Keller and Kropp Win at Spring Valley MWC

Category: Tournament

 Mar 28th, 2006 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Mar 28th, 2006 at 12:00 AM

Spring Valley, IL – Five years ago the young team of Larry Keller and Chad Kropp of Neshkoro, Wisconsin fished their first Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit tournament at Spring Valley, Illinois. They finished “in the money” that first year and got bit with the bug to compete. They cashed a check every year in the annual “Daytona 500” of the walleye fishing world, inching their way up. Last year was close with second place, but this year they realized the goal they set for themselves in 2002. They put ten fish together over the two days for a win with 24.79 pounds, netting the team a cool $28,512 in payout. On day one the duo fished primarily near the Utica bridge in a crowd of boats. But on day two, when they only had one fish in the boat at mid-day, they knew they had to do something different. It was when they moved away from the crowd that they starting reeling in the fish. “It was one fish on top of another from Noon to 1 o’clock” shared an elated Chad Kropp. “Nets and lines were getting all tangled up trying to stay on top of bringing the fish into the boat so fast. It was a blast. We caught LOTS of fish in that hour.” Partner Larry Keller added, “This win is really special for me. I lost my Mom last year to breast cancer the day before the MWC Green Bay tournament. She told me before she died how much she wanted me to catch fish for her. And now we have this win. It feels good to have done this in her memory.”The winning strategy for Keller and Kropp was traditional vertical jigging, with 3/8 oz. jigs. A lot of colors were working for the team, including chartreuse green, orange and yellow, with stingers. The team felt the key to their presentation was using no-stretch line with no slack and setting the hook on the tough lipped saugers really hard. The full field of 220 teams paid out $106,296 in winnings, with $8,574 paid out for big fish honors. The mother and son team of Barbara & Danny Plautz of Muskego, WI took the first place prize of $1750 on Saturday with 4.2 pounds; and Sunday’s cash of the same amount went to Mike Fortier and Bruce Kolinski of Franklin and West Allis, WI with their 5.4 pound walleye, which was the biggest fish of the tournament.Additional cash prizes were awarded by Cabela’s MWC sponsors. Ranger Boats awarded a $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus to the Minnesota team of Rodney York and Jim Preissner for their fourth place tie. A $500 Tommy Docks Comeback Award was paid to the Minnesota team of Virgil Malbraaten and Patrick Rooney for advancing the most places – 113 – from day one to day two. Two hundred dollars plus two Lindy Drift Control socks were awarded to the father and son team of Donald and Michael Olson of Minnesota for using a drift control product to maximize boat control during the tournament. The Inhibitor “Tough Times” Award of $100 was paid to the Rockford, IL team of Dan Hauser and Tom Ping. Two new MotorGuide trolling motors were awarded to Iowans Doug Newhoff and Neil Hammargren for being the highest finishing MotorGuide team with their third place finish. A $100 Panther Marine Tech bonus was awarded to Tim Harms of Minnesota and Chad Kruse of Iowa for their 7th place finish. Food Source Lures paid out cash and “real food” in a game for the public and anglers awarding $75. Locals Dick Ajster and Ken Tonelli each received new two-piece cold weather outerwear from Ice Armor. Mercury, Ranger Boats and Lowrance Electronics provided onsite field service technical support to the anglers. The Spring Valley Walleye Club hosted the MWC tournament for its 20th consecutive year. Each of those years the MWC anglers have contributed to a dedicated walleye conservation fund of $15 per boat per tournament. Once again in 2006, $3300 was presented to the SVWC for their operational efforts in organizing tournament details at Barto Landing. During the tenure in Spring Valley, hundreds of thousands of conservation dollars have been raised through the tournament or matched with other special funds, making the partnership a valuable one for both community and the Illinois River fishery. The city celebrated with special events within “Walleye Week” a city-wide celebration for the whole family.The Cabela’s MWC is the world’s longest running professional walleye fishing circuit, with tournaments from North Dakota to New York in 2006. For an entry form and complete details go to www.masterswalleyecircuit.com or call the MWC office at 877-893-7947. Tournament StatisticsNumber of Teams: 220 Number of Fish: 1121Total cash and prizes: $116,770 Total Weight: 2,132.46 poundsWater Temp: 42-44 degrees Big Fish: 5.4 pounds Water Level: Dropping Water Conditions: Muddy, but clearingInside Winning Pattern: Vertical Jigging with 3/8 oz. stinger hooksTip: No-stretch line giving no slack and setting the hook hard

More like this