Kolb and Byers Win MWC Detroit
Apr 23rd, 2006 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Apr 23rd, 2006 at 12:00 AM
Trenton, MI — Four new Cabela’s MWC circuit records were broken during the Cabela’s MWC East tournament on the Detroit River and Lake Erie, April 22nd and 23rd. One stood for only a brief half-hour, as Lake Erie showed her ability to produce amazing fish in spectacular abundance. The Grand Rapids, Michigan area team of David Kolb (Ada) and Dan Byers (Cedar Springs) accomplished two of them. This was the team’s first Cabela’s MWC victory, which netted the duo $14,302, plus the Ranger Cup $1,000 bonus, for a weekend prize of $15,302. The winning team broke the single largest one-day basket with their day two weight of 43.52 pounds. New Yorkers Dave Waldeck and Nate Capton set the previous record in May 2005 at the Henderson Harbor, New York, tournament on Lake Ontario at 43.45 pounds. They also set the two-day largest record basket of ten fish with 82.23 pounds, skyrocketing 10.7 pounds past the record set on the Eastern side of Lake Erie last August. Jay Janny & Kim “Chief” Papineau captured the previous honor in their successful run for 2005 Team of the Year. The record winning presentation was trolling spinners with planer boards. When asked about the details of the presentation, David Kolb replied “pretty much everything was working. We used size 6 and 8 blades, both gold and silver. Pretty much whatever we put out there they were hitting.” The key, according to this team, was in their practice time during pre-fishing. “We worked hard marking fish with our Lowrance 104 sonar unit during our pre-fishing. That really was key to finding fish and narrowing down our options. I don’t think a lot of fishermen know how to work their sonar as well as they should to really know where the fish are. We did that during the week and it really paid off. Both in sending us to the right spots, and ruling out others that weren’t as productive.”The team essentially worked just three spots over the two-day tournament, all in the Gull Isle Shoals area to Northwest of Rattlesnake, staying closer to the Canadian border than many of the other boats in the area. First thing on Saturday morning, even before the team had all their boards out, the fish started biting in a flurry. “At first we were a little nervous because the hits were coming so fast and furious that we missed buttoning up a couple.” shared Dan Byers. The team weighed 38.71 pounds for five fish on Saturday, which put them in 3rd place. That night the team talked about the possibility of putting a winning program together, and Dan made a promise. Byers was so impressed with pre-fishing in Kolb’s Ranger 621, that he committed to selling his Triton and shop for a new Ranger Boat if they won. With that, Byers’ half of the winnings on Sunday were already spent.Tournament boundaries included the Detroit River all the way to Kelly Island on Lake Erie, putting the traditional river fishermen at a bit of a disadvantage, with the big fish having moved out of the river and into the lake. Erie, known for weather challenges, can make for “iffy” tournament planning. The river gives confidence that the tournament will get two full days in. The question will be..where. And who is versatile enough to succeed in either situation.Kolb and Byers enjoy two-person team fishing formats the best, as it allows trust and confidence in what your partner can do in the boat. The team also wanted to recognize their Most Important Sponsors, wives Marnie Byers and Patty Kolb. “We couldn’t accomplish big things like this without the support of our families.” shared Kolb, and seconded by Byers. This was Byers’ first MWC tournament and third for Kolb. David admitted he has enjoyed quite a bit of success in just the three MWC tournaments, with a 6th place finish at Saginaw Bay in 2004, 9th place last year in the “snowfest” on the Detroit River and now this amazing win.The second place team of the same Grand Rapids area of Michigan, Mike Bringedahl (Twin Lake) and Tod Conner (Hopkins) had also broken the 10-fish circuit record with their 75.56 pounds, but it only lasted an hour until Kolb and Byers weighed in behind them. Bringedahl and Conners cashed a check for $6,303 plus $1,000 for big fish award for Sunday, for a total of $7,303.The fourth record that was broken during the tournament occurred on Saturday for record big fish, weighing in at 12.65 pounds. Wisconsonites Terry Mayhall (Madison) and Tony Dowiatt (Stevens Point) broke the 12.34 pound record weight that has held since 2000, netting the team not just honors of the new MWC title, but also $1000 in big fish money. With the next MWC East tournament just a month away in Henderson Harbor, New York, perhaps Lake Ontario will give the new record short shelf-life. Known for really massive walleyes, Lake Ontario is rumored to have plenty of 13 and 14 pounders. It just hasn’t happened on a tournament day..yet.