Kicker Fish Propels Killinger, Brandt to Albany Tournament Title

Category: Tournament

 Jun 21st, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jun 21st, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Using their 8.18-pound kicker fish, the team of Mica Killinger from Port Byron, IL and Cord Brandt from Hillsdale, IL won the Albany Tournament on the Mississippi River, Sunday with a four-fish weight of 14.06 pounds. In this, the fourth and final tournament for the Iowa Region of the Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC), Killinger and Brandt not only pocketed the $1600 fist place check, but also brought home the Cabela’s Big Fish Award and a $200 Cabela’s shopping spree and $390 for the optional Big Fish Pot. Second place and a check for $800 went to the team of Tom Millenkamp from Dyersville, IA and Marty Berns from Dubuque, IA with a five-fish limit weight of 11.9 pounds. Taking third place and a check for $550 was the team of Rodger Clark from Albert Lea, MN and Denny Miller from Fairfax, IA with a five-fish limit weight of 11.82 pounds. For the top teams, it was not a matter of catching big fish. Instead, it was a matter of boating fish not in the 20-27 inch slot. Killinger noted, “We were on big fish and caught several 23 and 24 inch fish. We actually left our spot in order to find smaller fish!” The winners pitched 1/4-ounce lime green and red/black jigs tipped with half a nightcrawler. They worked four to nine feet of water in a rocky, clam bed area. With the river about a foot over normal pool level, “We did find that we had to run south where the water clarity was better,” added Killinger. Millenkamp and Berns also ran into a lot of fish in the 20-27 inch slot. They noted, “The high water and stained water made the bite tougher. Normally, there would have been a lot of limits weighed.” Millenkamp and Berns pulled crankbaits at 1.5 mph and also spent time working jigs. Clark and Miller found their fish in a backwater slough and pulled Reef Runner Rip Shads in 8-10 feet of water. Clark noted, “We had trouble running four lines because the Reef Runners would get fouled in the floating grass. So, most of the time, we had only three lines in the water.” Clark added that green and orange were the better colors. “We also tried the new 400 Series Rip Shad. They are a little bigger and definitely worked better.” The Yo So Close Award, provided by AMFYOYO, manufacturer of the innovative stowable folding landing net, went to the three teams just finishing out of the money. They include Joe Kalvig from Nora Springs, IA and Don O’Tool from Clear Lake, IA in 12th place; Jamee Wallingford and Don Poole from Farmington, IA in 13th place; and Bob Mortenson and Roger Berkland from Emmetsburg, IA in 14th place. Winning the Iowa Region Yamaha Outboards Team of the Year award with 18 points accumulated during the four-tournament season was the team of Jack Davis and Rob Funk from Mason City, IA. Jesse Roush from Clive, IA and Cory Batterson from Pleasant Hill, IA finished in second place with 44 points. GNWC Executive Director Barringer noted, “With the four tournaments now in the books, the top 30 teams will be preparing for the Iowa Regional Championship on West Okoboji in September. I encourage people to check out our website at www.walleyecup.com and see how the races are going in all seven of our regions.” 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, while Iowa Region sponsors include Carlson-Sanderson Real Estate, Motor Inn, Inc., and Triggs Bay Resort.

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