It’s official — the 2010 Kewaunee/Door County Salmon Tournament is in the books. Before summer is over, 200 lucky anglers will be getting checks in the mail ranging from $30 for a 16.34-pounder on up to $10,000 for the winner, “TJ” Valacak of Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
The tournament is paying out more than $40,000 in cash. That’s in addition to more than $5,000 in daily port winner cash and prizes already given away to the 45 anglers who landed the heaviest salmon each day at the five weigh-in sites in Kewaunee, Algoma, Sturgeon Bay, Baileys Harbor and Washington Island.
Valacak triple-dipped on the top prize, plus won another $800 for landing the 11th largest salmon among 2,653 contestants.
His first place fish, a 28.16-pounder that smacked a green Luhr Jensen J-Plug July 26 — day 3 of the nine-day event — earned him $10,000 cash, a free mount of the 37-inch fish by John Mallien’s Strawberry Creek Taxidermy, and a sterling silver salmon ring with a black diamond eye by Paul Spanbauer of Wisconsin Charm in Sturgeon Bay.
Michael Bauer of Sturgeon Bay was fishing with boat owner Steve Laubenstein and friend Eric Leist when the second place fish, a 26.68-pound salmon, bit a blue Howie Fly July 31 off Baileys Harbor. It earned Bauer $2,000 and a guided fishing vacation at Wild Eagle Lodge in Eagle River.
LeRoy L’Huiller of Menominee, Michigan won the $1,000 third place cash prize, plus a $150 gift certificate from Opti Tackle, for his 23.58-pounder caught on a glow spoon off Kewaunee July 30 under the light of a bright moon.
A complete list of the 200 winners will be available later this week at http://www.kdsalmon.com.