NIPAWIN — The father/son duo of Bob and Dallas Kirkpatrick won this year’s Saskatchewan Premier’s Walleye Cup.
Bob, who lives in Cabri, has attended the event every year since its founding 32 years ago.
“There’s only me and one other fellow from North Dakota who never misses, he’s here now,” Bob said. “It’s my fourth win and Dallas’ third. We figured out, Dallas is 27 years old, and this is his 15th year, so he started when he was 12.”
Bob’s first win was in 2007 with Dallas and then he won again in 2008. His next win would be in 2010 with a different partner.
This year, the team caught the biggest fish of the tournament for day one, as well as earned fifth place for the day. They received both first place in the bonus side of the tournament, and first place in the regular side of the tournament.
The duo received a total of $43,900.
Dallas has recently bought an acreage near Swift Current, which he will invest his part of the winnings in.
Bob said he intends to keep fishing with his son at the tournament “as long as I can”.
“I get to spend time with my son and that’s so important to me – we have a blast out there,” Bob said. “He’s married now and has a little guy of his own who will be hopefully the next generation Kirkpatrick coming up to fish. He’s about 18 months old and we’ll probably have him out in the boat with us either this year or next year, for sure.”
Dallas shares his father’s plans for his son.
“One day, when my dad isn’t able to do this anymore, I hope to take over and have my son be my partner,” Dallas said. “Hopefully that’s a long ways away, but I’m excited to bring him up here.”
Bob didn’t expect to win, but he knew they had a shot after the first day of fishing.
“We thought we were in fourth place, but we were actually in fifth. But there are a couple of great fishermen that were out there, that were ahead of us,” he said. “We were pretty surprised when we came off the water and found we were ahead of them by almost two pounds.”
Bob’s advice is not to stop fishing until the clock tells you it’s done.
“Fish hard, just fish hard. Don’t quit, never give up. It’s funny but over the years I’ve caught so many last minute fish, like in the last 10 minutes when I needed to. That didn’t happen this time, but it has happened. So we just don’t ever give up, that’s the main strategy.”
His other advice is bait, but he’s not ready to share his secret techniques yet.
“We do everything other people do, we live bait rig with leeches most of the time, we did a few different extra tricky things we did this time that actually my wife figured out in pre-fish. I’m not going to share that right now because we have the Vanity coming right up, so we might have to give it a try, there.”
Bob said about 90 per cent of the fishing they did was in the same 150-metre stretch that they chose during pre-fishing.
“We shortened up our approach and we fished that area really hard for two days, and it paid off for us.”