Big Second Day Helps Guening, Curtis to the Wisconsin State Championship of Walleye Fishing Title
Sep 12th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 12th, 2005 at 12:00 AM
Talk about a turnaround! After finishing Day I of the Wisconsin State Championship of Walleye Fishing in 14th place with a one-fish weight of 1.22 pounds, the team of Bruce Guening from Rhinelander, WI and Chad Curtis from Woodruff, WI added a four-fish weight of 6.64 pounds on Sunday to propel them to the top. Their combined weight of 7.86 pounds earned them a $5000 payday along with the Lowrance “YOU WIN!” award of two Lowrance LMS-332C color sonar/GPS units valued at $1400, making the total first place purse worth $6400. Held on the Minocqua Chain, the Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC)teams found the going tough. “This is our home water, and we have never seen the bite so tough,” said Guening. Curtis echoed the sentiments with “We spent over five hours in one spot to catch those four fish.” In addition to winning the title, Guening and Curtis took the Cabela’s Big Fish Award of a $200 shopping spree and the optional Big Fish Pot of $480 with their 2.39-pound walleye. Plus, they also took the Towtector Comeback Award of a Towtector boat protector valued at over $269 for advancing the most places from the first day to the second day. “What a comeback,” said GNWC Tournament Director Lyle Heidenwith. “Bruce and Chad stuck with it. It was quite a weekend for them.” Second place and a check for $1800 went to the team of Rick Writz from Lake Tomahawk, WI and John DeBoer from Waukegan, IL with a five-fish weight of 6.34 pounds. They had been in third place after Day I and were able to move up one place on Sunday. Third place and a check for $1000 went to the team of Phillip Smith from Fond du lac, WI and Tom Mouolton from Cambria, WI with a three-fish weight of 5.86 pounds. For Guening, Thursday’s pre-fishing success was almost his undoing. “I caught the biggest fish I have ever taken out of Lake Tomahawk. It measured over 33 inches in length.” Guening caught it on the deep rocks, and, of course, those rocks were like a magnet on Saturday. However, after no fish for most of the day, Guening and Curtis moved to the deep weeds to catch their lone keeper for the day. Still, they weren’t done with the rocks. “We tried again today, but after half an hour, we decided to move back to the deep weeds.” It took over five hours of slip bobber fishing with leeches and a 1/16-ounce jig before they had their four fish (the limit on Lake Tomahawk). Writz and DeBoer spent their time fishing both Minocqua and Kawaguesaga, but caught most of their fish on Minocqua using 1/8-ounce jigs tipped with minnows. According to DeBoer, they worked the weeds in 10-15 feet of water.”The fish were scattered all over. We would use our trolling motor to work both the edges of the weeds in right in the weeds.” They tried using nightcrawlers, but the perch wouldn’t leave the bait alone. Meanwhile, Smith and Moulton caught their fish using Northland Whistler jigs tipped with half of a nightcrawler. They would cast up into the deep weeds and then bring the jigs back into a deep drop-off. “We found the fish stacked right on that transition and caught two fish in 35 minutes,” said Smith. However, their anchor would not hold them in position, so they had to keep repositioning themselves. “It was really frustrating, because we knew the fish were there, but with the wind we just couldn’t hold in one spot.” Even though the bite was off, the Wisconsin State Championship of Walleye Fishing, which is the sixth of seven such tournaments on the GNWC circuit, still had its suspense. “The bite was really off, but that made things even more interesting. There was a lot of shuffling in the standings from Day I to Day II,” said Heidenwith. Several other special awards were presented at Sunday’s weigh-in. 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 Jeff McMahon and Jeff Goulette from Laurium, MI in 9th place; Mike Latimer from Westmont, IL and Hal Cary from Montgomery, IL in 10th place; and John Bella and Kevin Bella from Stevens Point, WI in 11th place. The Top Family Angler Award presented by the FoodSource Lure Company of $200 in FoodSource Lures went to John and Kevin Bella. 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.