October 14, 2019

Doc Harpham Walleye Tournament to return for eighth year


Au GRES — Anglers far and wide will flood the Saginaw Bay Saturday, June 22, for the eighth annual Doc Harpham Memorial Walleye Shootout with an estimated 100 boats competing for the grand prize of $8,000.

In total, the tournament boasts around $23,000 in prize money with payouts scheduled for the top 20 positions based on a 120-boat field.

The tournament is held in honor of the late Dr. Ted Harpham, an area chiropractor for more than 26 years and father of organizer Mike Harpham.

“One of the big focuses that my dad always had was keeping the young kids active in the outdoors, it keeps them out of trouble and it keeps them focused,” Harpham said reflecting on his father.

All funds raised by the tournament go right back into the community, Harpham said, with money going toward two $750 scholarships to Au Gres-Sims students and donations going to the Saginaw Bay Walleye Club and the Arenac County Walleye Club.

In addition to that, Harpham said he is happy to make donations to any organization in the area that could benefit the community.

“Anyone can approach me, I'm around the tournament all the time, if they have something they feel is appropriate for us to donate to then we go ahead and donate,” he said.

Children from the ages of 3-13 that are present as an angler or a spectator during the weigh-in event will receive a gift, which ranges from hats to fishing gear and poles, Harpham said.

The tournament will consist of approximately 120 boats, made up of teams of three to four adults each and children younger than 18 don’t count as team members. However, there is a strict six-line limit.

Harpham said depending on the weather, the event will see in excess of 700 people including spectators and families.

In addition to the estimated $23,000-plus cash purse, there will be in excess of $7,000 in prizes raffled off and a 50-50 that usually sees a payout of more than $1,000.

All and all, the tournament is meant to provide a fun event to participate and attend for people in the area but ultimately is a means to benefit the area as a whole.

“Supporting kids in the area, supporting businesses in the area, bringing people to Au Gres and donating back to the community is the big thing,” Harpham said. “Some of the smaller communities in this area have struggled and, in my opinion we are rebuilding communities in this area and I think we need to stick together

Teams’ registration applications must be delivered to Frank’s Great Outdoors by June 19 at 8 p.m. There is a mandatory captain’s meeting at the Au Gres City Park pavilion June 21 at 5:30 p.m., and boats will be in the water from 5:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. June 22.

The cost to register is $200 per team with up to four adult members.


Please review our community guidelines before posting

Please keep comments on topic and appropriate for all ages. Remember that people of all ages read our website. Those that are not appropriate will be removed. Please read our full community guidelines before posting.

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

Copyright © 2019, Sunrise Publishing. Powered by: Creative Circle Advertising Solutions, Inc.