Race to the Finish during Walleye Madness Opener

Challenging fishing started the day for the 80 anglers entered in the Walleye Madness Tournaments Mosquito Lake event in north east Ohio on April 27th. A full 40 boat tournament field held high hopes of capturing the spotlight along with their share of the 100% tournament payout and sponsor contingency bonuses. The tournament also featured a Cabela’s NTC side pot with 15 teams in contention to win a paid entry and bonuses to the 2015 Cabela’s National Team Championship.

WMT Mosquito winnersFirst place was earned by Chris Duffus and Collin Hill with a 13.00 # five fish tournament limit that also captured first place in the Cabela’s NTC side pot. Second place went to David Conant and Scott Geitgey with 12.70 # that simultaneously captured the Mercury Marine Bonus and the WT6 contingency Bonus.  Third place was awarded to Bret Berkey and Nate Arnold. Fourth place was captured by Rico Mixon and Marina Leydiker, with Sam Cappelli and Ted Jackson rounding out the top five teams for the event. The Lund Boats Bonus was awarded to Amanda Yackmack and Joe Yackmack and the Buckeye Sports Center Big Fish bonus went to Chad Fenstermaker and Thomas Brenkert.

Water temperatures hovered around 54 degrees and the primary bite consisted of trolling shad style crankbaits on leadcore line along with tactics targeting suspended fish. The first place team of Chris Duffus and Collin Hill concentrated their efforts north of the causeway in 8 to 13 feet of water. After losing a big fish early, they stayed with their primary pattern while the majority of the field moved south to deeper water.  The final hour of the event was a hot bite flurry of doubles and triples with several teams racing the clock to upgrade their catch right up to the last available minute of fishing time.

Walleye Madness Tournaments are sponsored by Buckeye Sports Center, Lund Boats and Mercury Marine. The series offers no-membership fee required 100% payout tournaments, plus $700 per event in sponsor bonuses. Cabela’s National Team Championship qualifying is provided by the series affiliation with the national organization The Walleye Federation. Next up on the Walleye Madness Tournaments schedule is the June 28th Lake Erie event out of Geneva State Park.  For more information please visit www.walleyemadness.net.

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Lake Erie Walley Trail – Lakevue Tournament

Windy conditions, intermittent rain, and a tough bite at the Cabela’s, Crown Battery, Sharpnack Direct, Lake Erie Walleye Trail. (LEWT) The second straight sold out tournament of the 2014 season was hosted by Waldo Peppers Restaurant at Lakevue Marina.

After several previous days of unstable weather conditions, anglers were confronted with breezy southwest winds, plenty of muddy water and intermittent rain. “If these winds were out of the north we would have postponed the tournament” said LEWT tournament Director Joe Yingling. “Once again, the requirement of adapting to difficult and changing conditions is what makes walleye tournament fishing such a challenge.”

Club members Bryan Huff and Amy Santus who were tragically lost in a recent boating accident were remembered by ceremonially releasing their boat number 42 first at the takeoff. This was followed by a moment of silence to honor our lost friends.

lakevue winners 2014The team of Ronnie Rhodes and Joe Whitten fought through the conditions to bring home a bag of five fish weighing 35.30 pounds for the win. Second place went to James Moes and David Gahn with five fish and 31.48 pounds, Jay Gullett and James Ludban took the third spot with five fish weighing 30.13 pounds.

Shane and Luke Solomy weighed in a 10.09 pound walleye to win the Big Fish cash award. The team of Shawn Ritchie and John Wagner took second place with a 9.58 pound walleye.

James Moes and Davis Gahn won the Medina Plating Early Bird award that goes to the top finishing team that entered all four events before the Early Bird deadline.

LEWT title sponsor Sharpnack Direct offers a cash prize to the highest finishing LEWT angler who owns a vehicle purchased from Sharpnack. Randy Eyre took home the $150 cash award.

The winning team of Rhodes and Whitten employed crawler harnesses in the area of North Bass Island to pull their winning bag. Rhodes and Whitten also dedicated their win to our lost club members. Other teams that cashed a check reported using a mixed bag of harnesses and deep diving crankbaits. A total of 111 walleye were brought to the scales by 50 teams, with the average weight being 5.08 pounds.

The remaining 2014 LEWT schedule is as follows:
May 17th – Sandusky – City Ramp “Hi-Way Bait, Tackle and Lodging LEWT”
June 7th and 8th –Huron- City Ramp – “Erie Outfitters LEWT Championship”

The WBSA is a social based club for anglers that fish in the Western and Central Basins of Lake Erie and its tributaries. 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 more information about the LEWT you can visit www.wbsa.us

Please support our 2014 LEWT sponsors: Cabela’s, Crown Battery Systems, Sharpnack Direct in Willard, Magee East Campground and Marina, Medina Plating, Ranger Boats, Waldo Peppers Restaurant, Smooth Moves, Worldwide Marine Underwriters, Reef Runner Lures, Vic’s Sports Center, Erie Outfitters, Navionics, Rednek Outfitters, Hi-Way Bait Tackle and Lodging.

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Walleye Searchers 4/6/2014 Sidepot Tournament Results

Place – Team – Total Weight

1 –  Steve Gnotke, Al Heimer – 17.54

2 – Clayton Brandt, Joe Kujawa – 14.38

3 – Jason Moritz, Matt Coy – 11.44

4 – Mike Utley, Tom Andersen – 9.60

5 – Dale Rueber, Chris Packer – 7.57

6 – Dean Nelson, Nick Wiese – 6.51

7 – Chad Niemann, Andy Hanson – 4.69

8 – Drew Evans, Chuck Russo – 1.90

9 – Nick Dennison, Jian Su  – 0.0

9 – John Sperlingas, Trevor Gnotke – 0.0

Lake Erie Walleye Trail Season Opener

2014 Magee East winnersBetter late than never at the Cabela’s, Crown Battery, Sharpnack Direct, Lake Erie Walleye Trail (LEWT) season opener hosted by “Magee East” Marina and Campground.

After an unusually bitter winter that left thick ice across the western basin of Lake Erie until the end of March, the season opening LEWT event was postponed one week to April 12. “What a group of anglers we have” commented LEWT tournament Director Joe Yingling. “Even after having to reschedule, we still have a full field of 50 teams entered in this tournament.” Continue reading