Plautz Family Grabs Historic Win at Spring Valley

Category: Tournament

 Mar 31st, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Mar 31st, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Spring Valley, IL — Many family teams have fished the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC) over the years. Fathers and Sons. Brothers. Husbands and Wives. But there has been only one Mother and Son team. Wisconsinites Danny Plautz of Milwaukee and his mother, Barb Plautz of Muskego, propelled to a win with the tournament’s largest basket of 16.12 pounds on the final day. Their two day weight of 27.19 pounds was enough to cash $23,350 for first place payout. Powered by Mercury Motors they received a $500 contingency bonus and biggest fish of day two at 4.48 pounds earned another $1,600. That’s a total of $25,450. This was not only their first circuit victory but truly a chance to make history. The Plautz family is serious about their fishing. Danny grew up watching his dad, Dan, competing and winning in the MWC and PWT. As early as 5th grade young Danny fished a Wave Wacker and got hooked early with the tournament bug. “I knew after watching Dad win tournaments that I wanted to compete – and win my own, too!” He started fishing professionally in 2002 and full time with both the PWT and the FLW five years ago. This was his first tournament win, however. “My feet haven’t hit the ground yet!”What made Mom and Son decide to team up? “We’ve always fished together as a family,” shared Barb. “My first date with Dan was fishing. Our honeymoon was a fishing trip to Canada. And I took the five kids fishing almost every night during the summer when they were growing up! We always had a lot of great family time together.” The two talked about teaming up for the MWC. “I suggested we try it,” continued Barb. “We’ve always had a good time in the boat and we work well together.”And it is a 50/50 team. “We work as a team and both decide things,” shared Barb. “Like today. Danny wanted to move after we had two fish and I said no, I want to stick it out here. I’ve got a good feeling about these fish.” So they stayed. They had their five legal fish by 10:35 a.m. and were able to upgrade all day until the last one was the 4.48 pounder that garnered big fish of the day. The duo drifted downriver sideways following 14-16 foot depths. Their 3/8 oz. jigs were hottest in two-tone black and orange with a dark colored power tail and tipped with the largest minnow they could find in the bucket. “We really got more bites with bigger minnows,” shared Danny. “We used our Lowrance LCX113 to mark the transition between gravelly sand and softer sand. When the graph changed in color from soft to hard that seemed to be where the fish were settled in.” They worked a 300 yard spot 2 miles up-river from Barto Landing. Tim Harms of Owatonna, Minnesota and Chad Kruse of Allison, Iowa came in second place with 27.13 pounds cashing in $10,070 plus $1,000 for the Ranger Cup bonus. Harms also received the $250 “Team FCIS” contingency payout from Farm & City Insurance Services for a total of $11,320.The Toyota Tundra $1,000 angler bonus went to Mark Kordus from Mosinee, Wisconsin for towing his boat with a Tundra. He and partner Shawn Hettinga of Schofield, Wisconsin came in 14th place cashing in $1,860 for a total of $2,860.The top finishing Mercury/Ranger Cup combination award of $500 was paid to the husband and wife team of Tom and Lorraine Miller of Yorkville, Illinois. Their 9th place finish brought them $2,520 for a total of $3,020. Plus, they captured an additional $950 for the second largest fish on day one at 4.7 pounds.First place for big fish on day one was Joe Mans of Peshtigo, Wisconsin and Glenn Wangerin of Escanaba, Michigan for the biggest fish of the event – a 4.86 pounder worth $1,600.The Oxygenator bonus of $200 was awarded to Matt Davis of Marion, Ohio and Dan Gies of Huron, Ohio for their 6th place finish with 21.42 pounds. They also won half of the NPAA $200 contingency bonus from the National Professional Anglers Association. Sixth place paid out $3,420 plus $300 in bonus for a total of $3,720. Steve Skupien of Frankfort, Illinois cashed the other half of the NPAA contingency bonus for his 5th place finish with Dave Kleszyk of Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Fifth place paid out $3,820 plus $100 for a total of $3,920.The Spring Valley Walleye Club (SVWC) hosted the event for the circuit for the 22nd consecutive year. “We love having the MWC come to town,” shared Mike Hurless of the Club. “Together with the DNR we’ve done a lot of great things for fishery improvements.” A conservation donation was presented to the SVWC for $2,340 for this year’s efforts. All the fish caught in this tournament are given to the Illinois DNR, who milt the fish and release them back into the system. The stocking program has played a big part in improving the quality of this fishery.A total of $87,360 was paid out to the top 27 places, another $6,400 was paid in big fish cash and $3,650 in contingency bonuses for a total of $97,410. 585 fish were caught on day one for 1050.96 pounds and 522 fish on day two for 931.73 pounds for a total of 1106 fish for 1982.69 pounds. That’s an average of seven fish per team and a 1.8 pound average size fish. The tournament was filmed for Versus (Vs.) television and will air on Monday, April 28th at 10 am and Wednesday, April 30th at 9:30 am. All times Eastern.Kids from the surrounding community also benefited as the MWC and NPAA co-hosted another Youth & Family Fishing Clinic. Forty-five kids attended on Saturday and received their very own rod, reel and tackle box – courtesy of MWC sponsors Cabela’s, Lowrance Electronics, Ranger Boats and Toyota. Toyota also donated a bike and the lucky winner was twelve year old Raymond Vogel of Bartonville, Illinois. Raymond is the son of Ray and Kathryn Vogel. “The anglers sure put on a nice instructional clinic,” shared Raymond’s dad. “He’s so excited about his new bike that he’s called everyone in the family and emailed them all photos of it!” The bike was rigged with rod holders and a tackle box to be the ultimate fishing machine.Cabela’s, the world’s foremost outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering their seventh season as the title sponsor of the Masters Walleye Circuit. Official sponsors include Toyota Tundra, Ranger Boats, Mercury, MotorGuide, Lowrance Electronics, Versus (Vs.) Television Network and North American Fishing Club. Associate sponsors are Farm & City Insurance Services, The Inhibitor, O2 Oxygenator and Sticker Dude.The remaining 2008 schedule is:April 25-27(28) Lake Erie out of Port Clinton, Ohio (plus Walleye Madness Sweet Sixteen Finals)May 17 & 18 Bay of Green Bay out of Marinette, WI/Menominee, MichiganJune 21 & 22 Lake Winnebago out of Oshkosh, WisconsinJuly 18 – 20 Saginaw Bay out of Linwood, MichiganAugust 9 & 10 Devils Lake in Devils Lake, North DakotaAugust 22 – 24 Lake Erie out of Dunkirk, New YorkOctober 1-4, 2008 Lake Erie out of Dundee/Monroe, MichiganSpots are available in future tournaments. For more information please contact MWC headquarters at 877-893-7947 or by email at: [email protected]. Complete results and photos are attached.

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