2009 I.O.W.A. Tournament Trail Season Set
Category: press release
Mar 11th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Mar 11th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
The Hawkeye state’s long and snow-filled winter definitely has walleye anglers across the state yearning for open water and the chance to participate in one of the fastest growing walleye tournament trails in the Midwest: the Iowa Organization of Walleye Anglers (I.O.W.A.) Team Walleye Tournament Trail.
Topping off the 2009 season will be the I.O.W.A. State Championship to be held on Clear Lake, one of the hottest walleye lakes in the state, on October 3-4. FCIS Anglers Choice Insurance services out of Forest City will be the title sponsor for the event, providing a $1000 check for the State Championship purse while also hosting the Championship Banquet.
“We’re going to be on some great waters this year!” said Dean Higgins, who along with his wife Chris, owns and directs the I.O.W.A. circuit. “In addition to the Championship, FCIS Anglers Choice Insurance will also sponsor the May 3 Clear Lake qualifier.
Higgins noted that Brightwell’s Boathouse in Des Moines is both the Official Lund Dealer for the I.O.W.A. circuit and also the qualifier sponsor for the May 31 qualifier at Lake Rathbun. “Lund Boats has been a great sponsor for us for the past three years. To have Brightwell’s Boathouse come on board like this is awesome. They will be giving $1000 to the overall purse at the Rathbun tournament.”
The season kicks off on Sunday, April 5 at Storm Lake hosted by King’s Pointe Resort of Storm Lake. In case of late ice, an alternate date has been set for Sunday, April 19. “You never know what the weather will be like in early April in northern Iowa. Last year we had to use the alternate date, but it looks as if this year’s date will work for us,” noted Higgins.
The next stop will be at Clear Lake on Sunday, May 3; Lake Rathbun on Sunday, May 31; and a fourth qualifier on Sunday, September 13 at Big Spirit Lake. The State Championship shootout then follows with a two-day event at Clear Lake on October 3-4.
“These are not only all great walleye fisheries, but they have communities that support the I.O.W.A. Circuit.”
In addition to the typical 80 percent payback based on number of entries, sponsorships this year will continue to help provide additional cash and prizes at all events. “We are really proud to be able to offer our teams the awards we do, and it all comes down to our sponsors,” said Higgins.
This year’s corporate sponsors include Lund Boats, Mercury Outboards, ShoreLand’r Trailers, Brightwell’s Boathouse, MinnKota, Humminbird, Berkley, Cabela’s, Smooth Move Seat Mounts, FCIS Anglers Choice Insurance of Forest City, King’s Pointe Resort of Storm Lake and Wright County Motors of Clarion.
Reflecting on the purpose of the circuit, Higgins noted. “Our goal remains the same. We want to make the I.O.W.A. Trail the ultimate experience for the Iowa anglers.”
The entry fee will be $240 per team for all events with an 80 percent payback plus additional prizes and awards. Membership for the Iowa Organization of Walleye Anglers will be $30 per person. “One of the rewarding opportunities for all I.O.W.A. anglers is our Enhanced Fishing Conservation Fund where $10 of each entry fee goes to the fund.”
Higgins hopes to see the circuit continue to grow. “Each year we have shown growth, and we hope that continues this year. We offer a great opportunity for the weekend angler to experience great walleye waters and the chance to compete for some great prizes and cash awards.”
The I.O.W.A. website (www.walleyepromotions.com) contains all the rules, registration, schedule, special awards, contact information and sponsors. “We also have our message board as the on-line communication link. It’s a great place to ask questions or simply post a fishing idea. It is the hub for I.O.W.A. members.
Interested anglers can call (515) 571-1085.