Grand National Walleye Cup opens Wisconsin Region at Lacrosse
By Steve Weisman GNWC Publicity Director The first qualifier for
the Wisconsin Region of the Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC) is set
for the Mississippi River at Lacrosse on Sunday, April 17. The Lacrosse
qualifier is the first of four tournaments in Wisconsin, which ultimately
leads to the Wisconsin Region Championship in September on the Minoqua
Chain. Also on the line is the chance to compete for a berth in the
2005 GNWC National Championship presented by Skeeter Boats and Yamaha
Outboards with a first place prize of two fully rigged WX 1880 Skeeter
boats rigged with Yamaha outboards, Minnkota electric trolling motors
and Lowrance Electronics. With a retail value of $35,000 per rig,
this brings the first place purse at the National Championship to
$70,000. "I think the Wisconsin Region will show steady growth this
year, and I know it will be an exciting race. The GNWC is a walleye
circuit that targets the weekend warrior. It gives anglers an opportunity
to get a taste of competitive walleye fishing without having to tie
up extended periods of time and a lot of money in entry fees," said
GNWC Executive Director Bernie Barringer. "The portion of the river
at Lacrosse is a great place to kick off the 2005 season in Wisconsin."
According to Dave Stelow, owner of D & J Riversports, the water level
is currently high, which has made fishing tough. "It is expected to
crest around 11 feet at the end of this week. It will still be high,
but fishing will be getting better again." Stelow noted that the early
walleye fishing has been good and that there is an excellent walleye
population. D & J Riversports has two locations, but the Onalaska
loation is closer to the launch and will be open at 5 a.m. on Sunday
morning. The tournament director will have the trailer at Clinton
Street Landing from 6-8 p.m. the evening before the tournament to
take late entries and answer questions. Take-off is at 7 a.m. with
the weigh-in commencing at 3 p.m. sharp at the Clinton Street Landing.
"This should be a lot of fun for the public. It is a great opportunity
to get a glimpse at what tournament fishing is all about. Also, we
will have a couple of Aqua-Vu underwater cameras set up in our release
tanks so that the public can see how they work. The audience will
also get to hear from the teams and find out what presentations and
tactics worked to trigger the fish. This is a great way to learn about
taking walleyes on this stretch of the Mississippi River," added Barringer.
For those interested in entering, the entry fee remains at $210 per
team for each tournament. Openings do still exist for the Lacrosse
qualifier, and Barringer encourages interested anglers to contact
him at 1-800-890-FISH (3474), or email the GNWC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I also encourage people to check out our website at www.walleyecup.com
and see what the Grand National Walleye Cup is all about," added Barringer.
Major national sponsors for the GNWC include Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
Outboards, Lowrance Electronics, YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO, Aqua-VU,
Aqua Innovations, Towtector Shield, VIB"E" Lure Company and UpNorthOutdoors.com.