Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Final Results

I finally have found time to post the final results from our Leech Lake Opener this year.  Although I am still waiting for a few more pictures, Ron sent me enough to put something together.  As for the summary Team Walleye had 22 attendees this year.  2 short of our record of 24 guys last year, everything went off without a hitch.  As stated earlier, the weather was pretty tough on Saturday but turned around on Sunday with the best day being the day we left.  This usually happens 9 out of 10 years so we are well acclimated to the nuances of the weather.   Around 3:00 on Saturday the representative from Ron Schara Productions showed up to film footage of our group's appearance on MN Bound.  Laurie did a great job interviewing the key members of Team Walleye including Ron Edberg, Mark Mayerich, Gary Ullom, and Mark Taylor, the original members.  I was given about 10 minutes to explain how Team Walleye keeps track of our tournament status, scoring, and the trophies involved.  She ended with the next generation of Team Walleye, Adam Mayerich and Matt Taylor.   Saturday night's menu included 16 oz rib eyes for everyone and after a great meal it was back out on the lake for more filming.  Greg from Brindley's volunteered to take her out so she could film Team Walleye in it's preferred environment, fishing!  We were one of the first boats they came by and as if on cue Gary set the hook on a nice walleye.  Grabbing the net I landed the fish as I have thousand's time before and the video camera caught all of the drama!  With a little luck it will be part of the segment.  Wrapping up the filming on Sunday morning we have been told it will be a couple of weeks and she would let us know the schedule.  I suspect she got about 3 - 4 hours of material which will probably be shrunk to about 10 - 15 minutes.  Asked about the process, she would actually do the editing and Ron Schara would narrate the story.  We are really looking forward to the finished product.  Here is a picture of this year's group.

We did have some new winners in the Big Fish Tournament this year.  Having won it last year, I was in charge of presenting the trophy to John Felix, my friend from Ashland, WI.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture of him however his fish tied Matt Taylor for the largest walleye caught in the 38 years of Team Walleye, 27.5 inches.  I was very nice fish and continues to set the bar high for next year.  Second place was my friend Kevin with a 27 inch fish, another nice walleye.  Third place was my brother Steve with a 26.25 inch fish caught first thing Saturday morning.   For individual points, Kevin took top honors with 98 points.  Points are a combination of total individual walleye's caught, total fish caught in the boat, and extra points awarded for catching the largest fish in the boat per session.  Although 98 points is a respectable score, the record was 202 points by a gentlemen in my boat 3 years ago.  That will be a number destine to stay on top for a while.  As stated last week, Team D Anderson again took top honors with the top boat award scoring a total of 46 walleyes caught in the old Ranger.  Last but not least the DCS (Didn't Catch $hit) trophy went to my brother Jon for his lack of being able to put any fish in the boat.  With Ron Edberg winning the last two years, I am sure that he was relieved not to be in the running this year.  Admittedly Jon was pretty happy to walk away with something, a toilet seat trophy and $20 for his efforts.  The good news is that the Anderson boys, my brother Steve, Jon and myself all walked away with some type of honor this year!  Here is Jon receiving his award from me, a reconfigured toilet seat made of clear acrylic complete with fishing lures embedded.

Each year Ron has been compiling data on the total number of fish caught.  Compared to the previous 2 years our total fish count was down quite a bit, 250 walleyes vs 386 for 2009 and 314 for 2010.   Although we did get enough for a nice fish fry on Sunday night as well as each brought home at least 3 walleyes, the slow Sunday's catch was a major contributor to the lower numbers.  One thing notable was the lack of fish under 15 inches.  The previous 2 years had good numbers of smaller walleyes, apparently they grew up some!  Often the weather and bait fish numbers have a big factor on this as we see the future of fishing on Leech to be very positive.  Ron has done some comparative overlays on the graphs and I will try to post them later. I did get out on Sunday for my first trip to Mille Lacs with Jeffrey, my friend from Taiwan.  Time is forcing me to put that off till next week!  Have a great Memorial Day and don't forget those who have gave all for our country.

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