Fishing & Boating News
Lewis, St. Sauver Win Cabela's National Walleye Tour Event at Green Bay, Wisconsin
Tournament pays out over $335,000 to competitors
Competing in his first Cabela's National Walleye Tour event, Lewis initially targeted fish with a Rapala Jigging Rap, a technique honed on his home waters and one he'd used with great success.
"If you can get it dialed in the right way, they bite fast and they don't move as much," said Lewis. "We tried to establish that, but we could only get little fish going. We could never get the big fish going; we just didn't have it."
While disappointed, Lewis started day one by pulling big crankbaits in muddy water near the shipping channel. But with only one 26.25-incher in his Triton livewell at noon, he left and ran further north along the east shore to a spot located 21 miles from the Green Bay Metro Boat Launch.
"Almost right away I boxed a 21-incher," said Lewis. "Then I threw a 22-incher back. I caught a 19-incher and threw it in the box. Then all of a sudden, the wind took it to another level and the alewives came in and the walleyes came right behind them. The next three passes resulted in a 29-incher and two others that were big, big fish. Then I was done at 2:16 p.m. We pulled right through them and they fired."
Early morning of day two, Lewis knew running further north was the right decision, largely based on the conditions. Back on his east shore spot, Lewis caught a 28.75 early. He then caught a fat 23.50-incher, which his co-angler partner, John Mickish, convinced him to keep. From there, the bite slowed. In fact, it slowed so much that Lewis switched from trolling with his kicker to his bow-mounted trolling motor.
"Then we ripped off a 30-incher a 29 3/4. The next thing you know the wind died and it got tough again."
With so many boats in the area trolling at slower speeds with crawler harnesses, Lewis decided to head just north of the pack. Within 10 minutes he caught a 24-incher, which he placed in his livewell. That was at 1 p.m. and it turned out to be his last fish of the day. Without his co-angler's sage advice, Lewis would not have brought in a five-fish limit, nor would he have won the tournament.
Second-place finisher, Dave Van Oss, of Appleton, Wisconsin, brought in an impressive 37.61-pound sack and sat in second place at the end of day one. Day two brought different conditions and the angler wisely switched up his game plan.
"The wind switched from a south wind to a northwest wind," said Van Oss. "I know from history it's tough to catch them on spinners with a northwest wind. We started with them, but had to switch to pulling No. 9 Flicker Minnows."
With only a 27-incher and a 26-incher in the box at noon, Van Oss decided to keep a 22-inch walleye. Soon after he caught a 26 and his fifth and final fish, a 22.5-incher, didn't come until 2:15 and he was due back at 3 p.m. His day-two weight was 25.81 pounds, giving him a total of 63.42 for the tournament which proved good enough to take home the $21,000 second-place prize.
John Gillman (third), Derek Navis (fourth), Ryan Buddie (fifth), Chris Burns (sixth), Daniel Woodke (seventh), Matt Taylor (eighth), Korey Sprengel (ninth) and Ted Takasaki (tenth) round out the top ten for pro-anglers.
First-place finisher for the co-anger category, Colonel Scott St. Sauver, of Little Falls, Minnesota, bested the nearest co-angler by three pounds. His two-day weight was 66.78 pounds.
"On the first day I fished with Kevin Carstensen," said St. Sauver. "We didn't get a lot of bites, only eight, but we had some nice fish. So that put us in a good position."
St. Sauver was paired with Derek Navis on day two. The duo decided to make a big run north to the Chambers Island area.
"He told me we weren't going to get many bites, but the bites would be big," said St. Sauver. "And boy was he right. We had six bites and caught five. Derek is just a phenomenal fisherman. He's an up and comer."
St. Sauver's first place win in the co-angler category netted him $10,358.
Troy Fink (second), John Hoyer (third), Steve Fohrenkamm (fourth), Joe Moenck (fifth), Dan Soehren (sixth), Leon Mucha (seventh), Steve Draginis (eighth), John Mickish (ninth) and Robert A. Loose (tenth) round out the top ten for co-anglers.
The next stop for the Cabela's National Walleye Tour is the championship event Sept. 17-19 at Devils Lake, North Dakota. The year-long race for Lucas Oil Angler of the Year will be decided at the championship as well. With points on the line at Devils Lake, several anglers will make one last push to secure the title, as well as the custom rings and paid 2016 entry fees that come with it. On the pro angler side, Mark Courts holds a narrow lead of Korey Sprengel while John Hoyer currently leads the co-angler division.
Anglers that have fished all three regular-season events, in addition to the top points leaders, will qualify for the three-day, entry-fee championship. Two fully rigged Ranger boats are guaranteed for the championship event. The first-place finisher in the pro division will take home a new Ranger 619FS Fisherman, plus $15,000 cash for a total prize value of $79,000. In addition, the second-place pro receives a new Ranger 1880 Angler valued at $46,000. Both figures have the opportunity to go even higher with sponsor contingency. Likewise, the winner of the Co-Angler category will take home $6,000 cash, with the opportunity to nearly double with contingency money thanks to NWT sponsors.
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