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  • Updated: 09/09/03

  • Steinhoff and Benz Display Patience on the Way to the GNWC's Minnesota State Walleye Title
    By Steve Weisman
    GNWC Publicity Director
        Displaying the virtue of patience helped propel the team of Bob
    Steinhoff from Lake Shore and Kevin Benz from Shokopee to the top at the
    Grand National Walleye Cup's (GNWC) Minnesota State Walleye Championship
    held Saturday and Sunday on Gull Lake. Their combined two-day weight of
    27.05 pounds, which was almost 10 pounds more than the second place team,
    earned them a check for $3100.
        Patience was the key because Steinhoff and Benz were Lindy rigging red
    tailed chubs with six foot snells and 3/4 ounce Lindy sinkers in 22-30 foot
    along Gull Lake's steep break lines. They would drift or use their electric
    motor to slowly slide along the break, and by doing so, they could feel the
    movement of their bait.
        "Their presentation required great patience," said GNWC Executive
    Director Bernie Barringer. "When they felt their chubs get really active,
    they would feed out line because it meant the chub was struggling to get
    away from a predator-most likely a walleye. So, they would feed line out,
    wait for a couple of minutes, then reel up their line until they felt
    pressure and set the hook."
        The second place team of Richard Eberspacher from Rockford and John
    Greig from Brainerd, who cashed a check for $1300 with seven fish and a
    two-day weight of 17.16 pounds, were less than a pound back after Saturday's
    competition. However, their bite deteriorated on Sunday, and Steinhoff and
    Benz pulled away. 
        "Eberspacher and Greig were right there on Saturday with 15.88 pounds,"
    noted Barringer. "They were pulling #9 chartreuse Shad Raps along the deep
    weedlines of a hump and picked up a 5.82 pounder the first day. I know in
    talking to them on the stage at Sunday's weigh-in, they were really
    frustrated because they just couldn't get anything going on the second day."
        Close behind in third place with 16.27 pounds was the team of Pat Reidel
    and Jason Moske from Miltona. They worked the deep weed edges with live bait
    and their 11 fish weighed 16.27 pounds.
         In addition to winning the Minnesota State Walleye Championship,
    Steinhoff and Benz took the Abu Garcia Big Fish Award of two Abu Garcia 6500
    Linecounter reels for their 7.01 pounder caught on Saturday, while James
    Breusse and Michael Dubois won the Abu Garcia Big Fish Award on Sunday with
    a 4.16 pounder. The Big Fish pot of $300 for the largest walleye of the
    tournament also went to Steinhoff and Benz.
        The Berkley Family Award of over $200 in Berkley product for the top
    overall family team went to Dave and Tom Vogt from Owatonna, who finished
    7th with 12.50 pounds.
        The 2003 Mercury Team of the Year in Minnesota, Chad Benson and Joe
    Edlund from Bemidji ended up in 6th place with 12 walleyes weighing 14.13
    pounds. "These two guys really had a tremendous year. They just couldn't get
    the kicker fish each day that they needed to move them up in the standings."
        Barringer added, "Gull Lake showed us what a classic northern Minnesota
    glacial lake is like. It is definitely one of the top walleye fisheries in
    the Midwest. Although the temperatures climbed to 90 degrees each day, these
    teams worked hard and proved they belonged in the Minnesota State Walleye
        For those interested in learning more about the GNWC, call
    1-800-890-3474, email the GNWC at info@walleyecup.com or check out the
    official GNWC website at walleyecup.com. The website has all of the latest
    in GNWC information in not only Minnesota, but also in Iowa, Illinois, South
    Dakota and Wisconsin.
        Major sponsoring partners for the GNWC include Ranger Boats, Mercury
    Outboards, Berkley, Abu-Garcia, The Sportsman Channel and
        Television viewers who do not have The Sportsman Channel and want to
    watch the GNWC's television series Walleye Wisdom, are encouraged to call
    their cable company or satellite television provider and ask them to include
    it in their package.

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