Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic canceled for 2020

Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic file art
Anglers prep their boats ahead of the 7 a.m. start of the Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic in June 2019 on Lake Bemidji. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- The 2020 Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fishing tournament's committee announced last week.

The angling event, originally scheduled for June 13, had expanded the field by 20 teams -- to a total of 120 two-person teams -- in commemoration of its 20th anniversary.

Anglers would have also competed for a top prize of $20,000, the largest prize in the history of the tournament.

“We regret that current circumstances make producing this year’s tournament unworkable,” Joe Czapiewski, tournament director, said in a press release. “Our Committee has thoroughly explored its options for producing the tournament, even under potentially relaxed public health restrictions. However, our goal of holding a community celebration of fishing, especially one as big as our 20th anniversary, is just not feasible this year.”

Over a 19-year tournament history, the Kraus Anderson/Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic has distributed a total of $820,250 to community causes.


Local charities provide volunteer support for the tournament and share the proceeds, and many look to the Walleye Classic as their main source of funding.

However, the public still has an opportunity to support the tournament’s beneficiaries this year by purchasing KCWC raffle tickets. There are 20 prizes as well as a top prize, courtesy of Ray’s Sport and Marine.

Tournament organizers are already making plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic on June 12, 2021, at the Lake Bemidji waterfront. The tournament will still include the expanded field of 120 teams vying for a top prize of $20,000.

Raffle tickets can be purchased for $10 each at Lueken’s Village Foods North, Northwoods Bait and Tackle, Acme Tools, through supporters of the charities involved, or by mailing a check with your name, phone number, and return address to KCWC Raffle, PO Box 1788, Bemidji, MN 56619.

Follow the Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic Facebook page for updates and announcements about anniversary activities, raffle ticket sales, and more.


Bria Barton covers travel and tourism for Forum News Service and is based at the Bemidji Pioneer. A South Carolina native and USC grad, she can be found exploring Minnesota’s abundance of towns, food and culture. Follow her on Instagram @briabarton.
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