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  • Updated: 06/25/03

  • Smithburg and Shaw take Mercury Team of the Year Honors on GNWC's Iowa Circuit

    By Steve Weisman
    GNWC Publicity Director

        Dave Smithburg from Libertyville and Joel Shaw from Fairfield used a
    fourth place finish at Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi River on Sunday
    to capture the Mercury Team of the Year title on the Grand National Walleye
    Cup's (GNWC) Iowa Circuit.
        Smithburg and Shaw, who won the title by 12 points over the team of Alan
    Wittmus from Fort Dodge and Mike Clark from Runnells, weighed a five-walleye
    limit of 10.33 pounds.
        Eight teams weighed five-fish limits on a river that had been dropping
    6-12 inches daily since Tuesday. Payout went through 12 places.
        Winning the Prairie du Chien qualifier and a check for $2000 was the
    team of Ron Mason from Estherville and Jim Wahl from LeClaire with five
    walleyes weighing 13.48 pounds.
        Earning second place and a check for $800 was the team of Brad Bull from
    Mason City and Robert Mordini from Webster City with a five-fish limit
    weighing 12.56 pounds.
        Ironically, both teams locked up river to fish the same wing dam. So,
    the drama unfolded in front of their eyes as they battled for the first
    place honors. Each team anchored and used live bait rigs tipped with leeches
    to take their fish.
        However, the third place team of Jeremy Ruehle from Ruthven and Moe
    Hansen from Dickens ran south to Guttenberg where they used three way rigs
    and a plain hook tipped with a leech to catch their five-fish limit weight
    of 11.05 pounds. This placing also gave them third place in the Mercury Team
    of the Year competition.
        GNWC Tournament Director Dean Higgins found this to be the perfect way
    to end a great season on the Iowa Circuit. "Even though the water levels
    dropped 6-12 inches each day since Tuesday, these teams put on quite a show.
    It's hard to tell what kind of weights they would have brought to the scales
    if the river would have remained stable."
        Higgins continued, "We had lots of drama out there today. The Mercury
    Team of the Year was decided and we had eight teams bring in limits of fish.
    I'm really proud of all the teams who competed on the Iowa Circuit this
        The Abu Garcia Big Fish award of two Abu Garcia Linecounter 6500 reels
    went to the team of terry Mitchell from Woodward and Adam Clausen from Long
    Grove for a 7.58 pound fish that they caught around 9:30 a.m. at the lower
    end of the pool on an orange spinner tipped with a nightcrawler.
        Troy Loeckle from Floyd and Wesley Lockle from Mason City earned the
    Berkley Family Angler Award of $250 in Berkley product as the top placing
    family team. They finished in eighth place with a five-fish limit of 8.77
        Next up for the Iowa teams will be the State Championship at Clear Lake
    on September 13-14. A release in the near future will provide a list of
    those qualifying for the State Championship.
        Interested anglers can call 1-800-890-3474, email the GNWC at
    info@walleyecup.com or get on the GNWC website at walleyecup.com to catch up
    on updated information from all five states.
        Major sponsoring partners for the GNWC include Ranger Boats, Mercury
    Outboards, Berkley, Abu-Garcia, The Sportsman Channel and
        For those television viewers who do not have The Sportsman Channel and
    wish to watch the GNWC's television series Walleye Wisdom, be sure to call
    your cable company or satellite television provider and ask them to include
    it in their package.

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