PRO-ANGLER WHILE AND CO-ANGLER LARSON WIN CABELA’S NATIONAL WALLEYE TOUR EVENT AT MOBRIDGE, SOUTH DAKOTA
Jul 1st, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jul 1st, 2014 at 12:00 AM
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (June 30, 2014) – Pro-angler Wade While brought in a two-day total of 26.30 pounds of walleye to win the pro-angler category of the Lake Oahe event for the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour (NWT) at Mobridge, S.D., on June 26-27.
After a solid opening day on his home lake, the local angler was just hoping for another 10 or 12 pounds on day two to finish in the top five. Leading the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour event was the seemingly invincible Dan Stier, the winner of the season opener on Lake Erie. While’s mentality completely changed at 8:30 Saturday morning when his co-angler caught a 24.50-inch Lake Oahe stud.
“I was having some issues with my trolling motor battery and I was just about to pull the trolling motor up and start drifting when Tom (Samp) got that big one,” said While. “Then we picked up a couple 19s and around 10:30 a.m. we caught another over – a 21.50-incher. We didn’t even question it; it went in the box.”
Per South Dakota regulations, anglers are allowed to keep eight walleyes, but only two can be over 20 inches in length. Culling is not permitted, which means all walleyes must be immediately kept or released. At the end of the day, anglers weigh their five heaviest fish.
“Then I threw in a 17-incher just to make sure we had five,” While continued. “And at 11:30 we caught an 18.50. We decided to come in a little early because we were soaked and my trolling motor was completely dead at that point. Luckily the fish came quick.”
The pro-angler employed both night crawlers and leeches in a variety of presentations both days to catch his daily limits. Of the four overs While caught, three came on crawlers, including the final-day kicker. He finished the tournament with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 26.30 pounds. For winning the second qualifier of the season, While earned a Ranger 1880 Angler with a 175-horsepower Evinrude engine and $15,000, a total prize package worth $57,000.
Second-place finisher Dan Stier, of Mina, South Dakota, headed into the final day with a two-pound lead. The angler was disappointed in his final day’s performance but remained upbeat.
“Second place is still really good,” said Stier. “I’m just disappointed I didn’t get to fish my own fish today. One guy came trolling by me yesterday and saw me catch the two big ones. And he was sitting on that spot before I got there today, so that makes me a little upset.”
Stier was targeting gravel strips in the Bay of Pollock, approximately 6 miles south of the North Dakota-South Dakota border. The fish were set up in 10 to 14 feet of water.
“I was using Stier Death of course,” said Stier. “It’s been my bread and butter guiding for years. Dave Spaid and I caught on to it back in the 90s and have been doing it ever since. The key factor for me in this tournament was speed. I was burning along at 1.6 or 1.7 mph. I’d crash into that rock and when the bouncer would hit the rock that’s when the fish would jump on it.”
Stier had thoughts of running 40 or 50 miles south on Saturday, but he knew he was around big, heavy fish up north. After trying to share water professionally, he eventually exited his primary area and targeted different points. His final-day weight was 8.11 pounds, bringing his cumulative weight to 22.73 pounds.
“It’s funny, the wins happen when you don’t expect them and sometimes when you think you’re going to win you don’t,” said Stier. “Everything has to go right to win one of these.”
With Ranger and Evinrude bonuses, Stier earned $19,487.93. He will head to Escanaba, Michigan, for the third event of the year with a sizeable lead in the Lucas Oil Angler of the Year race.
Rick Olson had a nondescript day one on Lake Oahe, catching a modest 6.63-pound limit. One the final day, Olson boated two overs that anchored his 15.60-pound stringer, the heaviest limit of the tournament. In the process, the Mina Lake, South Dakota-pro rose from fifty seventh place to third, earning 14,868.33 for his total of 22.23 pounds.
Chad Schilling (fourth), Jeff Mistelski (fifth), Ed Stachowski (sixth), Joe Okada (seventh), Steve Miller (eighth), Kevin Carstenson (ninth) and Greg Ehli (tenth) round out the top 10 pro-anglers.
After bringing in a first-day weight of 10.80 pounds and tied for seventh place, first-place finisher for the co-angler category Tyrone Larson, of Amherst, Wisconsin, paired with pro-angler Joe Okada for the final day’s competition.
The team fished crawlers and Slow Death spinners in the Bay of Pollock, bringing in 12.41 pounds on the final day. While other co-anglers brought in heavier bags of fish, Larson’s respectable first-day’s weight helped him ascend to the first-place finish for the co-angler category and $6,000.
Second-place finisher for the co-angler side Tom Samp, of Eldora, Iowa, headed into the final day with a weight of 7.99 pounds. He would need a heavy limit on the final day to place in the top ten. Paired with the eventual first-place pro finisher Wade White on the final day, the team brought in 14.56 pounds to push Samp into second place, earning the co-angler $3,609.15 including contingency winnings.
Co-angler Chris Augustyn, of Holdrege, Nebraska, entered the final day with 6.44 pounds, but after helping Rick Olson bring in the heaviest stringer of the event, the angler took third place for co-anglers and took home $2,036.33, including a $500 Ranger Boat motor bonus.
Joshua Olson (fourth), Karl Sprengel (fifth), Dan Meisner (sixth), Dustin Guay (seventh), Lance Trihub (eighth), John Guthmiller (ninth) and Wayne Hoffman (tenth) round out the top 10 co-anglers.
The next stop for the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour is on Bays de Noc at Escanaba, Michigan, August 29-30. Registrations for the event are already being accepted online and by calling 612-424-0708. Anglers who are participating in any of the numerous contingency prize programs are encouraged to submit all pertinent information before the event to remain eligible for any potential bonus money.
For more details, anglers are encouraged to call 612-424-0708 or check out the new website at www.nationalwalleyetour.com. From here, site visitors can learn more about the NWT, view the TV schedule and learn more about what’s in store for 2014.
2014 Remaining Scheduled Events
– Aug. 29-30 – Escanaba, Mich. – Bays De Noc
Championship – Sept. 18-20 – Oshkosh, Wis. – Winnebago