The first of four Mississippi River walleye fishing tournaments with the W.A.T. Tournament series was completed Sunday, April 6. My fishing partner for the events is business associate Roger Abel. Roger was kind in allowing us to fish out of his Ranger 620 while I’m awaiting getting my boat ready for the season. We headed to Genoa, WI, last Friday morning and braved the wind, waves, and snow during our first pre-fishing day. We explored areas down river from the Genoa dam and had one bite to show for our efforts. Saturday dawned with calmer winds and warmer temperatures. We were able to explore more spots down river but, again, had no fish in the livewell or even on a hook. When Sunday arrived, we headed to fish below the dam area and joined the other 32 teams along with plenty of locals fishing both the Wisconsin and Minnesota side of the river!! We never left the Minnesota side. We spent three hours jigging with only short fish (we needed 15 inch minimum) then changed over to floating Rapalas in size F9 and F7. We started catching lots of 14.5 inchers before we caught our first keeper, a nice 3 pounder. Our spirits raised, we ground out three more for a total of four fish before heading back to the ramp by our 3pm checkin. At the weigh-in in front of the W.A.T. trailer, host Tommy Skarlis reported we had a total weight of 8.77 pounds. Roger and I placed 15th–a little more than a pound from being “in the money”! The tournament winners were Tim Ware and Gerry Oberbroecklilng with a five fish limit weighing 24.04 pounds (including a big 9 pounder)!! The boys won $1900 plus some Ranger cash for winning the tournament! Looking back, Roger and I wish we had spent some time at the dam on Saturday trying jigging and trolling our Raps and learning more about the river bite this time of year at Genoa. We’d like to thank the nice folks at the Big River Inn in Genoa with a comfortable clean room while we were there and the excellent food/service from the Great River Roadhouse ladies who waited on us. In addition, we now have some teammates to share information and help pre-fish the remaining events: Kyle Brinkman and Jay Harris. The two young anglers have many years of fishing together on the Mississippi. Our next event is May 18th at Bellevue, IA. Please check out www.walleyeanglerstrail.com for complete tournament information and consider joining us for future events!