Seidl and Knowles Win MWC on Winnebago
Jun 23rd, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 23rd, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Oshkosh, WI — Local Wisconsin anglers Randy Seidl (Appleton) and Joe Knowles (Sherwood) proved that a rookie team can step into a big national tournament like the MWC and grab a win from a spectacular field of competitors! Seidl and Knowles landed a second best basket on day one, 19.23 pounds, and the third best basket on day two, 18.97 pounds, to capture the lead and win the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit tournament, June 21st and 22nd on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh. This was not only their first circuit victory, but amazingly, their first MWC tournament. Period. The duo was as shocked as anyone that they actually were being handed the "big check" on stage for $28,600 when it was all over. "We sure didn't expect this to happen," shared Randy Seidl. Joe Knowles chimed in, "It's just unreal. There are a lot of good fishermen in this tournament – and we were fishing with the big boys this time. But hey, we're locals and maybe we had an edge on this one."
The team trolled cranks between 1.8 and 1.9 mph, 8'-10' down in 15'-16' depth in a three mile stretch from the mouth of the river out near Kalbus reef. They would make a pass and then if they didn't catch a fish, move over about 500 yards for the next pass. The key to their success wasn't a particular presentation or just the right lure or equipment – the key was having confidence in their location…and each other.
"We just didn't give up on our spot," added Seidl. When the bite slowed down they curbed an itch to take a run someplace else. "We made the right decision to stay. The old adage is 'don't leave fish to find fish'…so we hung in there and eventually it did come together," added Knowles.
This event marked the last stop in the 2008 season for the Central Division. John Balla of Bartlett, Illinois and Kevin Byrne of Plainfield, Illinois gathered enough points to jump into the lead (465 points total) to earn the title of Central Division Team of the Year. Their 7th place finish at this event along with 10th at Green Bay and 19th at Spring Valley made for a very good year – providing a bonus of $5,440 for the honor. The team attributes their success to good chemistry in the boat and solid preparation. "JB and I have been fishing together for a lot of years. This is a testimony to our level of preparation and adaptability," said Byrne. How did they prepare differently this year? More focus was on their own knowledge and what they learned in pre-fishing. They did their own thing and tuned out the chatter. "We just didn't listen to what everyone else was talking about and did what we felt was right in each event." It paid off.
"Kevin and I are very happy and very proud of this prestigious honor," shared Balla. "This comes after many years of hard work – you just don't win a title like this early on. You have to learn how to fish different types of waters with different presentations – and get proficient at all of it. Jigging. Three-way. Trolling crank baits or spinners. Lakes and rivers. All of it."
Mark Schleis of Denmark, WI and Rob Nickels of Norway, MI captured third place in the tournament worth $6,700 and Rob won the $1,000 bonus for being the top finishing Ranger Cup participant. Mark also took home additional bonus money by winning the Team FCIS – Farm & City Insurance Services bonus of $250.
Steve Meyer of Birnamwood, WI and Brian Deffner of Eland, WI came in 21st place with 25.46 pounds paying out $1,500, but added an additional $1,000 to their total by winning the Toyota Tundra bonus.
The Mercury/Ranger Cup Bonus of $500 went to Scott Allen of Green Bay, WI and Dennis Butz of Suamico, WI. They finished in 23rd place with 25.12 pounds.
The National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) awarded its top two finishing anglers with $100 each, which went to Vince Raimondi of Hoffman Estates, IL & Doug Larsen of Westmont, IL for their 28th place finish.
Along with his teams 1st place victory, Randy Seidl also took home the $200 Oxygenator Bonus given to the highest placing team with an O2 Marine Oxygenator in their livewell.
Big Fish honors for the tournament were awarded accordingly totaling $7,800:
Randy Mulder of Waupun, WI & Paul Ferch of Brandon, WI – 7.71 lbs. for $1950
Joe Boehnlein of Chilton, WI & Mike Meetz of Brillion, WI – 7.22 lbs. for $1350
Rick Henriksen & Tom Zollar of Green Bay, WI – 6.83 lbs. for $600
Louis New of New Berlin, WI & Mark Dodge of Germantown, WI – 8.31 lbs. for $1950
Dave Ehlke and Stuart Wells of Oshkosh, WI – 6.63 lbs. for $1350
Scott Allen of Green Bay, WI & Dennis Butz of Suamico, WI – 6.55 lbs. for $600
The field paid down 33 places totaling $108,640 plus $3,150 in bonus contingency money from sponsors. Add in the big fish purse of $7,800 and $119,590 was paid out for the two day event. In addition, $5,440 was paid to Balla & Byrne for the Team of the Year honors, while runners up each received a cash bonus of $732.50 each.
2: Boat # 89 – Wayne Butz of Hobart, WI & Don Frederick of Appleton, WI – 456 points
3: Boat # 11 – Scott Allen of Green Bay, WI & Dennis Butz of Suamico, WI – 435 points
4: Boat # 5 – Larry Keller and Chad Kropp of Neshkoro, WI – 423 points
4: Boat # 44 – Brian Sislo of Porterfield, WI & Dan Sislo of Medford, WI – 423 points
The Sislos captured the Central Division Father & Son Team of the Year award and Gary and Marge Pelkey of Van Dyne, Wisconsin won the Husband and Wife Team of the Year award. The Pelkeys finished in 9th place for points – but were the top finishing married couple. The top 22 teams were invited to the Championship. With several more tournaments to round out the 2008 season, this is just the first published information on who will be attending next year's Championship.
6: Boat # 14 – Kevin Dahl of Muskego, WI & Steve Stack of Muskego, WI – 412 points
7: Boat # 47 – James Preissner of Hastings, MN & Jeff Russell of Grand Haven, MI – 396 points
8: Boat # 194 – David Koller of Iron Mountain, MI & Carl Stepp Jr. of Crivitz, WI – 393 points
9: Boat # 38 – Gary Pelkey of Van Dyne, WI & Margaret Pelkey of Van Dyne, WI – 391 points
10: Boat # 168 – Mark Kordus of Mosinee, WI & Shawn Hettinga of Schofield, WI – 384 points
11: Boat # 108 – Tony Kobriger of Chilton, WI & Dan Zwick of Wrightstown, WI – 375 points
12: Boat # 84 – James Pestka of Athens, WI & Jeff Wallace of Shawano, WI – 374 points
13: Boat # 37 – Louis New of New Berlin, WI & Mark Dodge of Germantown, WI – 373 points
14: Boat # 7 – Joe Okada of Fitchburg, WI & David Okada of Fitchburg, WI – 368 points
15: Boat # 49 – Tom Hoinacki of Waupun, WI & Derek Navis of Waupun, WI – 362 points
16: Boat # 31 – David Kolb of Ada, MI & Dennis Lantzy of Warren, MI – 351 points
17: Boat # 45 – Rick Henriksen of Green Bay, WI & Tom Zollar of Green Bay, WI – 347 points
18: Boat # 20 – Bert Wilson of Gladstone, MI & Donald Solis of Perronville, MI – 346 points
19: Boat # 66 – Jack Neuman of Naperville, IL & Brad Obermeier of Ankeny, IA – 334 points
20: Boat # 85 – Brett Jolly of Green Bay, WI & Lucas Molepske of Weston, WI – 333 points
21: Boat # 18 – Steve Bodinger of Chilton, WI & Dan Bodinger of Chilton, WI – 333 points
22: Boat # 96 – Tony Miller of Fond Du Lac, WI & Walter Tollefson of Fond Du Lac, WI – 330 points
Complete points for Central division can be found at www.masterswalleyecircuit.com.
Katie Meyer, age 7, of Oshkosh cashed in on a new bike – compliments of Toyota. Katie is the daughter of Tom Meyer. Over 40 kids attended the MWC/NPAA Youth and Family Fishing Clinic on Saturday. The new young anglers received rods, reels and had a great time learning how to use their new tackle.
The Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau hosted the tournament along with the hands-on assistance from Walleyes for Tomorrow and Lighthouse Anglers Club, from set up to tear down and all the early mornings and fish release in between. The club receives the $2,910 conservation fund for their work on the lake in building reefs to improve spawning and fish habitat.
Cabela's, the world's foremost outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in their seventh season as the title sponsor of the Masters Walleye Circuit. Official sponsors include Mercury, Lowrance, Toyota, Ranger Boats, MotorGuide, 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:
July 18 – 20 Saginaw Bay out of Linwood, Michigan
August 9 & 10 Devils Lake out of Devils Lake, North Dakota
August 22 – 24 Lake Erie out of Dunkirk, New York
October 1-4, 2008 Lake Erie out of Dundee/Monroe, Michigan
For more information and complete results please visit the MWC website at www.masterswalleyecircuit.com or contact MWC headquarters at 877-893-7947 or by email at: [email protected]