Cold temperatures and a one-day postponement due to weather couldn’t stop the Crown Battery, Sharpnack Direct, Lake Erie Walleye Trail (LEWT) season opener hosted by Magee East Marina and Campground.
The sold-out field of 60 two-person teams headed out under sunny skies, freezing temperatures, and a 12-15 knot northwest wind on Sunday morning. “We had strong winds forecast overnight on Friday, along with a low water warning for the west end of the lake,” said LEWT Tournament Director Jeff Lash. “we decided the best thing to do was call it early and hold the event on Sunday. It was still a bit choppy Sunday morning, but overall it ended up being a fairly decent day on Lake Erie.”
When the final results were tallied, the team of Richard Wright of Ashville, and Tim Gunckel of Greenville, took the big win and $3300 with five large walleye weighing in at 36.93 pounds.
Second place and $1760 went to Jeff Oliver of Piqua, and Kyle Griesdorn of New Weston with five fish at 35.58 pounds. Bob Barnhart from Perrysburg, and Erik Van Denk of Luckey took the third spot worth $1350 with five fish weighing 35.47 pounds
The first place Big Fish plaques and cash award of $612 went to third place finishers Bob Barnhart and Eric Van Denk for landing the largest fish of the tournament weighing in at 10.83 pounds. Sixth place finishers Mike Robertson and Steve Summerly recorded the second largest walleye weighing 9.71 pounds, worth $408.
Richard Wright will receive $500 from Ranger Boats for his teams win at Magee East. Richard is a qualified Ranger Boat owner under the Ranger Cup program.
Long time LEWT supporter Sharpnack Direct in Willard Ohio offers a cash prize to the highest finishing LEWT angler at each event who owns a new or used vehicle purchased from Sharpnack. Randy Eyre (partner Corey Miller) won the $150 cash award with a thirteenth place finish.
Medina Plating sponsors our Early Bird contingency that goes to the top finishing team that entered all four events before the Early Bird deadline. Wright and Gunckel added to their take with this $150 prize.
Both members of the first team out-of-the-money in 10th place won free six-month subscriptions to the Domka Outdoors Lure of the Month club. Chris Morris and Thomas Nordyke will be enjoying this prize.
Huge thank you to Ted Thomas, and his friendly staff at “Magee East” for once again being a fantastic host. We had a great crowd present at the weigh-in to cheer on their favorite anglers.
Most of the LEWT anglers donated their walleye catch, which will be cleaned by Lake Fish in Sandusky. These filets will be donated to the Victory Temple Soup Kitchen in Sandusky, who uses this resource to assist people in need within our own community.
The remaining 2018 LEWT schedule is as follows: April 28 – Port Clinton – West Harbor “Hi-Way Bait, Tackle and Lodging LEWT” May 19 – Sandusky – City Ramp “Ole Pete Memorial Tournament” June 8/9 –Huron- City Ramp – “Erie Outfitters LEWT Championship”
The Western Basin Sportfishing Association (WBSA) is a social based club for anglers that fish in the Western and Central Basins of Lake Erie and its tributaries. The WBSA operates the popular LEWT tournament series on Lake Erie. Membership is open to anyone interested in fishing, no matter their location or skill level. Our goal is to present information in a manner that will help sustain and improve fishing in one of the greatest inland sport fisheries in the world. Scientific information, fishing techniques, locations and presentations are presented at our meetings by expert and knowledgeable speakers and tournament anglers from our group. These anglers are very open with techniques, and will help any member that is trying to learn new methods.
For a complete list of the tournament results, or for more information about the LEWT, please visit www.wbsa.us you can also find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wbsalewt #wbsalewt
Please support our 2018 LEWT sponsors: Crown Battery Systems, Sharpnack Direct in Willard, Medina Plating, Magee East Campground and Marina, Ranger Boats, Waldo Peppers Restaurant, Smooth Moves, Worldwide Marine Underwriters, Reef Runner Lures, Vic’s Sports Center, Erie Outfitters, Rednek Outfitters, Hi-Way Bait Tackle and Lodging, and Domka Outdoor.