Brycen Burkhart wins the 2016 Walleye Derby Invitational Tournament junior division with a monster 9.4 lb walleye and takes home the Walleye Derby Cup. Brycen, 12 years old, has only been fishing for 9 years and the last 2 years as a competitive angler. He loves walleye and pan fishing.
The 2016 Walleye Derby Invitational was a 30 day big fish derby. 50 fisherman were invited to compete for prizes while fishing Ohio waters of Lake Erie for walleye. There are 2 divisions and 4 weekly prizes. Brycen and his fishing partner were 2 of the fisherman invited.
Brycen big fish was hooked during week number 2 while fishing out of a Warrior Fishing boat with three fishing buddies. For most of the tournament, Lake Erie was experiencing heavy winds and waves, which made fishing more challenging and nearly impossible. There was a break in the wind and waves, and Brycen and his fellow fisherman took advantage of the brief opportunity. Trolling his favorite lure, a Rapala blue chrome jointed deep husky jerk, at about 1.6 mph with a short lead length of 20 back behind an inline planer board, Brycen’s drag starting clicking as the fish had a strong pull back. It was good fish, keeping down with strong head shakes. The net man did his job and got the fish into the boat. Once the walleye was in the boat, everyone was jumping up and down screaming in excitement. They knew Brycen had a contender for the Walleye Derby. When the fish was weighed later that evening, Brycen was really excited and hoping that it was big enough to take weekly big fish or even the derby.
Brycen found out that he won Big Fish Week 2 by checking the Walleye Derby website. There was still 2 more weeks left in the derby and he was hoping to stay in the number 1 position in the junior division.
On one of the final nights of the derby, there were a flurry of large fish caught. One fish in particular had Brycen concerned. He only saw a photo of the fish and could not make out its weight. The fish looked huge and possibly larger than his. Brycen had to wait until final results were announced to see if he won his division.
A week after the conclusion of the tournament, a meeting was set up with Brycen and his family to award him his Big Fish Week 2 winnings. He was unaware his fish had won the junior division of the Walleye Derby. From the smile on his face you could tell he was beyond excited at the victory. Everyone in his family is super proud of him and super excited for him and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
2016 Walleye Derby Invitational Results