Big Fish Carry Lavrenz, Kalis to the Minnesota State Championship of Walleye Fishing Title
Sep 12th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 12th, 2005 at 12:00 AM
After grabbing the first day lead at the Minnesota State Championship of Walleye Fishing at Lake Bemidji, the team of Dan Lavrenz from St. Michael, MN and Troy Kalis from Brainerd, MN withstood the challenge of two hard charging teams to take the 2005 title! For their efforts, Lavrens and Kalis pocketed $4000 in cash, plus the Lowrance “YOU WIN!” award of two Lowrance LMS-332C color sonar/GPS units valued at $1400, making the total first place purse worth $5400. One of those hard charging teams was the team of Chad Benson and Joe Edlund from Bemidji, MN. They ended up with a two-day total weight of 18.34 pounds and cashed the second place check of $1500. Third place and a check for $900 went to the 2005 Yamaha Outboards Team of the Year, Michael Marushin and Jeffrey Clem from Chanhassen, MN. They had a two-day weight of 17.24 pounds for 11 fish. The Cabela’s Big Fish Award of a $200 shopping spree and the optional Big Fish Pot of $360 went to Lavrens and Kalis for the 7.01-pound walleye that they caught on Saturday. The Minnesota State Championship of Walleye Fishing, which is the fifth of seven such tournaments on the Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC) circuit, was definitely a tournament filled with final day drama. “What a finish,” said GNWC Executive Director Bernie Barringer. “The7.01 pounder that the winners caught on Saturday made the difference. Chad and Joe were over four pounds back going into today’s action, and when it was over less than a pound separated the two teams.” Lavrens and Kalis took the Day I lead by catching their big fish, along with a six pounder, on a shallow rock pile. They cast jig and minnow and jig and four-inch white Berkley Power Grubs. Kalis noted that they targeted this area because of the wind. “The wind was blowing the bait up there, and during pre-fishing we took smaller keeper fish. So, that is what we expected when we started out on Saturday.” Instead, bigger fish had replaced the smaller walleyes! So, even though they caught only four fish on Saturday, they were still able to build over a four pound lead heading into Sunday. Kalis added, “Since it’s shallow, we figured it would be an early bite.On Sunday, we didn’t catch anything early – until Dan caught a 45-inch muskie about 8 a.m. Then we picked up two walleyes.” They later caught two more fish in deeper water. Benson and Edlund proved to be the most consistent of the top teams by catching six-fish limits each day. On Saturday, they worked Lindy rigs, which they tipped with either a leech or nightcrawler, in 20-25 feet of water off a shoreline point on the west side. Then, with the wind down on Sunday, they changed their strategy to pulling #7 glass Shad Raps with lead core line in 30 feet of water. According to Marushin, he and Clem had five good spots going into the tournament. “Then the storm came in on Friday, and that changed everything,”said Marushin. “They either weren’t there, or they wouldn’t bite.” So, they worked a tight corner off of Grassy Reef in 13-30 feet of water, using a seven-foot snell and a red hook tipped with a leech. Marushin added, “We really want to thank Ron and Pam at Tabers Bait for all the good information they gave us.” Several other special awards were presented at Sunday’s weigh-in. The Skeeter Boats award of a $1000 went to Benson and Edlund for being the highest placing Skeeter team. “I run a 2050 with a Yamaha 250 HPDI. It’s an awesome machine. Skeeter Boats has really been good to us,” said Benson. The “Yo So Close” award of a Yo Net folding net valued at $80 went to the teams that placed just out of the money. They include Jamie Lindseth from Eveleth, MN and Ken Lindseth from Bemidji, MN in 9th place; Jerry Firth from Bloomington, MN and Dan Duvall from Zimmerman, MN in 10th place; and Duane Ryks and Sandy Ryks from Spicer, MN in 11th place. The Towtector Comeback Award of a Towtector boat protector valued at over $269 went to the team advancing the most places from the first day to the second day. This award went to the team of Corey Bohn from Kensington, MN and Jason Overby from Marshall, MN, who advanced from 16th place on Saturday to 12th place on Sunday. The Top Family Angler Award presented by the FoodSource Lure Company of $200 in FoodSource Lures went to the team of Robert and Lisa Schults from St. Peter, MN, who tied for sixth place with 14.73 pounds. Those interested in checking out the standings, reading the releases about any of the seven regions or simply learning more about the circuit can access the GNWC website at www.walleyecup.com. Major national sponsors for the GNWC include Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Lowrance Electronics, YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO, Aqua-VU, Aqua Innovations, Cabela’s and UpNorthOutdoors.com. National championship sponsors are Towtector Shield and the FoodSource Lure Corporation.