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  • Updated: 04/12/04

    1st Place Team MWC Spring Valley Illinois 2004
    Minnetonka, MN-Keith Carlson and Curt Schrimpf of Goodhue, MN
    overcame a swollen Illinois River, strong winds, a pounding rain and 219
    other teams to win the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit 2004 season opener,
    held March 27-28 at Spring Valley, IL.  Their ten fish MWC allowable limit,
    which totaled 21.58 pounds, was worth $28, 512.  It was the veteran team's
    first circuit victory.
    According to Carlson, "We were hoping for a top ten finish and we wind up
    winning the tournament.  This is awesome!"  He continued, "We trolled a
    variety of floating type crankbaits in various colors from 17 pound test
    leadcore line, between 80 and 100 feet behind the boat at two miles per
    hour, upriver near the dam. On Saturday we thought we hit the mother lode
    because we had our five fish limit by 11 a.m., but we didn't land a fish the
    rest of the day."
    Schrimpf added, "Sunday was even a tougher day until we got onto a pattern.
    We discovered that as the water level kept rising from the rain, the fish
    got closer to the shoreline.  We caught our first fish at 11 a.m., the
    second at 1:30 p.m., a double a half-hour later and our fifth fish 35
    minutes before the weigh-in.  We lost two fish and one was huge, but we won
    anyway.  My head is still spinning."
    Second place went to Paul Fournier and Ryan Olson of Andover, MN whose pole
    lining technique produced 21.28 pounds and $13,200.  They also trolled
    crankbaits upriver but used stiff  6 ½ foot musky action rods and
    baitcasting reels spooled with 65-pound test line and 1-½ pound bottom
    bouncing weights.  The floating style crankbaits are run off leaders
    attached to the main line.  The heavy weights maintain a vertical angle of
    the lures that occasionally tick the bottom and trigger the fish into
    Third place went to the Illinois team of Dave Kleszyk (Oakbrook Terrace) and
    Dave Zurawski (Plainfield).  They jigged up 21.02 pounds and collected
    $10,032.  The duo fished just north of the Barto Landing weigh in site with
    ¾ ounce jigs tipped with large fathead minnows and a tailless plastic grub
    in 11 feet of water.
    First day tournament leaders with 14.46 pounds were Barb and Danny Plautz of
    Muskego, WI.  They are the first mother and son team to fish the MWC.  Their
    eleventh place finish earned them $1,478 plus $1,395 in big fish prize
    The top 35 teams shared the $107,014 cash purse.  An additional $7,974 was
    paid in big fish prize money.  Scott Steil of Richmond, MN won $1,000 for
    the highest finishing Ranger Boat owner in the Ranger Cup series.

    Tournament Statistics
    Number of teams:    220            
    Number of fish:        838
    Total cash and prizes:    $115,988        
    Total weight:        1721.1 lbs.
    Water temp:        51 to 55 degrees        
    Big fish:            5.76 lbs.
    Water level:        Up 6 feet        
    Winning pattern:        Trolling crankbaits
    Water clarity:        2 to 6 inches        
    Inside tip:        Fished shoreline

    Openings exist in the remaining 2004 MWC tournaments.  Entry fee is $600 per
    team.  Further tournament information can be obtained at
    www.masterswalleyecircuit.com, or by calling the MWC toll-free at

    2004 Cabela's MWC Remaining Schedule
    MWC Central
    Oshkosh, WI, Lake Winnebago, June 26-27
    Walker, MN, Leech Lake, September 18-19

    MWC East
    Henderson Harbor, NY, Lake Ontario, May 22-23
    Jamestown, NY, Lake Chautauqua, July 17-18
    Linwood, MI, Saginaw Bay, August 7-8

    In addition to Cabela's, MWC sponsors include-Lindy Legendary Tackle,
    Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats, The Outdoor Channel,
    North American Fishing Club, Smithwick Lures, Cotton Cordell, MotorGuide,
    Daiichi Hooks, Panther Marine, Lure Eyes, Xtreme Sports and Walleye

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