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Hasslen and Seidell Win at Big Stone Lake – presented by North American Fishing Club

Ortonville, MN -- Brent Hasslen of Ortonville, Minnesota and Richie Seidel of Big Stone City, South Dakota have been friends for most of their life -- and they enjoy team fishing for walleyes together. On Sunday, August 19, 2007 they captured their first Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit victory when the event rolled around to their home waters – Big Stone Lake. Cashing in $7,184 for the win, they produced the maximum eight allowable fish over the two day tournament at 16.06 pounds. Plus, the duo won the big fish pot on Saturday with a 3.17 pound walleye, gaining the team a $350 bonus.

The winners used two patterns for the tournament. Casting cranks into the shallow rocks on the North end of the lake, just 2 to 3 miles from the top on the Minnesota side, worked best for bigger fish. They predominantly used number 5 shad raps, chartreuse and white, which produced well both days. The other productive pattern was trolling crank baits at 2.2 to 3.5 miles per hour with planer boards. As the tournament waned, it seemed the slower the better according to Hasslen. When asked what type of cranks were hot, Seidel answered, “They hit on a lot of different things – it was like a smorgasbord of options.”

Hasslen added, “We were constantly changing out our baits. We must have tried over 150 different baits throughout the day. We’d get one fish and then it seemed that the one that got a hit wouldn’t work so we’d keep changing it up.” That’s a lot of hard work in the boat, which is exactly what tournament fishing is – hard work! According to Seidel, “We’re dog tired when we’re done, but we don’t mind working hard for the money.” Hasslen quickly added with a smile, “We don’t mind a little luck when the fish cooperate, either.”

The key to their success was selecting their spot for the shallow rocks fishing. During pre-fishing they looked for algae stained water, the grosser the better. Then they patiently stayed put -- up to four hours during the tournament days. “We were really pleased that after holding the lead on day one, we got to our spot and no one else had moved in. That was good sportsmanship,” shared Hasslen.

Second place and $3,094 went to the father and son team of Terry and John Oakes weighing in at 11.63 pounds for seven fish. Also locals from Ortonville and Big Stone City, the Oakes’ won the last Cabela’s MWC at Big Stone Lake in 2003. They also received a cash bonus of $350 for the biggest fish on Sunday at 4.36 pounds. Like Hasslen and Seidel, they caught their big fish throwing plugs, silver and thin, on the rocks. “The bigger fish didn’t really act like a walleye when it hit, and I was pretty sure Dad had on a silver bass,” laughed Terry after the checks were presented and the cash was in his wallet. “I told him I wasn’t even going to get a net for it, but the joke was on me when it was a walleye. He didn’t let me forget it for the rest of the day, either!”

Third place went to Kevin Carstensen of Merrill, Wisconsin and Rich Olds of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. They picked up Big Stone Lake as their MWC Challenge tournament, which is one strategy for getting into the World Walleye Championship the following year. It worked out pretty well for the Wisconsinites as they won $1,482 for their 10.25 pounds over two days.

Several other teams entered the Big Stone Lake tournament in the hunt for points – including Daniel Stier of Pierre, South Dakota and Jerry Plourde of Cornell, Michigan. They were in the lead for Team of the Year, but didn’t fare well at Big Stone Lake, not boating a fish either day. Terry Mayhall of Madison, Wisconsin and Tony Dowiatt of Stevens Point, Wisconsin were close behind Stier and Plourde, but managed to put seven fish together for 8.92 pounds, good enough to earn the $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus for their 5th place finish. That gives Mayhall and Dowiatt a position of second place heading into the last tournament of the qualifying season in Dubuque, Iowa, September 8th and 9th. Scott Hausauer of Appleton, Wisconsin and Tony Larson of Gladstone, Michigan are currently in first place.

In all, $13,460 was paid out to the top teams in cash prizes. Plus, $315 was awarded to the Big Stone Lake Walleye Club for improvements to their rearing ponds. The walleye conservation fund is donated by the anglers at a rate of $15 out of each entry fee – and has put over $130,000 into conservation efforts over more than twenty years.

Toyota donated two specially rigged bikes to carry fishing rods to the NPAA/MWC Youth & Family Fishing Clinic on Saturday. Lowrance Electronics, Cabela’s, Ranger Boats and the North American Fishing Club donated rods and reels with tackle boxes full of essential gear. After putting their very own rod in their hands, NPAA angler #920, Frank Pilney, led the kids in learning to tie the knots for slip-bobber fishing. Tony Schake, age 12, son of Laurel and Doug Schake of Big Stone City, South Dakota and Erica Fahey, age 6, daughter of Julie and Doug Fahey of Carver, Minnesota each won one of the new bikes. Approximately 50 children from the area attended the clinic with their parents or other family members.

Farm and City Insurance Services donated safety equipment to several anglers, including two new PFDs to the reigning Central Division Father and Son team of Don and Michael Olson, of Andover and Coon Rapids, Minnesota. In addition, FCIS places $5 for every quote they give into a bonus conservation fund.

Ice Armor also donated a new set of outdoor gear to lucky winners Jim Gregory of Big Stone City, South Dakota and Rick Hentges of Millbank, South Dakota.

The Big Stone Lake Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the event in conjunction with Ortonville’s Cornfest Days. Thousands of people were in town for the festivities and huge crowds attended the weigh-in, in spite of wet and drizzly days.

Only one qualifying tournament remains on the schedule before the Championship in October.

MWC Central
Sept 8 & 9 – Dubuque, IA – Mississippi River

World Walleye Championship (invitation only)

Oct 4-6 -- Dundee, MI -- Detroit River and Lake Erie

For more information contact circuit headquarters by email at: events@masterswalleyecircuit.com or toll-free by phone at 877-893-7947.

Cabela’s is the title sponsor for the Masters Walleye Circuit. Official Sponsors are North American Fishing Club, MotorGuide, Toyota Trucks, Mercury Motors, Ranger Boats, Lowrance Electronics, and Versus (Vs.) television network. Associate sponsors are Tommy Docks, The Inhibitor, Food Source Lures, Ice Armor and Farm & City Insurance Services.

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