By David Obirek
Read more by columnist and tournament angler David Obirek in The Fishing Journal the first Thursday of the month.
The leaves are changing colour, the days are becoming cooler and the kids are heading back to school. This is a sure sign that fall is here. What this also means is that the best wall-eye fishing on the Red River is quickly approaching. If you’re like me, the fall is the most exciting fishing time of the year and I enjoy nothing more than reeling in big “greenback” walleye. But walleye won’t be the only fish taking the stage in September.
Tip of the Month
The fall can bring higher volumes of traffic to boat launches. Be courteous and patient while fol-lowing these simple rules. Don’t use the launch ramp lanes to prep and load your boat. Staging areas are available at most launches. Don’t tie up at the launching dock any longer than necessary. Use mooring docks if available. Be considerate of other boaters.
The Canalta Catfish Masters Cup is set for September 8th with the rules meeting Sept. 9 at the AG Barn in Selkirk Park. This tournament recently changed organizers and is now run locally. The goal is to take this event to great heights and to attract anglers from near and far.
As you will note the new title sponsor is Canalta Hotels. the idea is to gain local support and traction to make this the cat-fish celebration the community is long overdue for. Contact the tournament Director for entry details at wjruta@gmail. com or visit Facebook at @Catfishmasterscup. For many who have fished the stretch of river between Lockport and Selkirk over the years will know firsthand the incredible channel catfishing the Red River has to offer.
Unless you grew up in Selkirk though, you may not realize how this incredible fishery became a world known trophy destination which is often referred to as the Channel Catfish Capital of the World. As you drive through the City of Selkirk the beloved statue of “Chuck the Channel Cat” adorns Main Street in front of Smitty’s Family Restaurant smiling at every passing vehicle and pedestrian. This Selkirk and Manitoba icon was erected in May 1986 as a way to help stamp the community’s existence on the angling map.
The 25 foot high fiberglass statue was named after William Charles “Chuck” Lawrence Norquay, a local angler who played a significant role in promoting catfishing on the river. It was Chuck himself who single handily lured legendary angler and TV host Babe Winkelman from Minnesota to Selkirk in order to showcase what Chuck firmly believed to be a one of a kind fishery.
At the young age of 37, Chuck lost his life in a tragic boating accident while fishing on the Red River at Lockport in 1993 while doing what he loved best, fishing.
August 18 marked the 25th Anniversary of his passing. Chuck’s love of fishing has left a lasting impact on the community he loved and called home. The fishery continues to thrive and plays host to anglers from around the globe who want a chance to catch a monster channel cat that only this northern portion of the historic Red River can produce.
Tourism and the economy has greatly benefited by this one man’s passion and for this we will always be grateful and remember Chuck as his legacy lives on in the hearts of many.
The Catfish Masters Cup with the blessing of Chuck’s family will be dedicating the Big Fish Award each year in his memory.
The award will be proudly called “The Chuck Norquay” Big Fish Award and is sponsored by The Fishing Journal. This award will be given to the team that measures the largest Channel Catfish during the Canalta Cat-fish Masters Cup. Individual plaques will be presented to each of the two team members and a large plaque will be on display in Selkirk.
Other events coming up in September is The Walleye Masters Cup in Selkirk on Sept. 29. For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook @thewalleyemasterscup.
The Filipino Anglers Association of Manitoba will be hosting a shore fishing derby at Sel-kirk Park on Sept. 15 with registration at 7 a.m. Derby starts at 9:00am. All are welcome and tickets are available in Selkirk at Smoke N Fish. The 20th Annual Walleye Classic is being held at the Lake Manitoba Narrows on September 22nd. Registration opens at 7:00am. For more information email revy@lmngf. ca
Thanks for reading and remember, KEEP FISHING!