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  • Updated: 07/26/04

  • Russell, KS Welcomes Great Plains Championship of Walleye Fishing Teams

    By Steve Weisman
    Gander Mountain GNWC Publicity Director
        The first ever Great Plains Championship of Walleye Fishing will be held
    at Wilson Lake (reservoir) in Kansas on August 14-15. It will feature the
    top teams on the Great Plains Region of the Gander Mountain Grand National
    Walleye Cup (GNWC). At stake will be a guaranteed $2000 for first place plus
    trophies, and with bonus opportunities the winners could take home up to
        Leading the way will be the Great Plains Region Team of the Year Ted
    Webster from Hutchinson, KS and Robert Riddick from Wakefield, KS. According
    to Gander Mountain GNWC Executive Director Bernie Barringer, "We have some
    excellent teams representing both Kansas and Nebraska in this Great Plains
    shootout. Webster and Riddick walked away with the regular season honors,
    but everybody starts even as we begin this two-day Great Plains
        Although the tournament competition begins on Saturday, August 14, the
    activities for the Great Plains teams actually begins on Friday evening with
    the Championship banquet. "I'm impressed with the way the Russell County
    Convention and Visitor's Bureau, along with the entire community of Russell,
    has rolled out the red carpet for these teams." The banquet dinner will be
    held at the Log Cabin Inn on Hwy 40 West and is sponsored by the Russell
    County Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
        The Great Plains Championship competition will be at Boat Ramp Cove at
    the Hell Creek Recreation area. Saturday's action begins at 7 a.m. with the
    opening ceremonies and take-off. Weigh-in will be at 3 p.m.
        "We hope to have a good crowd at each day's weigh-in. It is a great way
    for the public to be part of the excitement generated by these teams as they
    compete for the Great Plains Championship title," noted Barringer.
    "Weigh-ins begin at 3 p.m. each day. The first day will be a day of
    positioning, but the second day will be for all the marbles. Plus, on the
    second day, we will get answers from the top teams as to where and how they
    caught their fish."
        With its 9,040 acres, Wilson Lake is known for its clean and often times
    clear water conditions. According to fisheries biologists, late July found
    the fishing to be up and down with some success coming from anglers working
    deeper water. "Pre-fishing will be very important to the success of these
    teams. Their goal will be to find different areas and a variety of
    presentations that will work, because when you have a two-day tournament
    like this, you have to be able to adapt with the changing situations," added
        For those anglers making the trip to Wilson Lake, Gordon Gorton, station
    manager for KRSL, the local radio station, suggests checking out their
    website (www.krsl.com) for the latest weather conditions and forecasts.
    Gorton, an avid angler himself, also noted, "The teams need to prepare for
    both south and north winds. The lake is surrounded by rolling hills and
    sandstone bluffs. With all of the canyons and draws, the wind has quite an
    effect and actually channels down through these canyons."
        Gorton also noted that the teams will find that Wilson Lake holds an
    excellent walleye population. "They need to know, though, that there is an
    abundance of walleyes just under the 15" minimum length limit, so if they
    are using live bait, they will go through a lot of bait. Although there are
    big fish in the lake, the predominant keeper taken will most likely be in
    the 15-17 inch range."
        Along with the tournament action, the Walleye Wisdom television crew
    will be on hand filming footage of the Great Plains Championship, for its
    popular 13-week television program Walleye Wisdom which airs on the
    Sportsman Channel, Fox Sports and several regional outlets. "Our goal is to
    showcase the successes of our walleye teams, share the techniques that the
    GNWC teams used to catch their fish and to finally give fishing hints that
    will help our viewers become better walleye anglers themselves," said
        Special awards will be give out at the Championships including the
    Berkley Big Fish Award of $400 in Berkley product for the team that catches
    the largest walleye during the two-day Championships. In addition, an
    optional Big Fish Pot will go to the team catching the overall big fish
    during the Championships.
         Next, will be the $200 Gander Mountain Shopping Spree. A drawing will
    be held of teams who do not weigh a fish, and the winner will be able to
    spend the $200 on gear of their choice at any Gander Mountain Store. If all
    teams weigh fish, all will be entered in the drawing.
        YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO will offer the Yo So Close Award of an $80
    folding net to the three teams finishing just out of the money.
        The VIB"E" Lure Company will sponsor the VIB"E" Lure award of two
    six-piece lure sets valued at $40 to the two teams who finish behind the Yo
    So Close award. Lure sets will also be given away as door prizes at the
    Championship banquet.
        TowTector, maker of the premium boat protector for towing vehicles, will
    offer the Towtector Comeback Award of a Towtector Shield valued at $250 for
    the team advancing the most places from day one to day two.
        Skeeter Boats is offering any owner of a Skeeter boat who wins the Great
    Plains Regional Championship while fishing in the Skeeter an additional
    $1000 above their GNWC winnings.
        Aqua Innovations will give an additional $250 to any team who wins the
    Great Plains Championship if their boat's livewell is equipped with the Aqua
    Innovations oxygen enhancement system. Plus they will be awarding systems to
    the anglers as door prizes at the Championship banquet.
        Those interested in checking out the standings, reading the releases
    about any of the eight regions or simply learning more about the circuit can
    access the Gander Mountain GNWC website at www.walleyecup.com.
        Title Sponsor for the GNWC is Gander Mountain. Other major national
    sponsors include Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, the Sportsman Channel,
    Berkley, Aqua Innovations, YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO, VIB"E" Lure
    Company, TowTector Shield and UpNorthOutdoors.com. 

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