Sparks Duo Take I.O.W.A. Opener at Storm Lake
Apr 15th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Following a week of incredibly nasty weather, the team of Bruce and Terry Sparks from Des Moines brought the only five-fish limit to the scales and took home the $1760 first place check at the I.O.W.A. Team Walleye Tournament Trail opener at Storm Lake on Sunday, April 13.Their five-fish limit weight of 6.56 pounds not only gave them the title, but also the Smooth Moves Seat Mounts Award of two $100 certificates and the Cabela’s Family Team award for the highest placing family team. Second place and a check for $1060 went to the team of Frank Wood from Mason City and Lance Thoe from Ventura with a four-fish weight of 5.12 pounds, while Carl and Dan Griese from Dolliver took home the third place check of $790 with a four-fish weight of 4.84 pounds.”The past two weeks have really been a roller coaster ride for the I.O.W.A. teams with extremely late ice-out, everything moved back a week later and a week of really nasty weather for pre-fishing. We had a lot of spectators at the weigh-in curious as to how the teams would do, because they all knew that the bite really died as the week wore on. We knew it was going to be a tough bite going in, but I am really proud of the way these teams stuck with it and brought a good number of fish to the scales.” Several other special awards were also awarded at the tournament. The $500 Lund Bonus for the highest placing team fishing out of a Lund boat went to Mike and Doug Rodwell from Oskalooska, who also captured the fourth place $620 check with a three-fish weight of 3.72 pounds. They also won the King’s Pointe drawing of two-$400 resort packages.The ABU Garcia Line Counter Lunker Award of two 5500LC reels went to the team of Mitch Skellenger from Garner and Travis Jorgensen from Britt with a 1.69-pound walleye. The also won the $350 optional Big Fish Pot. The Need Mack’s Lure Award of two $100 Mack’s Lure certificates went to the team of Denny Miller from Guttenberg and Roger Clark from Albert Lea, MN. The $500 Wright County Motors Contingency Award went to the team of Troy Loeckle from Floyd and Wes Loeckle from Mason City. The Line X drawing for two $100 certificates toward the purchase of a bed liner or topper went to Greg Lowenberg from Fairfield and Dave Smithburg from Libertyville. Patience was the key for the top three teams with the Sparks duo anchoring by the small island and pitching chartreuse jigs tipped with Berkley Powerbait in 4-5 feet of water. They had four fish in the livewell by 9 a.m., which helped relieve some of the pressure, and then completed their limit around 2 p.m. Wood and Thoe worked the north shore, pitching jigs tipped with Berkley Gulp! Alive Black Shad into the shallows. The Griese team also pitched jigs, but had little success doing so. Instead, their fish all came on a slip bobber and a plain hook tipped with a minnow. They worked an area south of the small island in 4 ½ to 5 ½ feet of water. The I.O.W.A. circuit and the Iowa DNR formed a partnership for the tournament. “With the high winds the past few days, it was extremely difficult for the DNR to get their annual seining done. All of the male walleyes caught during the tournament went directly into the DNR tanks to be used for their spawning,” noted Higgins. “I want to thank King’s Pointe for providing such great accommodations for our teams and also such a great place to hold a tournament. The location and design of the dock system and the sea wall are just tremendous,” said Higgins.With one tournament now over, the I.O.W.A. teams begin making plans for the second qualifier, the FCIS “Anglers Choice” Insurance Clear Lake Tournament on April 20. “I’m really looking forward to next Sunday. The weather is supposed to be good this week, which I know everybody will appreciate.”All of the latest news on the I.O.W.A. circuit can be found at the I.O.W.A. website (www.walleyepromotions.com). Anglers interested in learning more about the I.O.W.A circuit can call (515) 571-1085 or they can email the I.O.W.A. staff at [email protected] sponsors for the 2008 season include Lund, Mercury Outboards, ShoreLand’r Trailers, Algona Marine and Sport, MinnKota, Humminbird, ABU Garcia, Cabela’s, Mack’s Lure, Smooth Move Seat Mounts, EZEE Step Inc., FCIS Anglers Choice Insurance of Forest City, Line X of Mason City, King’s Pointe Resort of Storm Lake and Wright County Motors of Clarion.