2017 Cabela’s National Walleye Tour Championship Report

Fishing Green Bay has changed in recent years. The standard “trolling” for walleyes with cranks or spinner rigs has changed over to mostly pitching “moonshine shiver minnows” with a lift and drop back to the boat. This year’s event out of Marinette, WI, however, turned into a TROLLING bite for winner, Dean Arnoldussen! Please use our link to the National Walleye Tour website to read Brett Carlson’s fine reports and view the final standings for the competitors. My trip up to Green Bay started on Monday, the 14th, with an overnight stay at Grace and Gary Mongelli’s awesome home on the Bay near Suamico. Tuesday morning found me hooking up with pro partner, Chris Burns, for a half day prefishing. We checked out a number of spots near Chambers Island casting Rapala Rippin Raps and the shivers before coming in. Chris needed some repairs at the Evinrude support trailer so we dropped the Ranger 620 off with Steve before heading to the registration, welcome meal, and rules meeting at the Marinette High School. The communities of Marinette and Menominee put on the best welcome to all the anglers we’ve seen in years–thank you!! My first day found me paired with Ranger/Evinrude Pro Tommy Skarlis. Tommy survived a near tragic fall from a tree stand last fall and is healing slowly. He fished hard catching four of the six fish we caught on shivers. I connected with two walleyes, one the biggest for the day right at 30 inches. We said a prayer of thankfulness for our good day together before heading in to the weigh-in. We ended with our five we could weigh just over 30 pounds. Thursday and Friday were both postponed because of the wind so Burnsy and I checked out local bait shops and drove up to Escanaba on Thursday. Friday found us having a new Walleye Hydrowave installed on the boat by T-H Marine tech Cory Williams. You’ll want to check out the videos I filmed with Chris and Cory here as they come available. We also did some boat cleaning and compared available cleaners to see which one did the best job on the Ranger boat floor. We have the video on U-tube if you want to check it out now. Kudos to Mike Ganzeveld for maintaining our Walleye Wisdom Facebook and website! Saturday came and we were able to get out. My pro partner was Ranger/Evinrude Pro Josh Vanderweide. We headed north and fished around Chambers Island pulling spinners and casting shivers. Unfortunately, we did not catch a walleye and finished our day with the dreaded “0”. Josh has been fishing since his was 14 years old and has great experience on big water. I wish him well in future tournaments. I was able to get back to the weigh-in, take some pics, and congratulate the winners. Chris and I cleaned up, did some packing, and went out to dinner before our last night at the hotel. We both got home safely Sunday afternoon. Just a quick thank you to Chris for allowing me to be is co-angler partner in 2017. What does 2018 look like for tournament walleye fishing the NWT? Well, we know the three qualifying events are Red Wing, MN, in May; Bay City, MI, in June; and Devils Lake, ND, in July. The Championship is yet to be determined from three locations: Lake of the Woods, Sturgeon Bay, and Lake Winnebago. Good Lord willing, I hope to fish again next year–I turn 70 in October so I am getting known as “Grandpa Gary” on the Tour! Thanks to all the pros who fished with me this year for their efforts and to our Walleye Wisdom Team members who shared prefishing and tournament days with me! Fish on!!!

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