2021 Official Emo Walleye Classic Tournament Rules

The Emo Walleye Classic will be once again awarding the Nevin Bonot Early Bird award.  It is a random draw available to all anglers who have signed up by Saturday April 3, 2021 by 12:00 Noon.

The Emo Walleye Classic will also be awarding the Elmer Haglin Family award to the Top finishing team meeting one of the following criteria (Father/Son, Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, Mother/Daughter, Grandparent/Grandchild) After signing up please email the tournament at emowalleyeclassictournament@gmail.com with the names of the participants and their relationship to be eligible for this award.

Prizes based on an 80 Team field and subject to change, Payout will be 100% less fees.

This is a Can/Am tournament meaning the Canadian Teams will fish the Canadian Side of the River and the American Teams will fish on the American side of the River.  

Measuring & Submitting Fish

 video instructions: Every effort is to be made in quickly handling the fish: fish that appear to be in poor health are likely to be disqualified - this includes excessive blood, and coloration missing from the tips of the fins. Retaining a fish in a live well, net, or other container for any extended period is strongly discouraged, in many cases illegal, and could result in disqualification.

Fish should be immediately recorded for submission in the app when they are caught. If sufficient cell service is not available, the entry will be automatically saved in the FishDonkey app (in the fish icon) and submitted once cell service allows, and this must be done prior to the daily or final deadline required.

All submissions must be taken through the FishDonkey App and measurements must be on a valid measuring board (outlined separately).  It is highly recommended that you PRACTICE the app ahead of time by joining their PRACTICE ENTERING A FISH tournament.

Submissions must include ALL of the following three media items:

  1. photo(s) of the participant holding the fish (showing the left side of the fish)
  2. photo(s) of the fish on the measuring board (showing the left side of the fish) - The fish's mouth must be pressed closed against the "bump" on the measuring board, and the angler's hand must not be inside the gill area of the fish. The tail of the fish should be gently swung to show the maximum possible length, without manipulating the fish forcefully or unnaturally.  Take the photo from as close to centered overhead as possible, with adequate lighting for clear image of entire fish.  It helps to practice this in advance and make sure you can achieve the desired results. 
  3. video of releasing the live fish - The video should begin with the fish still on the measuring board displaying its' total length, and then remove the fish from the board to reveal the board and show that it has not been altered in any way, then show the fish being released and alive. Videos have a time limit of 30 seconds on the app, but multiple videos can be taken and included with entry, if needed to capture entire release.

Measurements will be rounded up to the nearest 1/4"

​You will start each morning with no fish, at 8:00 am Central time the tournament will begin and you will be allowed to enter a fish.  

Each morning before you begin fishing you must take a video within the FishDonkey App of your empty live well(s), and Baitwell(s), and two team members, if you are fishing out of a skiff that does not have a live well make sure you take a video of any compartments and if your boat has no compartments simply the entire floor/layout of the boat. This will need to be done at 8:00 am or later in the morning to ensure you are able to submit this information in the app. You will accomplish this by adding a "fish" to your live well and taking a video as described above.  Choose Livewell video for fish species.  Please drive responsibly and ensure you are watching out for fellow contestants, there will be a number of boats in the river at the same time as you.  

Each team may catch and measure as many fish as they can during the fishing hours and enter them into the FishDonkey App. The Tournament director will cull fish according within the rules.  All fish lengths will be measured in inches only, and to the nearest next largest 1/4", if a fish measures exactly on a 1/4" measurement, that will be its measurement and it will not be rounded up.  Fish should be measured by "swinging tail" method  and only commercially produced rulers (bump boards) with a bent end to put the nose of the fish against will be accepted and any ruler that appears to have been tampered with will disqualify a team. If you have questions about your measuring device please reach out ahead of time.

Slot Size

All fish to be measured must be 12” or larger.  Each team can document as many fish as they wish in the FishDonkey app each day, however only the 4 largest fish each day will count toward the tournament total length (weight). 

"End of Day"

It is important to note that you cannot submit a fish or any video outside of the fishing tournament hours so plan your time accordingly and submit all fish before the 4:00 deadline.  Please ensure you are in an area with good cell signal to ensure your submissions are uploaded at the end of the day.

Required License 

Each Contestant 18 years of age or over and must possess a valid Ontario fishing license when fishing the Canadian Side of the Rainy River and Each Contestant 18 years of age or over and must possess a valid Minnesota  fishing license when fishing the American Side of the Rainy River

All Ontario 2021 Recreational Fishing Regulations apply for Canadian Teams and all Minnesota 2021 fishing regulations apply for American Teams.

Only one rod per angler may be used at any time during the tournament as per Ontario Fishing Regulations and this will be in effect for the American teams as well.  

Tournament Dates 

The Tournament will run two fishing days, the First Tournament day will be for Saturday April 10th, 2021 and will cost $300 Canadian Dollars to Enter, the Second Tournament day will be Sunday April 11th, 2021.  The two-day total lengths (weights) will be counted for up to a total of 8 fish, 4 fish from Saturday April 10th and 4 fish from Sunday April 11th. 


Tournament Boundaries will be from DNR marker at Wheelers Point at the mouth of the Rainy River to the Dam at Fort Frances/International Falls


Live bait, frozen bait, or artificial lures shall be used. All bait shall be the responsibility of the contestant.

All boats must follow all Federal, Provincial, and State boating and fishing regulations.

On Step

  1. Instant stop switches, kill switch, tether switches must be attached to driver and boat kill switch
  2. All contestants must wear approved personal flotation device when the main combustion engine is running and the boat is on step (if so equipped). 


All boats tiller and console must be equipped with a seat for the passenger and at least one handle device for passenger to secure themselves, if fishing out of a skiff the benches will be considered seats.

Use of any drugs, Marijuana or alcohol or possession thereof (other than those prescribed by a licensed physician) during the tournament hours is prohibited.

Fishing locations

Non-Contestants will not be allowed to hold a spot in the river for a contestant. 

Two-person Team

There must be a team of 2 persons per boat. The same 2 competitors who start the tournament must finish, except in the case of an exceptional circumstance.  

Tie Breaking

In case of ties, the team with the Longest (heaviest) fish during the two days of the tournament fishing will be declared the winner. If still tied, the second longest (heaviest) fish during the two days, etc.  If no tie breaker exists co-winners may be selected. 

“Spirit of the Rule”

All rules have “loopholes”. It is the intention of the Tournament Director to provide an honest, sportsman-like, tournament. In the interest of sportsmanship, contestants are reminded that “the spirit of the rule” will prevail in all judgment cases and the decisions of the Tournament Director are final.

Violations and Fines

  1. It is the discretion of the Tournament Director to decide the severity of the violation and the fine to be served
  2. Competitors may be fined any amount or disqualified for any violation of the tournament rules and will not receive a refund of their entry fee. 
  3. Minor Fines are 1" per occurrence
  4. Major fines are 2" per occurrence


Please ensure you are following all applicable rules related to COVID in your designated areas.  We ask that you maintain a physical distance of 2M from other contestants at all times when on the water and also during the launching and loading of your boats before and after the fishing day has begun and ended. 

All Decisions of the Tournament Director are Final and non-contestable.

FishDonkey App

All registration and payment must be completed using the app.  The FishDonkey App will be used to photo document fish and will generate live leaderboards. The leaderboards will update throughout the event as fish are submitted.  All entries will be considered unofficial until verified.

Practice the FishDonkey App ahead of time

Test the app before you get out on the water.  

  1. Download the app
  2. Join "Practice Entering a Fish"

FishDonkey in poor reception areas

The app will work without internet.  Open the app before heading out to poorly covered areas.  Tap on the name of the tourney. Once you see the button ‘Enter a Fish’, head out and fish away.  Fish should be entered as normal in bad reception areas. Your Digital Livewell® (fish icon) will show you if there are fish waiting for an internet connection to get pushed into the leaderboard.  When you get back to a well connected area, open your Digital Livewell® and leave that screen open/active until all fish are “Received”. If your pictures are missing from the leaderboard, this is what you need to do.  Until your pictures are received, do not delete or alter the photos on your phone, as the software will not accept your photos as originals.

Missing pictures on the leaderboard?  

Anglers should open their Digital Livewell (fish icon) when they get back to an area with good reception and leave that screen open until all fish are "Received". 

Measuring Boards (Bump Boards)

All measuring devices must be commercially made.  You are required to have a board with a 90 degree bend which marks 0, and at least ¼” lines.  No handmade measuring boards, stickers, or tape measures allowed. No sliding, retractable, or foldable measuring devices are allowed unless approved by the tournament director.  If your measurement is not clearly readable in your submission photo, it may not be accepted, or could be penalized. 

Tournament Director

Your Tournament Director is Colleen.  If you need to reach your director, their contact info is in the “ i “ Info icon within your tournament in the app.  

The interpretation and enforcement of the rules is at the sole discretion of the director.  The tournament director may change rules or impose sanctions as they deem appropriate, including but not limited to: disqualifications, forfeiture of prizes, and prohibition from competing in future tournaments.  All decisions made by the tournament director are final.


All participants are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any participant who displays poor sportsmanship, violates these rules or brings unfavorable publicity to the sport of fishing could be disqualified. Encroachment is considered a sportsmanship rule.

Body of Water

Participants must fish in the area specified for the event.  Fishing has to be legal and in public waters only: no private ponds, streams, lakes or rivers.   Participants may fish in any water that is open to public fishing.

Inclement Weather/Cancellation

Keep mobile phones on throughout the tournament in order to receive communication from the director in the event of postponement or cancellation.  Due to the nature of tournament fishing, no refunds will be issued. This is at the discretion of your tournament director. 


The tournament director will consider options for determining a tie, which could be 1) time of entry  2) the exact measurement instead of the ¼” measurement 3) the next largest fish submitted by each angler.  A tie could also result in shared prizes. 

Claiming Prizes

Ensure that your correct address, email, and mobile number appear in your app profile for prize announcements and delivery.  Prizes are the responsibility of the winners.  Transportation, taxes, and incidentals are the responsibility of the winner.

It is the responsibility of the tournament director to disburse all prizes.  

From our terms and conditions, you have agreed to the following.  

”FishDonkey makes no representations or warranties regarding the Service or the quality, features, conditions, rules, prizes, results, or other aspects of any tournament ORGANIZED THROUGH, OR hosted on, the Site. AS BETWEEN FISHDONKEY AND THE TOURNAMENT ORGANIZER, THE TOURNAMENT ORGANIZER IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RESULTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE TOURNAMENTS THEY ORGANIZE AND HOST USING THE SITE AND SERVICES.”   

As stated above, FishDonkey is not in any way responsible, but if you believe there is a problem with your tournament director or if something seems suspicious such as not paying out the funds or prizes, please contact FishDonkey and let us know ASAP. 

Laws and Regulations

You must abide by All federal, state, and local laws and all fishing and boating rules.

Failure to comply with any tournament rules subjects participants to disqualification and removal from the competition, as determined by the tournament officials. The right to refuse sale and/or revoke a competition ticket to anyone is hereby reserved.


  • All protests must be brought to the director’s attention before the end of the event.
  • Anyone caught breaking the law or disobeying the rules will be disqualified.
  • Fish must be hooked and caught live in a conventional manner.  Fish cannot be snagged, netted, speared, etc.
  • Participants may be required to take polygraph exams as part of the tournament requirements. If deception is detected or the participant refuses to take the exam, the prize will be forfeited and the participant will be disqualified. Anglers taking a polygraph examination may be responsible for any and all costs incurred.


Participants are responsible for their own safety, actions, and property at all times.


If there are any questions about the rules, ask the tournament director.