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Steinhoff and Benz Display Patience on the Way to the GNWC's Minnesota State Walleye Title
By Steve Weisman
GNWC Publicity Director
Displaying the virtue of patience helped propel the team of Bob
Steinhoff from Lake Shore and Kevin Benz from Shokopee to the top at the
Grand National Walleye Cup's (GNWC) Minnesota State Walleye Championship
held Saturday and Sunday on Gull Lake. Their combined two-day weight of
27.05 pounds, which was almost 10 pounds more than the second place team,
earned them a check for $3100.
Patience was the key because Steinhoff and Benz were Lindy rigging red
tailed chubs with six foot snells and 3/4 ounce Lindy sinkers in 22-30 foot
along Gull Lake's steep break lines. They would drift or use their electric
motor to slowly slide along the break, and by doing so, they could feel the
movement of their bait.
"Their presentation required great patience," said GNWC Executive
Director Bernie Barringer. "When they felt their chubs get really active,
they would feed out line because it meant the chub was struggling to get
away from a predator-most likely a walleye. So, they would feed line out,
wait for a couple of minutes, then reel up their line until they felt
pressure and set the hook."
The second place team of Richard Eberspacher from Rockford and John
Greig from Brainerd, who cashed a check for $1300 with seven fish and a
two-day weight of 17.16 pounds, were less than a pound back after Saturday's
competition. However, their bite deteriorated on Sunday, and Steinhoff and
Benz pulled away.
"Eberspacher and Greig were right there on Saturday with 15.88 pounds,"
noted Barringer. "They were pulling #9 chartreuse Shad Raps along the deep
weedlines of a hump and picked up a 5.82 pounder the first day. I know in
talking to them on the stage at Sunday's weigh-in, they were really
frustrated because they just couldn't get anything going on the second day."
Close behind in third place with 16.27 pounds was the team of Pat Reidel
and Jason Moske from Miltona. They worked the deep weed edges with live bait
and their 11 fish weighed 16.27 pounds.
In addition to winning the Minnesota State Walleye Championship,
Steinhoff and Benz took the Abu Garcia Big Fish Award of two Abu Garcia 6500
Linecounter reels for their 7.01 pounder caught on Saturday, while James
Breusse and Michael Dubois won the Abu Garcia Big Fish Award on Sunday with
a 4.16 pounder. The Big Fish pot of $300 for the largest walleye of the
tournament also went to Steinhoff and Benz.
The Berkley Family Award of over $200 in Berkley product for the top
overall family team went to Dave and Tom Vogt from Owatonna, who finished
7th with 12.50 pounds.
The 2003 Mercury Team of the Year in Minnesota, Chad Benson and Joe
Edlund from Bemidji ended up in 6th place with 12 walleyes weighing 14.13
pounds. "These two guys really had a tremendous year. They just couldn't get
the kicker fish each day that they needed to move them up in the standings."
Barringer added, "Gull Lake showed us what a classic northern Minnesota
glacial lake is like. It is definitely one of the top walleye fisheries in
the Midwest. Although the temperatures climbed to 90 degrees each day, these
teams worked hard and proved they belonged in the Minnesota State Walleye
For those interested in learning more about the GNWC, call
1-800-890-3474, email the GNWC at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the
official GNWC website at walleyecup.com. The website has all of the latest
in GNWC information in not only Minnesota, but also in Iowa, Illinois, South
Dakota and Wisconsin.
Major sponsoring partners for the GNWC include Ranger Boats, Mercury
Outboards, Berkley, Abu-Garcia, The Sportsman Channel and
Television viewers who do not have The Sportsman Channel and want to
watch the GNWC's television series Walleye Wisdom, are encouraged to call
their cable company or satellite television provider and ask them to include
it in their package.
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