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  • Updated: 08/05/04

  • Illinois State Championship of Walleye Fishing Slated for Mississippi River

    By Steve Weisman
    Gander Mountain GNWC Publicity Director
        With the regular season over, the top teams on the Illinois Region of
    the Gander Mountain Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC) are making final
    preparations for the Illinois State Championship of Walleye Fishing which
    will be held on the Mississippi River at the Quad Cities on August 7-8. At
    stake will be a guaranteed $2000 for first place plus trophies, and with
    bonus opportunities the winners could take home up to $2500.
        "The Mississippi River around the Quad Cities is an excellent fishery,"
    said Gander Mountain GNWC Executive Director Bernie Barringer. "This is the
    time of year that the wing dam fishing can be tremendous. During the
    pre-fishing, I expect the teams to work several of the pools up and down the
    river. However, locking up and down the river can pose problems, especially
    if a barge decides to enter a lock. They can tie up traffic for a long time,
    but that's all part of the game when you fish the Mississippi River system."
        Leading the way and looking to defend their Illinois Region Team of the
    Year title is the team of Rob Roush from Des Moines, IA and Mike Heller from
    West Des Moines, IA.
        Activities for the teams actually begin at the Holiday Inn on Friday
    evening, August 6 with the Illinois Championship Banquet, which is sponsored
    by Roehlk Construction and Dan Timmons of Edward D. Jones Co.
        "I am really looking forward to the Illinois State Championship. We have
    some excellent teams contending for the title. The Quad Cities area is a
    great place to hold the Illinois championship, and I look forward to having
    good crowds at the weigh-ins," said Barringer.
        The competition gets underway Saturday at Sunset Park boat ramp with
    opening ceremonies and takeoff at 7 a.m. Weigh-in begins at 3 p.m., and
    Barringer expects to see some impressive baskets of fish brought to the
    scales. "The weigh-in is the perfect time for the public to find out some of
    the secrets of taking fish on the Mississippi River. Since it is a two-day
    event, not many answers will be given on Saturday, but at Sunday's weigh-in
    we'll find out from the top teams exactly what their strategy was."
        On Sunday, the same format is followed with take-off at 7 a.m. The
    weigh-in and awards ceremony takes place at 3 p.m.
        Covering all of the tournament action will be the Walleye Wisdom
    television crew. They will be capturing footage of all eight Championships,
    including the Illinois Championship, for the 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 Barringer.
        Special awards will be give out at the 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 big fish taken 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 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
    Illinois State 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
    Illinois State 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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