Great Lakes Super Series returns for second year

Great Lakes Super Series participant. (Photo courtesy of Tourism Sarnia-Lambton)

Local anglers could reel in a sizable prize during the Great Lakes Super Series (GLSS) 2022 tournament circuit this summer.

The GLSS marked its inaugural season in 2021.

“Despite all of the challenges that COVID presented to us, we actually had a very strong showing in our first year,” said GLSS Communications Director Chris Kilgore. “We’re continuing to grow this series year in and year out so we’re really excited about the potential that this has moving forward.

He said one aspect that stood out last year was the low fish mortality rate.

“We [had] less than one per cent fish mortality which was exceptional based on turnout standards. Our weigh-in procedure was very quick from having the fish come out of the water, get weighed, and put back into the water,” said Kilgore.

The 2022 tournaments will follow public health measures, however, it’s hoped that restrictions and mandates will allow for a larger spectator turnout by this summer.

Kilgore said up to 75 teams will be able to register for each of the qualifiers. General registration will open on Saturday, January 15.

The GLSS consists of three qualifiers from Lake Erie to Lake Huron. Teams of two will accumulate points in each tournament. The top 30 teams will earn a berth in the two-day championships, read a media release from Tourism Sarnia-Lambton.

“We’ve actually increased our prize payouts this year. Based on a full 75 team field for our three qualifiers, the first place prize is upwards of $7,500 and for our championships for the 30 team field, our first-place prize is now up to $10,000 for the winning team,” said Kilgore.

2021 GLSS Team of the Year Champions Derrick Soulliere and TJ McLarty. (Photo courtesy of Tourism Sarnia-Lambton.)

The winning team in 2021, Derrick Soulliere and TJ McLarty, had a total qualifier and championship weigh-in of 69.69 pounds.

Kilgore said 2021 participants were “blown away” by the payout amounts. He also said as anglers, they were able to design a tournament series that would be worth it for participants, with help from sponsors.

“We know what it’s like to put money into these events for our boats, for our fishing gear, for the fuel especially so to have a payback that is 100 per cent guaranteed based on the entry fees of the participating teams, as well as sponsorship dollars, it just makes it more attractive.”

The first of three qualifying tournaments will take place from Mitchell’s Bay Marine Park on July 2. The second qualifier will take place from Sarnia Bay Marina on August 6.

The option to launch out of Sarnia Bay Marina will allow anglers the option to fish for bass in the St. Clair River or venture north to Lake Huron.

‚ÄúSarnia has hosted many successful fishing tournaments and our community has been very supportive of these events over the years. We often see many casual and passionate spectators come to the Marina to see the boats and the fish being brought into the scales for the weigh-ins,” said Special Events and Sports Marketing Coordinator for Tourism Sarnia-Lambton Vicky Praill.

The third and final qualifier will take place in Windsor on August 27. The championships will take place the weekend of September 10 in Belle River.

Kilgore said there are several remaining sponsorship opportunities available. Sponsorship openings can be found by clicking here.