Sparks, Rodwell Win Five Island Qualifier

Category: press release

 Apr 21st, 2011 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Apr 21st, 2011 at 12:00 AM

The team of Bruce Sparks from Des Moines and Mike Rodwell from Oskaloosa used a mid-afternoon bite to come away with the  I.O.W.A. Team Walleye Tournament’s first qualifier of the year at Five Island Lake near Emmetsburg on Sunday, April 17. Their five-fish weight of 10.68 pounds not only garnered them the $1560 first place prize, but their 22 ¾ -inch walleye tied for the big fish of the day to give them $150 for sharing the Optional Big Fish Pot.
Second place and a check for $940 went to the team of Tim Harms from Owatonna, MN and Brad Bull from Mason City with a three-fish weight of 7.13 pounds. Their 22 ¾-inch walleye gave them a share of the Optional Big Fish Pot and an additional $150.

A total of 14 teams measured and photographed fish with eight teams cashing a check.
Third place and a check for $700 went to the team of Scott Aydelotte from Garner and Jeff Giesman from Clear Lake with a four-fish weight of 5.42 pounds. They also collected the $500 Lund Bonus for the highest placing team fishing out of a Lund boat.

The team of Scott Iven from Emmetsburg and Troy Matheason from Estherville won the drawing for a two-night stay at King’s Pointe Resort of Storm Lake for each partner.
This was the inaugural tournament of the catch, measure, photo and release process. “Obviously, this is a huge change from the old format, but we know that it is definitely better for the fish, and it opens up options for a weigh-in like we have never had before. We had a practice session Saturday evening during our rules meeting so that everybody could get comfortable with the process,” said Dean Higgins, Executive Director for the I.O.W.A. circuit.
“We held the weigh-in at the Grand Ballroom at the Wild Rose Casino, and we had around 150 people in attendance. I think everybody appreciated being able to sit in a comfortable chair at room temperature and to enjoy listening to the teams talk about their day and to see the pictures of the fish they caught.”

With the snow, cold and wind of the past few days, the bite was definitely a challenging one. However, as always seems to be the case, some of the teams were able to put together a game plan that paid dividends. For the winners, it was a total change in strategy. “We caught our fish in the Narrows, and caught the first one on a chartreuse jighead and a chub in eight feet of water at about 8 a.m.,” said Sparks.
They continued to work the area, then headed for another spot, and nothing! So, by early afternoon they headed back to their original spot but with a significant change in mind.
“We went to pulling a bottom bouncer, a three foot snell, a plain hook tipped with a nightcrawler and worked in and out from shallow to deep.”

Sure enough, they popped four fish in 24-26 feet of water, creeping along at less than a ½ mile per hour.

For Harms and Bull, their success came along the east shore pitching 1/16-ounce jigheads with a chartreuse Powerbait twister and a minnow. Bull noted he was able to keep on the spot by using the spot-lock mode on his I-Pilot trolling motor instead of having to use an anchor. “That was really crucial since you need to measure and take a picture of the fish now. It kept us right on the spot,” said Bull

Aydelotte and Giesman, however, had their success come early. “When the wind was up this morning, we caught our four fish. The fish were still there later, but when the wind died, so did the bite,” said Aydelotte. They fished with a slip bobber and leech just off the bottom in shallow water near the public dock by the Trestle. They did continue to get bites, but couldn’t hook them, as the fish would let go before the hookset.

 “I’m glad the first one is in the books,” said Higgins. “We know now the weigh-in process works the way that we had hoped. I’d like to thank the community of Emmetsburg for the great welcome we received. Everybody was really helpful and people were always asking if there was anything we needed or anything they could do for us.”
Next up on the I.O.W.A. schedule is the King’s Pointe Resort I.O.W.A. tournament at Storm Lake on Sunday, May 15. The weigh-in will take place at King’s Pointe Resort.
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]

    I.O.W.A. corporate sponsors include Lund Boats, MinnKota, Humminbird, Berkley, FCIS Anglers Choice Insurance of Forest City, Brightwells Boathouse, King’s Pointe Resort of Storm Lake and Wright County Motors of Belmond and Clarion

Top three teams (L to R) Bruce Sparks and Mike Rodwell, 1st place; Brad Bull and Tim Harms, 2nd place; Scott Aydelotte and Jeff Giesman, 3rd place.

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