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  • Updated: 04/21/04

  • Teams Run and Gun on Lake Sharpe at Gander Mountain Grand National Walleye Cup's South Dakota Opener

    By Steve Weisman
    Gander Mountain GNWC Publicity Director
        It took a run south of Antelope Creek for the husband and wife team of
    Roger and Dora Janssen from Castlewood, SD to capture the Gander Mountain
    Grand National Walleye Cup's South Dakota opener at Lake Sharpe on Sunday,
    April 18.
        The Janssens brought a six-fish limit weighing 12.78 pounds to the
    scales to take the $1200 first place check. They trolled lead core and clown
    colored Walleye Divers and Shad Raps in 12-foot of water to catch their
        They also popped a 6.77-pound walleye to take the Berkley Trilene Big
    Fish Award of $400 in Berkley products.
        Second place and a check for $600 went to Doug Iverson from Pierre, SD
    and Barry Sargent from Ft. Pierre, SD for a six-fish limit weighing 9.09
    pounds. They ran south to West Bend and pitched jig and minnow combinations
    up on a shallow bar, working them back toward the boat in about 10 foot of
        Meanwhile, Dennis Womeldorf from Wall, SD and Shaun Johnson from Pierre,
    SD took third place and a check for $550 with five walleyes weighing 7.0
    pounds. They headed to Ft. George and worked a 15-17 foot break using
    Berkley FireLine to pull #8 Shad Raps. They found that natural colors worked
    better than brighter colors.
        According to Gander Mountain GNWC Tournament Director Greg Liebel, the
    bite was tough and it became run and gun time for the 35 teams who on opened
    the South Dakota circuit. "We knew going into this that the bite was up and
    down. Even with the tough conditions, the teams were really up for the
    tournament, had positive attitudes and tried everything they could."
        Liebel added that the teams had to make some tough decisions early. "The
    bite was better south, but the forecast was for 40 mph winds. So, the teams
    had to decide just how far they were willing to run. Some chose to while
    others stayed closer to the weigh-in site."
        The "Yo So Close" award of a Yo Net folding net valued at $80 went to
    the three teams that placed just out of the money. They include Ken Johnson
    and Mark Pitlick in 9th place; Darold Swank and Flo Swank in 10th place;
    Shane Christenson and James Molengraaf in 11th place.
            John Coolican and Wade Nelson from Mason City, IA were the winners
    of the Gander Mountain "Need More Stuff" drawing of $200 for a Gander
    Mountain Shopping Spree.
        Next up for the South Dakota teams will be a trip east to Big Stone Lake
    on Sunday, May 16. 
        Anglers interested in signing up for a future qualifier or simply
    wanting more information on the GNWC circuit can call 1-800-890-FISH (3474),
    or they can email the GNWC at info@walleyecup.com.
        Title Sponsor for the GNWC is Gander Mountain with other major national
    sponsors including Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, the Sportsman Channel,
    Berkley, Aqua Innovations, YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO, VIB"E" Lure
    Company, TowTector Shield and UpNorth Outdoors.com.

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