Friend Chris Burns from Davenport and I prefished last Friday and Saturday on the Mississippi River prior to the first event in the Illinois Walleye Trail series out of Albany, Ill. “The River was really high and dirty during the prefish and tournament,” Burns commented. We found our best approach was to move from spot to spot and pitch jigs. Saturday was a wet day with a series of rain showers moving in and out to challenge our practice time on the water. Sunday morning came and we joined 21 other teams for the tournament day. Tournament Director Adam Sandor released boats one at a time and we sped up river to our best spot during practice. About an hour into the day, Chris hooked a nice 19-inch walleye and I thought “game on”. The fish came on a blue Hutch jig dressed with a blue plastic paddletail and tipped with a piece of crawler. However, the spot didn’t produce another morning bite so we moved downriver and fished several spots before returning upriver to our first spot. I felt fortunate to finally catch one–a legal 15-incher–about 1:30 in the afternoon. We fished hard right up to the last minute, picked up, and ran downriver at 64mph in my Ranger 620 powered by the Evinrude 250 Etec!! Our two fish weighed 3.95 pounds and put us in 11th place. The winners, Max Actis and Mike Stuckert, had a nice five fish limit weighing in at 15.92 pounds to help them win a check for $1650. Second place went to the team of Gary Merkel and John Smith who brought two fish to the scale weighing 15.54 pounds! They won $1120 for their efforts. In total, 42 fish came in with a total weight of 106.20 pounds. “Our next event will be the Fall Classic on November 1 at Hennepin, IL, with the second points qualifier on November 2 at Hennepin,” reported Sandor. For complete tournament information and to sign up go to www.ilwalleyetrail.com. Chris and I enjoyed our time together on the water and competing in the IWT!!