Seyka, Yarbrough Take First Step Toward GNWC Title
Oct 6th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Oct 6th, 2005 at 12:00 AM
Vermilion, OH – What’s a broken bone if you can take the lead in a national walleye tournament? That’s the way Jeff Seyka from Milford, MI and his partner Greg Yarbrough from Port Clinton, MI felt after taking nearly a 15-pound lead on Day I of the 2005 Grand National Walleye Cup National Championship presented by Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboards held on Lake Erie at Vermilion, OH. With a five-fish limit weight of 35.27 pounds, Seyka and Yarbrough held a comfortable lead over the team of Matt Davis from Marion, OH and Kelly Buchenroth from Kenton, OH, who had a five-fish limit weight of 20.65 pounds. It was the broken bone and gash in the leg that Seyka incurred during the long, rough ride out to their fishing spot. “I’d break the other one,” Seyka said with a grin, “if we could bring another 35 pounds in tomorrow. Actually, with this weight, I don’t feel any pain right now!” Day I was a day of decisions for the 108 teams fishing the 2005 GNWC National Championship presented by Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboards. Take a chance and run, run, run…as far as 60 miles to the big fish, or stay closer, catch a limit of fish and hope and pray for one kicker. However, they were tought to come by. For Seyka and Yarbrough, the long run was profitable, and then late in the day, they found a pod of big fish and popped their 9.42 pounder. Their 9.42 pounder was the Big Fish on Day I. Davis and Buchenroth made the run and as Buchenroth said on stage, “It’s a long ways, but we’ll be there tomorrow!” Their key at making a run at the top will be whether they can string together a basket of big fish. The third place team of Alan Szoke from Grosse Ile, MI and John Szoke from Bloomfield Hills, MI also broke the 20-pound barrier with a five-fish weight of 20.44 pounds. Why all the excitement? On the line is a first place prize of two fully rigged WX 1880 Skeeter boats rigged with Yamaha 4-stroke 150 hp outboards, Minnkota electric trolling motors and batteries, and Lowrance Electronics. With a retail value of $35,000 per rig, this brings the first place purse to $70,000. Additional cash and prizes bring the total to be awarded to more than $150,000. Storm clouds are on the horizon, however, as an expected cold front and strong winds are forecast to move in late this evening. What will tomorrow bring? “If there is any way we can do it, we will fish tomorrow,” said GNWC executive director Bernie Barringer. “I know how badly these teams want to fish!” Barringer continued, “It was a tough day for a lot of the teams. Team after team talked about having to keep moving because the fish seem to be constantly on the move. It’s not about catching a limit of fish; it’s about getting the big ‘eyes to go.” A total of 46 teams weighed five-fish limits, but the big fish are still a log ways away from Vermilion. The question the teams are pondering as they prepare for Friday’s competition is this: to run and gun in the wind or stay close and hope for luck and a big fish. “With two days still to go, there are so many things that can happen,” added Barringer. “We had a good crowd at the weigh-in today, and I know the teams appreciate all that the community of Vermilion has done for them.” Special awards will be given out on the last day of the Championships, including the optional Big Fish Pot to the angler that catches the largest fish each of the three days and The Cabela’s Big Fish Award of a $200 shopping spree for the team that weighs the largest walleye each day. Skeeter Boats is offering an additional $3000 above their GNWC winnings to any owner of a Skeeter boat who wins the National Championship while fishing in the Skeeter. In addition, the top-finishing Skeeter owner will receive $1000. This extra $1000 is above the $3000 for winning. YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO will offer the Yo So Close Award of an $80 folding net to the three teams finishing just out of the money. TowTector, maker of the premium boat protector for towing vehicles, will offer the Towtector Comeback Award of two Towtector Shields valued at nearly $550 for the team advancing the most places from day one to day three. The FoodSource Lure Company is sponsoring $200 in FoodSource Lures for the top placing family team. Teams that do not catch fish will be put in a drawing for $200 in Mack’s Lure products in the Mack’s Lure Catch More Fish With Mack’s Award. Those interested in learning more about the GNWC circuit can call 1-800-890-FISH (3474) or access the GNWC website at www.walleyecup.com. For those wanting to take a look at the Vermilion area, check out their website at vermilionohio.com. The GNWC National Championship is presented by Skeeter Boats and Yamaha Outboards. Major national sponsors for the GNWC include Lowrance Electronics, YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO, Aqua-VU, The Oxygenator, Cabela’s and UpNorthOutdoors.com. National championship boosters are Towtector Shield, MinnKota, Mack’s Lure and the FoodSource Lure Corporation.