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  • Updated: 09/07/04

  • Minnesota State Championship of Walleye Fishing Set for Big Stone Lake

    By Steve Weisman
    Gander Mountain GNWC Publicity Director
        It's been six weeks since final regular season tournament on the
    Minnesota Region of the Gander Mountain Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC).
    Now it's showdown time for the top 30 teams as they head to Big Stone Lake
    on September 18-19 for the Minnesota State Championship of Walleye Fishing.
        The teams will be competing for a guaranteed $4000 for first place plus
        Leading the way will be the Minnesota Region Team of the Year, Tom
    Johnson and Stan Watkins from Ottertail, MN. "The race for the Minnesota
    Regional Team of the Year was the closest of all eight regions," said Gander
    Mountain GNWC Executive Director Bernie Barringer. "Only one point separated
    the top three teams, and it came down to the wire at the Lake Vermilion
    tournament before it was settled."
        Big Stone Lake, a 30-mile long lake located on the boundary of South
    Dakota and Minnesota, is considered one of the better walleye fisheries in
    the Midwest. It is a long, narrow lake with predominately mud flats at the
    upper (north) end and more structure and rocks and islands at the lower end.
    During pre-fishing, the teams will spend their time eliminating unproductive
    water and trying to put together fish catching patterns.
        "There are a lot of opportunities on Big Stone Lake. It is definitely a
    quality walleye fishery, and the community is really rolling out the welcome
    mat for the GNWC teams and the Minnesota State Championship of Walleye
    Fishing," noted Barringer.
        Although the tournament competition begins on Saturday, September 18,
    the activities for the Minnesota teams actually begin on Friday evening with
    the Championship banquet at the Matador Supper Club.
        The Minnesota Championship competition headquarters for take-off and
    weigh-in will be at the Ortonville City Park. Saturday's action begins at 7
    a.m. with the opening ceremonies and take-off. Weigh-in will be at 3 p.m.
    Sunday follows the same time frame with the weigh-in festivities beginning
    at 3 p.m. Sunday's weigh-in will determine who will walk away with the
    Minnesota State Championship of Walleye Fishing title.
        "The Big Stone Lake area is a hotbed of walleye fishing. We invite all
    interested people to come out and witness some great fishing action and the
    excitement of the weigh-ins," said 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 the title. Plus, on the second day, we will find out from the
    top teams what strategies they used to catch their fish."
        In addition, the Walleye Wisdom television crew will be filming footage
    of all eight Championships, including the Minnesota State Championship, for
    its popular 13-week television program Walleye Wisdom, which is aired 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 given 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 big fish taken during the
         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 over $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
    Minnesota 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
    Minnesota 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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