Governor’s Cup Walleye fishing tournament to take place this weekend

The 48th annual "Governor's Cup" fishing tournament is taking place in Pierre, and has participants from seven different states this year.
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 8:07 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - People from across South Dakota and the country are in Pierre this weekend for the world’s oldest Walleye fishing tournament.

The 48th annual “Governor’s Cup” is taking place once more this weekend, north of the Oahe Dam in Pierre.

Event organizers and long time participants take pride say that despite challenges from other Walleye fishing tournaments, they have been able to maintain that this one is the oldest around.

“This tournament was started by two gentlemen several decades ago, those gentlemen came up with the idea on a bar napkin in Watertown,” said Curt Underhill, Director for the Governor’s Cup. “They were watching Bass tournaments going on down south, and realized that nobody was doing that for Walleye to the best of their knowledge. Still to this day, to the best of our knowledge, nobody ever did this before us.”

In total this year, seven different states will be represented in the tournament, with some participants coming from as far away as Florida. Over the course of the tournament’s life span, some competitors had come from as far as Europe.

“It is a great body of water. It is one of the best, if not the best, Walleye fishing reservoirs in the country,” Underhill said.

But for many, it is bigger than the fishing or the prizes that can be won.

A number of teams competing this weekend are family teams, many of whom have done this event in their families for decades.

Matthew and Cody Hostler are a father-son team who have competed together since Matthew was seven years old.

“This tournament here is really special to Matthew and I,” Cody explained. “I used to fish it with my dad for years and years, this tournament itself is a huge family tournament. If you look at the roughly 180 boats registered this year, you will see a lot of team members that have the same last names.”

“We have always done the tournament, it is kind of where we are from,” said Matthew, now seventeen. “We like to fish up here and it is just a lot of fun. Some of these guys out here we have competed against for years.”

The competition runs through Sunday evening.

*Matthew Hostler is the name of the son, Cody Hostler is the father. The script in the video inaccurately mixes the two up.

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