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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
Minnesota Region of the Gander Mountain Grand National Walleye Cup
Now it's showdown time for the top 30 teams as they head to Big Stone
on September 18-19 for the Minnesota State Championship of Walleye
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
Mountain GNWC Executive Director Bernie Barringer. "Only one point
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
the Midwest. It is a long, narrow lake with predominately mud flats
upper (north) end and more structure and rocks and islands at the lower
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
mat for the GNWC teams and the Minnesota State Championship of Walleye
Fishing," noted Barringer.
Although the tournament competition begins on Saturday,
the activities for the Minnesota teams actually begin on Friday evening
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
a.m. with the opening ceremonies and take-off. Weigh-in will be at
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
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
excitement of the weigh-ins," said Barringer. "Weigh-ins begin at 3
each day. The first day will be a day of positioning, but the second
will be for the title. Plus, on the second day, we will find out from
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,
its popular 13-week television program Walleye Wisdom, which is aired
Sportsman Channel, Fox Sports and several regional outlets. "Our goal
showcase the successes of our walleye teams, share the techniques that
GNWC teams used to catch their fish and to finally give fishing hints
will help our viewers become better walleye anglers themselves," said
Special awards will be given out at the Championships
Berkley Big Fish Award of $400 in Berkley product for the team that
the largest walleye during the two-day Championships. In addition,
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
spend the $200 on gear of their choice at any Gander Mountain Store.
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
So Close award. Lure sets will also be given away as door prizes at
TowTector, maker of the premium boat protector for
towing vehicles, will
offer the Towtector Comeback Award of a Towtector Shield valued at
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
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
access the Gander Mountain GNWC website at www.walleyecup.com.
Title Sponsor for the GNWC is Gander Mountain. Other
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.