Mans Brothers Win Cabela’s NTC at Green Bay

Category: Tournament

 Jun 10th, 2007 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jun 10th, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Click here for Final NTC ResultsGREEN BAY, Wis. – There was still more than an hour left before the first flight of competitors were due back, but Joe and John Mans were already walking to the stage clutching a bulging bag of fish. The ear-to-ear smiles on their faces said it all.They knew before they even put their catch on the scales that they had something special. Then, when they saw that their day-two catch weighed a whopping 34.17 lbs., they knew they had a catch that could earn them a trip on stage when the winner of the Cabela’s National Team Championship (NTC) was announced later that evening.Then the waiting began. As the afternoon faded to evening and contestant after contestant crossed the stage to weigh their fish, the Mans brothers could be seen pacing nearby. The weigh-in couldn’t finish fast enough for the brothers from Peshtigo and Menominee, Wis.But after all had weighed their fish for the day, the Mans’ wait had come to an end. Their two-day total of 63.26 lbs. of walleye had been enough for them to capture the coveted title of NTC champions.Both pumped their fists and kept smiling that ever-present grin as they came on stage to accept their trophies, the certificates for two Ranger 618VS boats and their check for $25,000.Now that the tournament was over, the two were eager to share their secret. The key, it turns out, was their knowledge of how Green Bay walleye respond when the wind howls as it has for the past several days.”We live here, so we know how the wind affects the fish,” Joe said. “To catch these fish you have to know how to adapt. Basically when the wind is out of the West you have to fish the east shore. When it’s out of the east, you have to fish the west shore. We know a spot where the fish always are when there’s a south wind like there’s been for the last few days.”Familiarity with Green Bay walleye didn’t just pay off for the Mans brothers, the top six teams and nine of the top 11 teams all hailed from Wisconsin.One team that managed a top-10 finish without ever having fished Green Bay before was Leland Bailey and Bill Seibert of Kearney, Neb. who added 27.87 lbs. to their day-one total of 19.59 lbs. to claim seventh place.Leland said the pair had no problem locating fish during pre-fishing, but yesterday’s gale-force winds kept pushing them off of the spot. Today, the wind diminished a bit and they were able to maintain better boat control as they drifted crawler harnesses in about 24 ft. of water.The second-place team of Dave Dretske and Rob Krause of Berlin, Wis., who weighed a two-day total of 57.53 lbs., agreed that calmer conditions allowed for better boat control and trolling speed, resulting in more effective bait presentation.Third-place finishers Jyson Freund of Winneconn, Wis., and Jim Tiemann of Marinette, Wis., said they had located big fish over the past few days, but the improved conditions finally got the big ones to hit their slow-trolled crawler harnesses.Overall, the tournament paid a total purse of $155,100. The day-two prize for the big fish of the day went to Dean Johnson and Mark Van Uliet for their 10.32-lb. catch. The pair received a Stihl chainsaw for their catch.Obviously every angler competing in Cabela’s NTC enters the tournament with aspirations of bringing home prize money or a new boat but for John Mans, winning the tournament was simply icing on the cake.”The fact that this happened with my brother makes it special,” John said. “We’re not just brothers. We’re best friends and to simply spend a weekend fishing with him would have been enough. We’re just a couple of ordinary guys. I feel very blessed.”

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