Submerged Roadbeds Take Meyer, Brewer to the Great Plains Championship of Walleye Fishing Title
Aug 12th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 12th, 2005 at 12:00 AM
Two submerged roadbeds were the key that propelled the team of Steven Meyer from Eudora, KS and Corry Brewer from Olathe, KS to the top, earning them a $3000 payday and the Grand National Walleye Cup’s 2005 Great Plains Championship of Walleye Fishing title. In addition, the winners received the Lowrance “YOU WIN!” award of two Lowrance LMS-332C color sonar/GPS units valued at $1400, making the total first place purse worth $4400. The two-day tournament, which was held at El Dorado Reservoir in Kansas on Saturday and Sunday, found Meyer and Brewer also taking the Cabelas Big Fish Award of a $200 shopping spree and the optional Big Fish Pot of $320 for their 6.32-pound walleye. That kicker fish brought their two-day weight to 22.82 pounds, over eight pounds ahead of their nearest competitor. Second place and a check for $1000 went to the team of Chad Richardson from Milford, KS and Britt Hazen from Mulvane, KS with a five-fish weight of 14.65 pounds. Third place and a check for $700 went to the team of Jerry Howard and his seven-year-old granddaughter Ashley Eustice from El Dorado, KS with a five-fish weight of 10.77 pounds. They also took the top Family Angler Award presented by the FoodSource Lure Company of $200 in FoodSource Lures and the Skeeter Boats award of a $1000 for the top-finishing Skeeter owner. The Great Plains Championship of Walleye Fishing is the first of seven such tournaments on the Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC) circuit and according to GNWC Executive Director Bernie Barringer, it kicked off what promises to be an exciting post-season of walleye tournament action. “The winners put together a solid game plan and stuck with it. Although there were no limits of fish brought to the scales, the teams still caught lots of fish. The 18-inch minimum length limit was a real challenge, and because El Dorado has a strong year class of 15-16 inch walleyes, many teams reported throwing back 30-40 sub-legal fish each day.” Meyer and Brewer’s game plan included targeting two submerged roadbeds located about two miles apart. Using a one-ounce chartreuse jig and a stinger hook tipped with an entire nightcrawler, the winners found their fish to be in 19-25 feet of water. Meyer noted, “On Saturday, we stayed with our first spot, because we had trolling motor problems. We caught 40 short fish and lost a real good one right at the boat.” Still, after Day I, Meyer and Brewer led with 14.23 pounds. According to Meyer and Brewer, Sunday was a tougher day. “We found that our first spot had died. So, we headed to the second roadbed. We began drifting the roadbed and on the second pass, we picked up the 6.32 pounder.Even though we knew at that point it would take about 10 pounds to catch us, we were still sweating a little because we could see the other two teams in the distance, and they were staying on their spots.” The second place team also targeted submerged roadbeds, but chose to pull crankbaits, instead. Richardson said, “Our biggest challenge was actually caused by the Zebra Mussels. We lost over 20 crankbaits, because when you bumped them along the bottom for very long, you would get cut off.Every 20 minutes or so we were pulling in and retying.” Richardson and Hazon varied their speed from 1.8 to 3.0 mph. “Our biggest fish came at 3.0 mph, but most of our bites came at 1.8-2.2 mph,”added Richardson. When they were in 18-20 feet of water, they would run Fireline, but when they worked deeper, they went to lead core. The sentimental favorites of the tournament had to be the third place team of Jerry Howard and Ashley Eustice. Howard said, “Ashley is a fantastic partner. She began fishing when she was about a year old. She is a good fisherman and a great helper. All day long-even in the rain-she kept saying, ‘I know we can win.'” Howard, whose nine-year-old granddaughter Lauren has also fished tournaments with him, felt the key to their success was fishing over deep structure. “We fished the top of a railroad track in 22-23 feet of water on Saturday and then went to a ridge close to the dam today.” They pulled Bill Norman crankbaits at 3.8 mph and found the green color worked better on Saturday and the blue/yellow on Sunday. They also battled the Zebra Mussels. “We used wire line to get us down, ran a length of Fireline in case we would get snagged and then tied a stainless steel leader to the Fireline so the crankbait wouldn’t get cut off.” The Skeeter Bonus award of $1000 was special to Howard. “I have a ZX 1790-T with a 75 hp Yamaha. I think it is the perfect walleye boat, and that tiller kept us right on top of railroad track yesterday and on that narrow ridge today.” Several other special awards were presented at Sunday’s weigh-in. The “Yo So Close” award of a Yo Net folding net valued at $80 went to the teams that placed just out of the money. They include the team of Doug Duncan and Tim Brockman from Wichita, KS in 6th place; Wayne Hyman and Kecia Shellito from Athol, KS in 7th place; and Mark Joslyn from Hoxie, KS and Blake Arnberger from Colby, KS in 8th place. The Towtector Comeback Award of a Towtector boat protector valued at over $269 went to the team advancing the most places from the first day to the second day. This award went to Duncan and Brockman, who failed to weigh a fish on Saturday and ended up in 6th place on Sunday with 6.76 pounds. Those interested in checking out the standings, reading the releases about any of the seven regions or simply learning more about the circuit can access the GNWC website at www.walleyecup.com. Major national sponsors for the GNWC include Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Lowrance Electronics, YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO, Aqua-VU, Aqua Innovations, Cabela’s and UpNorthOutdoors.com. National championship sponsors are Towtector Shield and the FoodSource Lure Corporation.