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Clements, Gulau's Gamble Pays Off at Hubbard Lake Tournament

By Steve Weisman

GNWC Publicity Director

Mention may fly hatch to a walleye angler, and you know the bite's going to be tough! That's exactly what happened on the Michigan Region of the Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC) at Sunday's Hubbard Lake Tournament. So, instead of the expected battle for limits of fish, it became a battle to trigger "full" fish into biting. The team of Ed Clements from Bay City, MI and Dennis Gulau from Midland, MI took a big gamble, but the gamble paid off and put a four-fish weight of 5.79 pounds on the board to give them the $1225 first place honors. "We caught one fish during three days of pre-fishing and that was on a Hot 'N Tot. We had nothing else going, so that's what we went with," said Gulau. Taking second and a check for $725 was the team of Matt Kirsammer and Joe Dennis from Lapeer, MI with a four-fish weight of 5.11 pounds. Third place went to the team of Bob Baughman from Alpena, MI and Scott Grulke from Rogers City, MI with a two-fish weight of 4.15 pounds. They not only collected $535 for third place, but they also captured Cabela's Big Fish Award of a $200 Cabela's shopping spree and the optional Big Fish Pot of $310 for their 2.84-pound walleye. "Oh boy," said GNWC Tournament Director Lyle Heidenwith. "It was really frustrating for these teams, because they knew that Hubbard Lake is loaded with walleyes. But they also knew that the bite would be off because of the may fly hatch." Clements and Gulau spent the entire day trolling black/gold and perch colored 1/4-ounce Hot 'N Tots from 60 feet of water into 40 feet of water. "We worked the middle of the lake toward Churchill Point, but we caught most of our fish in 50-55 feet of water," said Clements. The fish, however, were suspended anywhere from 6-15 feet below the surface. They both felt that the may fly hatch was the key to this shallow feeding pattern. According to Kirsammer, he and his partner stuck with their pre-fishing game plan. "With the may fly hatch, we knew everybody would be in the same boat," said Kirsammer, "and when we saw everybody running from spot to spot, we felt we had a shot. We feel good about our second place finish, but we also lost a couple of fish at the boat." Kirsammer and Dennis worked bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses in 30 feet of water. "We marked all kinds of fish up high, but even during the pre-fishing we could never get any of those fish to bite. So, we went for the fish that were right on the bottom," noted Kirsammer. There was no structure with which to identify, only a slow, gradual drop off from a break. "We worked about a mile stretch and trolled the bouncers at 1.1 to 1.3 mph," added Kirsammer. Baughman and Grulke, the third place team, did work those suspended walleyes. "We marked a ton of fish," said Baughman. "The lake is full of fish, but we knew what the may fly hatch would do." They targeted an area in 20 feet of water, where there were "all kinds of fish about 8-12 feet off the bottom," said Baughman. They then used a small piece of nightcrawler on two small hooks with a couple of small white or pink beads behind Mack's Smile Blades. Key speed was .8 to 1.1 mph. "In spite of the bite, Hubbard Lake is a great walleye fishery," noted Heidenwith. He added, "We had exceptional help from the local walleye club. They were great to work with and really helped make the take-off and weigh-in go smoothly." Next up on the Michigan Region is the Saginaw Bay tournament on Sunday, July 24. For those interested in entering this final qualifier, call 1-800-890-FISH (3474), or email the GNWC at info@walleyecup.com. GNWC Executive Director Bernie Barringer added, " I encourage people to check out our website at www.walleyecup.com. We're coming to the end of the regular season in each of the seven regions, and I think people will find the races to be very interesting." Major national sponsors for the GNWC include Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Lowrance Electronics, YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO, Aqua-VU, Aqua Innovations, Cabela's and UpNorthOutdoors.com. National championship sponsors are Towtector Shield and the FoodSource Lure Corporation

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