jeff Kelm, tournament director.

The two-day walleye tournament wraps up Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. with a final weigh-in at Osborn Park. And after that weigh-in, Jason Przekurat from the National Professional Anglers Association will host a “future angler” fishing clinic where the first 200 kids to arrive with get a t-shirt or a rod and reel.

The clinic is just in time to prepare kids who want to participate in the Connor Gorsuch Kids Fishing Day on Saturday morning at Rotary Park in the Soo.

Registration is 8 to 9 a.m. Kids eight and under fish from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., while kids nine to 16 fish from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. is open to all registered kids.