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LAST UPDATE 03-01-98

Spring Valley Tournament
March 28/29 1998
Tommy Skarlis and Chad Kinkade Masters Walleye Circuit team of the year in 1997 will be defending their title beggining at the Spring Valley opener this year Carol Chenier of Gladstone Michigan holding a couple of fine Illinois River Walleye.  Carol competes with her husband Glenn and are past MWC Husband /Wife Team of the year.  The Cheniers have also qualified for the MWC World Walleye Championship several times 

Masters Walleye circuit opener the 250 team field was filled in just one day 

Spring valley Illinois     Each year the Masters Walleye circuit (MWC) sanctions five walleye tournaments throughout the upper midwest.  It's 146th season begins March 28-29 with the  team walleye tournament on the Illinois River at Spring Vally Illinois.
according to Bob Kaz Kackowski, MWC Executive Director , "Eighty-eight teams signed up to fish all five tournaments this year, which put an immediate dent in the 250 team field.  the remaining four events are already  over half filled, so anglers should get their entries in as soon as possible for these tournaments.
1998 marks the 12th year that the Spring Valleye Walleye Club is hosting the MWC opener.  Club Executive director Bill guerinni also serves as tournament director, and his volunteer staff of over 200 will be on hand to make sure the tournament comes off without a hitch.  According to Guerinin "we increased the field from 225 to 250 teams to accomodate more teams but we still had to turn away quite a few entries.
Though there are afew bigger independent tournaments, the MWC at Spring Valley has grown to become the largest fishing event in North America that is associated with a professional tournament trail no matter what the species is

$65,000.00 IN PRIZE MONEY
Teams will be competeing for a cash purse of $65,000.00 with $18,000.00 going to the winners.  The top 40 teams will share the prize money.  Last years victors, Mel Reichling and Rick Small of Waterton So Dakota will be back to defend there titile.  In 1997 the pair weighed an allowable 10 fish limit totaling 26.35 lbs, all of which were saugers.They trolled crankbaits between 10 and 14 feet deep off the north bank 2-2.5 miles upriver from the Bart Landing.  The winners stated that most anglers believe the water to be too cold this time of year to speed troll crankbaits, but their win proved it's not the case.
At the 1997 Spring Valleye Tourney 959 fish mostly saugers weighting 1,897.50 lbs were caught.  Barring inclement weather , this years bite should be just as good.
As in past years, The Spring Valley Walleye Club will be assisted at the weight in by staff from Southern Illinois Universtiy and the Illinois DNR.  All tournament fish will be checked by the staffers, then conveyed to the Illinois hatchery where the fish will be stripped of their eggs and milt.  After recuperation, the fish will be returned to the river .  Their hatched off -spring , thousands of fingerlings , wuill be released at a later date into Northern Illinois lakes and rivers.
The MWC Conservation Fund will donate $10.00 for each team fishing the tournament for a total of $2500.00 to the Spring Valley Club.  This money will be used to fund the ongoing river stocking fund and tournament launch site improvements.  To date the MWC Conservation Fund has donated over $181,000.00 to fisery projects in states where MWC tournaments are held.
Sources for Illinois River fishing and water conditions are Riverside Marine in spring Valley telephone #(815-663-8361) and Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica Illinois telephone #  (815-667-4222).  For further information contact Bill Guerinin at (815-663-6141)
Opening still exist for the remaining MWC tournaments Contact "KAZ" at the MWC at 414-761-0657 for more information.
1998 Tournament Schedule

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