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  • Updated: 08/10/04


    Linwood, MI-In a most improbable finish, the father/son team of Tom and Josh
    VanderWeide of Jenison, MI skyrocketed from 111th place to first, to win the
    Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit East Division finale, held August 7-8 on
    Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay.
    After weighing one walleye at 1.41 lbs. the first day, the VanderWeides
    tipped the scales on day two with the heaviest weight of the tournament, a
    five fish team limit totaling 37.05 lbs.  Emcee, Bob "Kaz" Kaczkowski
    declared, "This must be the MWC's all-time comeback."  The winners total of
    38.46 lbs. earned them $20,000.  They pocketed an additional $1,000 for the
    highest placing Ranger boat owner in the Ranger Cup series and $918.75 from
    the big fish pot for a 9.22 lb. lunker.
    "It's warm out, but I was really shaking when I weighed-in today." beamed
    proud papa Tom.  He continued, "This is a great feeling, doing something
    like this with your son.  Josh needs a new car and this will work out just
    The pair fished an area approximately 14 miles northeast of tournament
    headquarters, Hoyles Marina.  According to Josh, "We trolled nightcrawler
    spinner rigs from in-line planer boards in 20 to 25 feet of water.  The
    boards were set from 50 to 100 feet from the sides of the boat, with leads
    30 to 60 feet behind the boards.  We used several colors of number five and
    six Colorado blades-chartreuse, silver and gold.  We went through about 200
    Tom added that the heavy basket of fish came from a spot that didn't produce
    the first day.  He explained, "The wind blew hard for a while and clouded-up
    the water, so we went back there and landed two nine pounders back to back.
    We fished hard and stuck with our game plan.  It really paid off."
    Second place finishers were Mike Kelly (Freeland, MI) and Pete Studders
    (Sault Saint Marie, MI) with nine fish weighing 36.73 lbs. worth $10,000.
    They trolled crawler spinner rigs from one-ounce in-line keel weights at
    depths of 28 feet between buoys one and two near Point Au Gres.
    Third place also went to a Michigan team, Bert Murlick and Bill Shovar of
    Saginaw.  Their eight fish weighed 36.24 lbs., earning them $7,500.  They
    also trolled crawler rigs in the Au Grie area.
    The top 26 teams shared the $72,700 cash purse.  An additional $5,400 was
    paid to the top five point accumulating teams in the MWC East Division Team
    of the Year race and $5,250 was awarded in tournament big fish prize money.
    Michigan anglers Don Solis (Perronville) and Bert Wilson (Gladstone) took
    day one big fish honors and $1,050 for their 11.42 lb.walleye, while Jerrod
    Gillman (Freeland) and David Kolb (Riverview) collected the same amount on
    day two with a 10.0 lb. walleye. Tournament teams donated $2,265 to the MWC
    Conservation Fund which will be used for fishery related projects in states
    where MWC tournaments are held.
    Staff from Hoyles Marina and the Saginaw Bay Area Convention and Visitors
    Bureau assisted the MWC in tournament operations.
    New East Division crowns first Team of the Year
        Paul Kemery of Russell, PA and Alan Baumgardner of White Hall, MD
    earned the most tournament points to take top honors in the new Cabela's MWC
    East Division.  180 teams entered the race competing for World Walleye
    Championship advancement and various Team of the Year honors and cash
        "We are thrilled for the anglers of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio,
    Michigan and surrounding states that a premiere tournament format has been
    established for them to compete in," stated Kristine Houtman, Director of
    Events & Sponsorships for the MWC.  "Paul and Alan worked hard in these
    three tournaments to get the job done - as did the 18 teams, or 10% that
    will advance to the Championship next fall."   The no entry fee tournament
    pays out $100,000 in purse with a guarantee payout for all invitees.  Tim
    Fields of Clarendon, PA and Charlie Brant of Russell, PA and Mike Kelley of
    Freeland, MI and Pete Studders of Sault Saint Marie, MI took 1st and 4th
    Runners Up respectively.  Second Runners Up William and Linda Greczyn of
    Tully, New York clinched the Husband/Wife Team of the Year Honors; while
    winners of the Saginaw Bay tournament, the VanderWeides, gained enough
    points to grab the 3rd Runner Up spot along with Father & Son Team of the
    Year honors.  A $3510 cash bonus was presented to Kemery and Baumgardner
    while the following four teams each received at $472 cash bonus.  

    Tournament Statistics
    Number of teams:    151            Number of fish:        546
    Total cash and prizes:    $84,350            Total weight:
    1,834.08 lbs.
    Water temp:        69 to 71 degrees        Big fish:
    11.42 lbs.
    Water level:        Two feet low        Winning pattern:
    Trolling crawler rigs
    Water clarity:        Four feet        Inside tip:
    Fishing murky water

    Openings exist in the final 2004 MWC tournament.  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
    Walker, MN, Leech Lake September 18-19
    MWC World Walleye Championship
    Mississippi River, Prairie du Chien, WI October 13-16, qualifying teams from

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

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