Third best place to live!
Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux spoke to the crowd on the last day of the tournament to congratulate everyone for their participation and a record breaking year. Glover photo

Happy Mother’s Day
In honour of the holiday, carnations were handed out to each of the mothers in the audience as a special gift.
Glover photo

RUSSELL – For their 20th outing, the annual Poutmasters Fishing Tournament managed to bring in the largest number of participants in its two-decade run; coming in at 337 participants, catching a grand total of 501 fish over the weekend.

“This year is incredibly exciting because this year, we had the most participants ever,” said Doug Anthony, member of the Kin Club of Russell. “Last year, we had 271 people out, almost 70 more; definitely the best year ever. Last year, we caught 413 fish and this year we caught a whopping 501, very exciting!”

Member of Parliament Francis Drouin and Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux were in attendance Sun., May 12 to share their pleasure of this year’s tournament’s success.

“I just want to thank all the volunteers who spent a countless amount of hours organizing and setting this up for the past 20 years,” said Drouin. “I hope everyone has caught a lot of fish and I hope everyone had a beautiful time with their families.”

Leroux added that “Doug mentioned earlier that we’re rated the third best place to live in all of Canada, and I think if we take into account the people in this community, we would definitely be first. So, congrats to the Kin Club of Russell for another successful event, and to all of the participants who have been here since the beginning.”

The tournament’s organizer and founder, Stephen Hynes-Ion took a few minutes to speak about this year’s event, while also offering a generous prize to someone for a crazy dare.

“Anybody get their feet wet? Anyone have to go back for some socks? Back when we started this thing, we didn’t have cellphones, we had to send somebody up for socks,” he joked. “This is a good moment to think about all the people who have come and gone in our lives, bless them and thank everyone for being here today.”

He continued to mention that he had friends in Prince Edward Island who gave him the challenge of giving away a $100 worth of lobster. What’s the catch?

“I was thinking the first person to get their feet wet was a good idea but then I thought, ‘why not go all the way,’” said Hynes-Ion. “So, the first person to jump in the river and come up to give Doug [Anthony] a big hug receives a $100 of lobster in their pocket.”

Many took the challenge and Anthony ended up with a wet, muddy outline of a hug on his torso, following the laughter and cheers of the crowd. For 20 years, the tournament has brought together the community for one goal of weekend fishing with friends and family, and this year proves that it’s still growing with no intention of slowing down.

The winners of the tournament are as follows: Pro Series; Mike Lamoureux came in first with a fish weighing in at 2.208 kg, Stephane Dicaire came in second with a fish weighing in at 2.090 kg and Shawn Laronde came in third with a fish weighing in at 1.872 kg. Youth Division; Zacarry Belair came in first with a fish weighing in at 624 g, Amanda Gauthier came in second with a fish weighing in at 602 g and Emma Richardson came in third with a fish weighing in at 584 g. Adult Division; Richard Cloutier came in first with a fish weighing in at 598 g, Hailey Denis came in second with a fish weighing in at 594 g and Sylvie Denis came in third with a fish weighing in at 582 g.