The polls are now closed and, it’s time to crown our new Smoker of the Year Champion! Shawn Schmidtke earned this year’s Harrison Ibach Smokie Trophy with this black beast that took a glob of Oregon guide David Johnson’s special “wake the dead” cured eggs.
At the crowning celebration, held in banquet room of the Rufus, OR McDonalds, Schmidtke was speechless as his boyhood idol and, up to this point, the only member of the Smoker Hall of Fame, Harrison Ibach, made a rare public appearance.
“The kid’s got a lot of potential,” was all Ibach said before he was quickly whisked away by his handlers, out the back door and then into a waiting limo.
The newly-crowned Smoker Champ dominated this year’s competition, earning 37% of the vote. Darkies from the Klamath (20.7%) and the Cowlitz (18.1%) fished well back in second and third place and our very own Big Fred Contaoi finished fourth.
In addition to the glory and endorsement deals that come with being Smoker of the Year, Schmidtke will also be treated to a guided “Crap Slam” trip in which the junkfish trifetca: carp, sucker and squawfish will be targeted!
Here are the final results…As you can see from the map, Schmidtke carried the west coast, and also got votes from as far away as Alaska and the UK!