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Rank 1st Partner City State 2nd Partner City State Lbs. Winnings

1 Dominic Culjan, Jr. Ottawa IL Mark O’Connell Ottawa IL 27.20 $18,000

2 Tom Giachetto, Jr. Ladd IL Tom Giachetto, Sr. Ladd IL 19.30 8,000

3 Dennis Van Meenen Cary IL Jim Van Meenen Atkinson IL 19.20 6,000

4 Kim Papineau Escanaba MI Glen Wangerin Escanaba MI 18.20 4,000

5 Terry Carr Pleasantville IA Tim Floden Bussey IA 18.10 3,000

6 Stephen Loch Green Bay WI Mark Piper Green Bay WI 17.75 1,500

7 Roy Perez Depue IL Robert Platt Varna IL 16.70 1,500

8 Kurt Bergstrom Rocton IL Jerry Fisher Roscoe IL 16.65 1,500

9 Chad Kinkade Cedar Falls IA Tommy Skarlis Waterloo IA 16.60 1,500

10 James Ott Maple Park IL Dennis Pieper South Elgin IL 16.40 1,500

11 Cliff Haugland Mt. Vernon IA Luke Haugland Mt. Vernon IA 16.10 1,100

12 John Balla Bartlett IL Kevin Byrne Warrenville IL 15.35 1,100

13 Brian Ernat Princeton IL Jerry Ernat Princeton IL 15.15 1,100

14 Steven Skupien Joliet IL Art Gazda Bridgeview IL 14.85 1,100

15 Dan Fanti Ottawa IL Ted Mathews Ottawa IL 14.45 1,100

16 Gary Falkowski Franklin WI George Wlodarski Orland Park IL 14.40 800

17 Mike Jerz Coal City IL Wally Neumann Tinley Park IL 14.30 800

18 Lance Litviak Orland Park IL Andy Pogorzelski Bartlett IL 14.15 800

19 Neil Hammargren Waterloo IA Doug Newhoff Waterloo IA 14.10 800

20 Dan Comeau Clinton Twp. MI Dennis Lantzy Warren MI 13.80 800

21 John Hertensteiner Victoria MN Scott Riegelman Red Wing MN 13.00 600

22 Michael Doucette, Jr. Bureau IL Gene Michael Princeton IL 12.95 600

23 Bill Leonard Estherville IA Wayne Stensrud Madison MN 12.65 600

24* Douglas Grobe Rock Falls IL James Grobe Elgin IL 12.60 600

25 Mitch Gentry Atkinson IL Tom Vandemore Atkinson IL 12.60 600

26* Steve Balliu Antioch IL Joe Majewski McHenry IL 12.45 400

27 Randy Aird Dubuque IA Pat Marshall Dubuque IA 12.45 400

28* Pete Minnema Randolph WI Joe Minnema Markesan WI 12.25 400

29 Patrick Jensen Stoddard WI Richard Penkalski Stoddard WI 12.25 400

30* Larry Conn Stickney IL Lewis Conn Cicero IL 12.20 400

31 Brian Ellefson Watertown SD James Myszkewicz Burlington WI 12.20 400

32 Ray Daniels Oglesby IL Tim Steinbach Oglesby IL 12.10 400

33* Joe Janickas Berwyn IL Paul Jasutis Montgomery IL 12.00 400

34 Robert Newton McFarland WI Mike Schnettler Sartell MN 12.00 400

35 Dan Hauser Rockford IL Doug Hauser Rockford IL 11.95 400

36* Todd Barrows Iron Mountain MI George Freeman Iron Mountain MI 11.80 400

37 Edward Mucha Shabbona IL Jason Van Wyhe Waterman IL 11.80 400

38 Adam Sandor Ottawa IL Steve Sandor Ottawa IL 11.60 400

39 Gary Dalzot Spring Valley IL John Dalzot Spring Valley IL 11.45 400

40 Brad Stockman Pine River MN Mark Dammann Chaska MN 11.35 400

* Won Tie Breaker CASH PAYOUT = $65,000

Big Fish Pot (Three daily prizes: $1,000; $900; $750) 5,300 TOTAL CASH PAYOUT = $70,300

Mariner Outboards Award - $1,000 Engine Rebate =======

Dick & Irene Schiefelbein, Sheboygan, WI - 5.20 lbs. (sauger)

MotorGuide Award - Trolling Motor

Stephen Loch & Mark Piper, Green Bay, WI 5.30 lbs. (walleye)


Teams Entered: 250

Fish Caught: 814

Weight: 1,370.05 lbs.

Big Fish: 6.95 lbs. (walleye) Kim Papineau & Glen Wangerin, Escanaba, MI, $1,000 from Big Fish Pot

Press Release #251

For further information contact:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 30, 1998 Bob "Kaz" Kaczkowski, Exec. Dir.




SPRING VALLEY, ILL. – Dominic Culjan, Jr. and Mark O’Connell of Ottawa, Ill. bested a field of 250 teams, winning the Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC) 1998 season opener. 

Beginning the MWC’s 14th year, the Quantum/MotorGuide Team Walleye Tournament took place March 28-29 on the Illinois River at Spring Valley, Ill., hosted by over 200 volunteers from the Spring Valley Walleye Club. The event is the largest pro-fishing tourney in the country.

Culjan and O’Connell collected $18,000 for the win, plus $1,575 in additional big fish prize money for a total of $19,575. It was the first circuit victory for the veteran team who weighed an allowable ten fish limit (9 saugers and 1 walleye) totaling 27.20 lbs.

The tournament was preceded by several days of rain, windy and cold weather, resulting in high, muddy water and poor fishing. However, conditions improved greatly at the start of the tournament, and anglers found themselves basking in sunny mid-seventy temperatures.

According to Culjan, "We fished inside the Plum Island area off the southern bank. We pitched and jigged lead heads and sometimes floating jigs, tipped with minnows."

O’Connell added, "Orange/chartreuse, blue/chartreuse and yellow/purple were the best jig colors. We also used 6 foot medium action rods and 8 lb. test Trilene Ultra Thin line."

The pair stated that the fish were scattered, and they had to work hard for them, noting that the best action was between 9:00 a.m. and noon.

- MORE -

Second place went to the father/son team of Tom Giachetto, Jr. and Sr. of Ladd, Ill., who weighed 19.30 lbs., worth $8,000.

The Van Meenen brothers, Dennis (Cary, Ill.) and Jim (Atkinson, Ill.) took third place with 19.20 lbs. and pocketed $6,000.

The top 40 teams shared the $65,000 cash purse. An additional $5,300 was paid in big fish prizes, for a total of $70,300.

Glen Wangerin (Escanaba, Mich.) caught the tourney’s largest fish, a 6.95 lb. walleye, receiving $1,000 for his catch. Irene Schiefelbein (Sheboygan, Wis.) caught a 5.20 lb. sauger and was awarded a Mariner Outboards $1,000 engine rebate. The fish was only nine ounces short of the sauger record of 5 lbs. 12 ozs., which was caught on the Mississippi River. A MotorGuide electric trolling motor was awarded to the Green Bay, Wis. team of Steve Loch and Mark Piper for their catch of a 5.30 lb. walleye.

Despite the poor river conditions, a total of 814 fish, mostly saugers, weighing 1,370.05 lbs. were caught in the MWC catch and release format. The fish were conveyed by the Illinois DNR to the LaSalle hatchery, where the fish were stripped of eggs and milt for restocking purposes.

The MWC Conservation Fund donated $2,500 towards the ongoing Illinois River stocking program. To date, the Fund has donated over $40,000 to the program and over $183,000 to fisheries programs in states where MWC tournaments are held.

The second stop on the MWC is the Mariner Outboards/Wille Products Team Tournament, May 16-17, on Big Stone Lake at Ortonville, Minn. Some openings still exist. For more information, contact the Big Stone Lake Area Tourism Association, tel. 320-839-3306, or the MWC at 414-761-0657.

The MWC is a nonprofit corporation which conducts a series of professionally run fishing tournaments at which family participation and conservation of fishery resources are stressed. All MWC tournaments are catch and release. MWC sponsors are Berkley Trilene, Lindy Little Joe, Mariner Outboards, MotorGuide, North American Fishing Club/North American Fisherman, Quantum, Ranger Boats and Wille Products.

- END -

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