2017 Masters Walleye Circuit Spring Valley Report

Tom Harrison and I found our tournament results together at Spring Valley, IL, on the Illinois River not what we were hoping for based on our practice success. The event was held March 17-18 at the Spring Valley Boat Club. Our practice day on March 12th found us scouting where tournament anglers from the WAT/IWT event were fishing–they had over 60 boats and some good weights for their event. You can check out the full results on the Walleye Anglers Trail updated website. Monday and Tuesday found me hunkered down in the Holiday Inn Express in Peru while the snow fell, the wind howled, and the temps dropped into the teens. The pics of the Suburban and Ranger covered with snow are NOT photo shopped!! Tracy Hayward drove down from Cedar Rapids on Tuesday afternoon and joined me on the water Wednesday then fished with Tom and I on Thursday. We caught numerous nice sauger pulling three-way rigs with double F9 Rapalas. We saw Max Wilson (flat brim guy) on the water Thursday and got a pic of a really nice sauger he’s picked up down by Hennepin. We attended our first MWC meeting at the Boat Club with high expectations. There were 76 teams in this year’s first MWC event. However, while everyone caught a limit on Friday, we managed just four for 7 pounds with a decent warm up in the afternoon of the first tournament day. Saturday was a different story–cold and windy–so most teams did not get a limit. We only managed two fish but one was the third largest for the second tournament day, a 3 pound 15 ounce sauger! We fished up by the dam in areas where we caught fish during practice both days but made the move south to Hennepin on the second day where we caught the big one in front of the grain barges on the right side going down river in about 18 feet of water. She bit a single F9 Rapala in the Chart/White colors off a three-way with a three ounce weight and about a four foot snell. We caught numerous fish during practice on a custom Hutch painted F9 in a deep purple color. I have a tray of lures from Hutch from a purchase many years ago. Our other good color was the gold Rap. Most of the anglers were catching their fish jigging. We felt we could cover more water using the double Rap system for our fish. Congratulations to the Dubuque, IA team who won the event and all the competitors who endured some really tough prefishing and tournament weather conditions! Full results are on the Master Walleye Circuit website. My next MWC finds me at Big Stone Lake fishing with tournament partner and friend, Ralph Kitson, from Aurora, SD. That event is April 28-28. In between, Chris Burns from Davenport, IA and I travel to Lake Erie for the first NWT (National Walleye Trail) event. BIG water with BIG fish! Sorry I was late filing this report: we completed a move out of the office space we’ve been in the last eight years over a two week period to a new home office then I managed to catch a severe sinus infection which has kept me down for five days! Better days are ahead! Looking forward to reporting on both the tournament and fun fishing events this season plus doing some show and tell on the new Ranger aluminum 1780 Bob’s Marine in Bellevue, IA is getting ready for me as my “retirement” boat! More to come. Thank you for reading and looking over the pictures! Spike

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