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MINNEMAS ARE CABELA'S MWC WORLD WALLEYE CHAMPIONS
Minnetonka, MN-"We've won other tournaments, but nothing like this.
special. Dad and me, world walleye champions. It's awesome.
It's a great
ending to the season."
These were the words of an emotional, teary-eyed son, Tim Minnema (Markesan,
WI), after he and his father, Jim (Randolph, WI), won the 2003 Cabela's
Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC) World Walleye Championship.
Forty-five of the country's best professional walleye angling teams
in the championship which took place October 16-17-18 on pools 9 and
the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, WI. The field consisted
top 40 point accumulating teams who competed during the 2002 MWC season
the top five finishing teams from the 2003 Cabela's National Team
Championship. They were allowed to weigh five fish per day measuring
inches or more.
The highly-skilled teams faced the lowest water levels in over two
resulting in a lack of current which walleyes prefer, along with an
abundance of baitfish. As one angler put it, "It's a tough bite.
the fish go after what we're using when they have a buffet of shad
of their noses?"
All of the teams were required to launch in pool 10. Yet, a majority
teams opted to fish pool 9, which presented the added challenge of
through the dam twice a day. Because barges are given preference
through first, several teams failed to return to the pool 10 check-in
on time and were penalized. Teams returning up to 15 minutes
half of their daily fish weight and lost their entire weight after
The prevailing strategy was to catch five 15 inchers, then upgrade
fish, and pool 9 had been producing larger fish prior to the competition
days. At the pro/am event held the day before the start of the
championship, pool 9 surrendered the heaviest walleye of the event-a
lb. lunker caught by Bob Bodin and Scott Mann of Red Wing, MN, and
local amateur, Scott Wahl.
Employing the above tactics, the Minnemas went to work. According
"Since he was a kid, Tim loved to fish and everything and that goes
He put together our game plan-where we were going to fish and what
going to use. I'm really proud of him. Winning the championship
something that fathers dream of and now it happened to us."
WINNING CHAMPIONSHIP TECHNIQUES
Per Tim, "First off, we kept an eye on the barge traffic and were in
with the lock master by cell phone (permitted by the rules) as to when
barges might be locking through so we wouldn't get stuck in the lock
penalized. We started below the dam in pool 9, which was mostly
bite. They were small and not the quality fish to win the championship.
moved down to an area we previously located and caught a two pounder
continued to catch fish. We were trolling firetiger colored crankbaits
27-lb. leadcore line with an 8 foot Berkley 14/6 lb. FireLine leader.
added attraction, I hand painted the bills of the lures in orange and
chartreuse and some blue on the sides of the lures.
"The key to our presentation was boat speed and direction. Most
teams were slow trolling upriver. We trolled downriver at 3-½
mph, which is
fast when it comes to trolling. We figured, even though the fish
much natural food available to them, the high-speed lure presentation
trigger them into striking-it worked! Dad never took his hand
trottle on our Mercury 4-stroke kicker. He zigzagged along the
between 10 and 12 feet with perfection. The fish that won it
for us came on
the second day, a 4-½ pounder from pool 10 on a flat adjacent
to the main
channel near the Yellow River inlet."
The Minnemas allowable three day 15 fish limit totaled 29.03 lbs.
crowning achievement, the champs collected $27,500 in cash plus $1,000
the highest placing Ranger boat owner in the Ranger Cup tournament
Besides elaborate trophies they also were awarded customized gold
Second place finishers, a mere pound from the title, were Tom Diercks
City, WI), and Jim Siewert (Lake City, MN), with 28.03 lbs. worth $13,000.
Only they and the Minnemas were able to catch daily limits.
Third place went to the father/son team of George and Russell Gahagan
(Sheboygan, WI). Their 14 fish weighed 27.80 lbs., earning them
The entire field shared the $100,000 cash purse.
A total of 301 walleyes and saugers, weighing 537.99 lbs. were caught
MWC catch and release format. Cabela's employees and members
of the Falling
Rock Walleye Club assisted the MWC staff in the operation of the
The Cabela's MWC World Walleye Championship will be aired on Saturday,
November 15, at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on The Outdoor Channel.
Repeated airings will be November 17-8:30 a.m. and November 19-1:00
Tournament coverage and related articles also appear in the North American
Fisherman magazine, the official publication of the MWC. All
are conducted from the Cabela's state-of-the-art, computerized mobile
transport vehicle, which is specifically designed for tournament television
coverage. Additionally, all MWC tournaments serve as qualifying
the 2004 Cabela's National Team Walleye Championship.
Further championship and circuit information can
be obtained from
the MWC website, www.masterswalleyecircuit.com, e-mail,
firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the MWC, 877-893-7947.
years schedule includes:
2004 MWC Central Division:
March 27 & 28: Illinois River, Spring Valley, IL
June 26 & 27: Lake Winnebago, Oshkosh, WI
September 18 & 19: Leech Lake, Walker, MN
2004 MWC Eastern Division:
May 22 & 23: Lake Ontario, Henderson Harbor, NY
July 17 & 18: Lake Chautauqua, Jamestown, NY
August 7 & 8: Saginaw Bay, Linwood, MI
2004 Cabela's MWC World Walleye Championship*
October 13-16: Mississippi River, Prairie du Chien, WI.
*for 2003 season qualifiers
In addition to Cabela's, MWC sponsors include-Berkley
Legendary Tackle, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, North American
Fishing Club, Ranger Boats, Cotton Cordell, The Outdoor Channel, MotorGuide,
Yum, Daiichi Hooks, Progressive Boat Insurance, Walleye Assassin Lures,
Optima Batteries, Panther Marine and the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of
Clix Banner Exchange
Walleyes Inc. website is maintained
Tyler Fishing the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Circuit, Masters
Walleye Circuit and the Wal Mart RCL Circuit. All rights reserved.Copyright
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