Jack Albrecht Sr. and Jack Albrecht Jr celebrated Father’s Day weekend by winning the 42nd Annual Big Stone Walleye Classic. The father and son duo from Big Stone City pulled in five fish, including one at 7.40 pounds, to tip the scales at 19.20 pounds total and take home the top prize of $4500.
The tournament, held annually on Father’s Day weekend, featured 78 teams and paid out over $17,000 in prizes.
Second-place winners, Dalton Koch and Doug DeVries, bagged six fish for 19.05 pounds and $3500.
The third-place team of Doug Padgett and Jim Miller landed 16.35 pounds of fish and took home $2,500. Jackson and Ben Graf reeled in four fish, including a beauty at 6.80 pounds, for a total of 15.55 pounds. They earned $1600. Brett Hudson and Chris Wrich caught six fish that also totaled 15.55 pounds. They clinched fifth place and $1200. Rick and Dillon Robinson were close behind at 15.50 pounds. They claimed sixth place and a cool grand. (See all the place winners, teams, and totals below.)
Contestants in the one-day tourney landed 187 fish. The total weight hit 549.76 pounds. The combined weight of the biggest fish from each team equaled 97.8 pounds.
Jeff and Marlena Schmidt received the award for Biggest Fish in the tournament with their whopper at 8.10 pounds. They won $500. They also secured the side pot for the biggest fish and earned an additional $700 prize. Kevin and Nathan Jurgens netted a 7.70-pound fish for second place in a side pot and the $420 prize. Jason and Justin Ackerman’s biggest fish weighed 7.45 pounds to take third and $280.
Cramer’s Resort donated $200 to the 16th-place team of Donneley Kay and Don Berhns. Their catch weighed in at 13.51 pounds. The prize is awarded in memory of Steve Cramer.
Raffle ticket winners included first-place – Gemma Street – $300; second-place – Ross Marty – $200; third-place – David Lilienthal – $150; and fourth-place – Dan Karges – $100. (Winners did not need to be present to collect their prize. Winnings will be mailed to them.)
Nicolle Berkner, president of the Big Stone Walleye Classic organization, summarized the weather during Saturday’s tournament, “Storms were popping up all around us throughout the day and we heard some good reports of fishing and some bad reports.”
“Weigh-ins started early when the first couple of boats came in around 2 p.m. In the middle of weigh-ins, we received a heavy downpour and tried to get the results out as soon as possible to get people home safely,” she continued. “Several participants and our committee and volunteers were able to pack it up and head out. That’s not to say we didn’t have a huge mess, but we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support.”
“I love this tournament!” Berkner said. “I hope it continues for many more years to come.
If you are already thinking about next year’s tournament, mark your calendar for June 15, 2024. Applications will be available on the website bigstonewalleyeclassic.com on April 1, 2024. Boats launch from Hartford Beach just 15 miles north of Milbank.
“Hope to see everyone again next year,” Berkner added. “Thank you! “