Scott Dingwall and Jay Samsal are once again Dryden Walleye Masters.
The pair finished first in 2014 but fell back to eleventh last year. On day one this year they netted the top spot with 19.06lbs of walleye brought in from the Wabigoon chain of lakes. They also had the big fish of day one, weighing in at 9.10lbs; Karl and Colin Knudsen would top that on day two with a 9.92lb fish to claim the biggest fish title.
Day two was not as lucrative for Dingwll and Samsal but a dramatic final weigh in of the day saw them wedge their way into first place by a difference of only .70lbs
“I’m kind of speechless right now,” said Samsal minutes after the win. “We came into this tournament not knowing what to expect. The fishing was really tough; it was a grind. We weren’t really on a solid pattern to start. We kind of know what to do out here to locate big fish and we stuck to our guns and we figured it out.”
Samsal said that this is a great time in his life. He has a two and a half year old son and another child on the way. Dingwall also has one and a half year old and they both thanked their wives for putting up with all the time they are away fishing.
A close victory for the pair meant it all came down to one fish they were fortunate to land.
“We’ve never caught a nine pounder before and we got very fortunate yesterday to catch a really big fish like that,” said Samsal. “That really is what wins these tournaments for you is a fish like that that just kind of separates you from the rest of the field and today or goal going out was to catch two overs and we just squeaked it out.”
Local father and son team Jeff and Matt Park finished fifth this year, up from tenth in 2015. The pair were happy to be out on the lake together on an extra special Sunday.
“It was great. Win or lose we had a lot of fun. I can’t picture a better way to spend Father’s Day fishing with my son,” said Jeff Park. “Friday I was in Victoria B.C. for my daughter’s university graduation, flew in, got one hour sleep and we were back on the water Saturday morning; had a great day yesterday just came up a little short today.”
A top five finish was extra special as the Parks had next to no time to practice before the competition due to Jeff being busy at work and Matt busy with exams.
Co-chair of the event John Butts was glad to see another successful tournament in the books.
“The weather was good, a lot of good fish come in,” said Butts. “Volunteers did a fantastic job as always; without them this thing would never run as smooth as it does so for me the highlight is all the volunteers coming in and participating.”