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CARLSON/SCHRIMPF WIN CABELA'S MWC ILLINOIS RIVER OPENER MOTHER NATURE SETS THE PACE
overcame a swollen Illinois River, strong winds, a pounding rain and 219
other teams to win the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit 2004 season opener,
held March 27-28 at Spring Valley, IL. Their ten fish MWC allowable limit,
which totaled 21.58 pounds, was worth $28, 512. It was the veteran team's
first circuit victory.
According to Carlson, "We were hoping for a top ten finish and we wind up
winning the tournament. This is awesome!" He continued, "We trolled a
variety of floating type crankbaits in various colors from 17 pound test
leadcore line, between 80 and 100 feet behind the boat at two miles per
hour, upriver near the dam. On Saturday we thought we hit the mother lode
because we had our five fish limit by 11 a.m., but we didn't land a fish the
rest of the day."
Schrimpf added, "Sunday was even a tougher day until we got onto a pattern.
We discovered that as the water level kept rising from the rain, the fish
got closer to the shoreline. We caught our first fish at 11 a.m., the
second at 1:30 p.m., a double a half-hour later and our fifth fish 35
minutes before the weigh-in. We lost two fish and one was huge, but we won
anyway. My head is still spinning."
Second place went to Paul Fournier and Ryan Olson of Andover, MN whose pole
lining technique produced 21.28 pounds and $13,200. They also trolled
crankbaits upriver but used stiff 6 ½ foot musky action rods and
baitcasting reels spooled with 65-pound test line and 1-½ pound bottom
bouncing weights. The floating style crankbaits are run off leaders
attached to the main line. The heavy weights maintain a vertical angle of
the lures that occasionally tick the bottom and trigger the fish into
Third place went to the Illinois team of Dave Kleszyk (Oakbrook Terrace) and
Dave Zurawski (Plainfield). They jigged up 21.02 pounds and collected
$10,032. The duo fished just north of the Barto Landing weigh in site with
¾ ounce jigs tipped with large fathead minnows and a tailless plastic grub
in 11 feet of water.
First day tournament leaders with 14.46 pounds were Barb and Danny Plautz of
Muskego, WI. They are the first mother and son team to fish the MWC. Their
eleventh place finish earned them $1,478 plus $1,395 in big fish prize
The top 35 teams shared the $107,014 cash purse. An additional $7,974 was
paid in big fish prize money. Scott Steil of Richmond, MN won $1,000 for
the highest finishing Ranger Boat owner in the Ranger Cup series.
Openings exist in the remaining 2004 MWC tournaments. Entry fee
is $600 per
2004 Cabela's MWC Remaining Schedule
In addition to Cabela's, MWC sponsors include-Lindy Legendary Tackle,