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Press releases and tournament information on Walleyes Inc. Your one stop internet fishing source

Spring Valley, Illinois, March 29, 2009 – The father and son team of Steve “Pinky” and Adam Sandor of
Tonica & Ottawa, Illinois, respectively, captured the win at the inaugural tournament of the 2009
Cabela’s MWC season by just over two pounds netting a cool $17,510. This is the 25th anniversary of
the MWC and the 23rd consecutive year that the Illinois River has hosted the first tournament of the
season for the circuit, and Pinky Sanders has fished every single one of them. This year was different,
though, with a first place finish and victory within reach.
“I’ve cashed a lot of checks over the twenty-three years, some as high as second place,” shared Pinky
after the win. “Kaz used to tease me with ‘always the bridesmaid’ but we beat that this time.” Pinky
fished in the early years with a good friend that has since passed away. When Adam turned 15 he
started fishing the MWC with his Dad – and the duo has made a strong family team for the last 16
consecutive years. They attribute their success for this tournament to good decision-making which
brought in 12.05 lbs. on day one and just the right adjustments on day two to bag 15.55 lbs. for a total
of 27.60 lbs.
“There are a lot of good sticks but success in tournaments comes with making the right decisions, and
Dad and I have gotten steadily better at that the last few years. You can tell by how we’ve continued to
move up in the checks that we’ve cashed,” shared Adam. Both contribute to the process in the boat and
work through the options.
“On Saturday we were pulling three-way live-bait rigs with 6’ to 8’ leaders in 18’ to 21’ depth on the
bottom side of Plum Island,” shared Adam. The team was sitting in second place after day one and
after about two hours on Sunday without things popping – they knew they needed to adjust. The
weather had changed, the water temperature dropped 6 degrees overnight and the clarity went from a
foot to just 6 to 8 inches. “We switched to pulling orange and chartreuse #9 floating cranks at 10’ to 11’
depth and that really made a difference. It turned into a fire-drill and we had our five fish spot on –
three almost simultaneously. We only upgraded one fish the rest of the day – those first fish that we got
were the fish we needed.” They had found the fish and the spot during their pre-fishing on Wednesday,
but they hadn’t pulled cranks for several days. It was a gamble that paid off.
The team cashed $16,550 for their first place finish and netted an additional $960 for the biggest fish for
day two at 4.76 lbs. totaling $17,510.
Mother Nature challenged the field from the start. Exceptionally high water on the Illinois River 10-14
days ahead of the tournament kept some people thinking the tournament might have to be cancelled.
But the locals in the Spring Valley Walleye Club knew the conditions would steadily improve as the
water levels came down, and it did, just in time for the 4 to 5 days of pre-fishing before the tournament.
The clarity was reasonably good and the anglers were optimistic heading into the tournament.
But Saturday dawned cold at 34 degrees and windy, and the afternoon opened up with 2 to 3 inches of
rain to add insult to injury. That evening the temperatures dropped even further and the precipitation
For more information, contact:
Jeff Ahlstrand
O: 952-988-7417 | C: 612-298-5119


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