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Minnetonka, MN -

Brothers John and Gary Dalzot of Spring Valley, Illinois endured the harshest tournament conditions MWC anglers have ever faced. The Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit East Division 2005 season opener, presented by Lindy Legendary Tackle, was held April 23 & 24 on the phenomenal Michigan fishery, the Detroit River. The team's ten fish MWC allowable limit totaled 42.63 pounds. The Dalzot brothers have been crowned MWC tourney winners several times before. In fact, in 2000, 2001 and 2002 the duo made circuit history by winning each of the season openers on the Illinois River, creating a three-peat that Illinois residents had only attributed to Michael Jordan.

Walleye fans have been bullish on the Dalzots ever since. Just one month ago, on the 2005 MWC Central Division season opener on their home waters, the well known brothers finished in fifteenth place, cashing a check for just under $1,500. This Detroit River tournament win netted the pair 10 times that amount - taking home $15,000! "We just got a little lucky at the end I guess," John Dalzot stated modestly on stage with the "big check" in hand. The team, known for their vertical jigging prowess, used 3/8 or oz. jigs tipped with shiner minnows, depending on the wind. The fish came early on Saturday and yet on Sunday the bite didn't turn on until 1 o'clock. Their last fish came just as they needed to head in for their scheduled flight time. "Keeping the jig on the bottom was the key" added brother Gary. "Even dragging it along the bottom was often how they liked to get it." The pair fished both days in the Wyandotte area of the river.

The Wisconsin native team of Wayne Butz & Don Frederick brought in two impressive baskets; but came up 3.8 lbs. short. "We were hoping for that number one position," pined Don. "We did have fun catching a lot of fish this tournament in spite of the weather" added Wayne. This pair also vertical jigged with to 3/4 oz jigs tipped with crawlers and minnows. They took 3rd place, just behind Kevin Dahl and Steve Stack of Muskego, WI. One-tenth of a pound separated the 2nd and 3rd place teams. The field of 104 teams endured some of the most grueling tournament conditions the 21-year old circuit has ever encountered.

While the pre-fishing weather started out sunny and 80 degrees, by Saturday there were gale force winds, closing the Lake Erie portion of the tournament. Cold temperatures coupled with high winds and rain made for a miserable first day. And then the temperatures dropped even further - turning the rain into snow. "You know it's pretty bad when your staff and sponsors build snowmen!" added Kristine Houtman, Director of Events & Sponsorships for the MWC. Cabela's, Lowrance and Ranger Boats hats adorned the late season Frosties that stood sentinel alongside the stage. Bill Greczyn of Tully, New York knew it was time to come in a little early on Sunday when his wife, Linda, whacked him with a snowball from the bow of the boat. The top 18 teams shared the $50,850 cash purse. An additional $1762 was paid in big fish prize money. The New York team of Ernie Brown (Warners) and Michael Tankersley (Pennellville) took home the big fish of the tournament at 7.59 lbs. The second-place finishing team of Dahl and Stack captured the $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus money as well as the Salmo Lures bonus of $250. The local walleye club, Downriver Walleye Federation (DWF), assisted with tournament operations. They received $1575 to use for fisheries related projects along the Detroit River and Lake Erie. Tournament Statistics Number of teams: 104 Number of fish: 545 Total cash and prizes: $53,862 Total weight: 1466.1 lbs. Water temp: 49 Day 1; 46 Day 2 Big fish: 7.59 lbs. Water level: Normal Winning pattern: Vertical Jigging Water clarity: 2 feet Inside tip: Drag jig along the bottom (and buy lots of jigs!) Openings exist in most of the remaining 2005 MWC tournaments, however, the Lake Winnebago tournament is full. Entry fee is $600 per team. Further tournament information can be obtained at www.masterswalleyecircuit.com, or by calling the MWC toll-free at 877-893-7947. 2005 Cabela's MWC Remaining Schedule MWC Central Oshkosh, WI, Lake Winnebago, June 25 & 26 Menominee, MI, Bay of Green Bay, July 16 & 17 MWC East Henderson Harbor, NY, Lake Ontario, May 21 & 22 Dunkirk, NY, Lake Erie, August 19-21 In addition to Cabela's, MWC sponsors include - Lowrance Electronics, Lindy Legendary Tackle, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Ranger Boats, The Outdoor Channel, North American Fishing Club, Salmo Performance Lures, Daiichi Hooks, Panther Marine, Aqua Innovations and Walleye Central. Kevin Kuiper, third place



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