MWC Chat with Kristine Houtman 3/6/02

Chatman - Ladies and gentlemen, a warm Walleye Central welcome for Kristine Houtman of the MWC!!
Driftr - Welcome Kristine !!!!!!
Juls - Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!! Welcome Kristine!
Driftr - Clap, clap, clap!!!!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Bow, bow, bow. Thank you!
Ristorapper - Howdy ho Kristine! Clap, clap, clap!!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - It's my pleasure to join you tonight!
Chatman - So Kristine, how are things shaping up for the upcoming season?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Hello Corey, River King, Bob, Risto, RR, DanOH, Juls & Drifter!!
river king - Hello!
bob g - Hi!
river king - Hi Kristine!
Ristorapper - Hi Kristine!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - So, we're just a couple of weeks away from Spring Valley. Is everybody ready? Excited?
Chatman - I am! Are we gonna have good weather?? LOL!
Chatman - Any questions for Kristine tonight?
Dan(oh) - How many boats are usually in the field?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - I can tell you that Kaz is SURE hoping that things will warm up. He's been living in Georgia now you, and is not ready for COLD weather.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - His blood has thinned out a bit from his Milwaukee days.
bob g - I got started last week on the Saginaw River.
Chatman - LOL!
Chatman - I am gonna walk past him on stage wearing a spring jacket, just to egg Kaz on a bit!! LOL!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Historically, Spring Valley has always filled up. And this year is no exception, we reached a full field of 200 boats. We also wrote in the rules that we could take up to 5% over if we filled, so that makes 210 boats. That's where we're!
bob g - Wowwww!!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Hello Rainy & Goose & Walleyer, we're just getting started!
Dan(oh) - Where are these tournaments held, what state?
rainy - Hello Kristine!
goose - Hello Kristine!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - DahOH, we have four qualifying MWC tournaments. The first is March 23 & 24 on the Illinois River, in Spring Valley.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The second will be May 18 & 19 on Mille Lacs Lake, in Minnesota.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The third will be on Little Bay de Noc, in the UP of Michigan.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The fourth will be on the Mississippi River & Lake Pepin in Lake City, MN Sept 21 & 22.
Dan(oh) - Thanks!
RRoller - Along with the other 2 tourneys that weekend on Mille Lacs....
Kristine Houtman, MWC - yes, Mille Lacs will be a busy tournament weekend.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Our Chatman, Ralph is fishing the tournament at Spring Valley. Is anyone else here on deck?
goose - Is there a separate big fish award and how much to enter?
iamwalleye1 - What effect do you think all the snow will have at Spring Valley?
Driftr - It is a bit far for me Kristine.
Ristorapper - Juls, are ya fishing Spring Valley?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The anglers have traditionally handled the big fish pot, and we haven't changed that. I talked with Dave McCarty and they will still organize it.
Juls - Yepper! I'll be at Spring Valley.
Ristorapper - Are the MWC's on the live leader board Ralph??
WalleyeBum - I received my info packet today. What boat number?
iamwalleye1 - Yes!
Chatman - Yes they are, along with fishing, yours truly will be getting the weights to Scott so we post them in real time, or very near real time, as always.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Walleye Central will host the LIVE Leaderboard. I look forward to working with Ralph and Scott on putting that up real time.
iamwalleye1 - I ran into Scott this weekend, what a nice guy!
goose - How many boats are signed for Mille Lacs so far?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - About 125...and we're getting more everyday.
RRoller - The Cabelas tournament has 240 boats.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Cabelas has about 240 boats, maybe even 250!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Hello Blackhawk, Dave & Den!
RRoller - Yep fun!! What do you suppose the fishing will be like, considering we had no real snow cover this last winter?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - So, what's on your mind for the MWC season? 
RRoller - Or with the new 2" slot size limit of 14-16"? 
Chatman - That should make the tournament real interesting Roller.
Juls - Kristine, a few weeks back there was discussion on the message board here about whether or not culling will be allowed at Mille Lacs. What are the tourney regulations for this event?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Normally, for MWC tournaments we haven't stated a no cull tournament. However, we are working in conjunction with Cabela's for Mille Lacs.
Juls - Can you have a two person limit in the boat and weigh your best? What is the tournament limit? And do you stop fishing after you have your Tournament limit, if it is less than the state limit?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Through that process, we've discussed and agreed that with the size of the tournament, and the big PR that will be coming from the tournaments, that we would establish a no cull policy for that tournament.
iamwalleye1 - Both tourneys are held the same days correct?
Juls - Ok, so, you won't know until Cabelas tells you what that will be then, right?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - What do you mean Juls?
Juls - I thought you meant that you didn't know what that rule was yet but I see you just told me! LOL!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Yes iamwalleye1, both tournaments are the same two days with the same weigh in, etc. 
goose - Are there any Size restrictions at Spring Valley?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The bigger the better at Spring Valley. There are no size limitations, except for the minimum length according to State law.
Chatman - Kristine, can you explain the weigh in procedure or set up for the twin Mille Lacs tourneys?
Juls - That is 15", I believe.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The weigh in will be at Eddy's at Mille Lacs. We'll have a big stage area with plenty of seating for a gallery.
ETT - Kristine, am I correct that there's a 2" slot for keepers and no culling at Mille Lacs?
Chatman - Now if I can just catch a limit of the 6 pounder I caught the last time fishing Spring Valley! LOL!
Juls - LOL!!
stevemn - It's been a long time, Kristine, since I was at an MWC tournament. Does Kaz still MC these events too?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Plus one over 28" at Mille Lacs. And, they are out there!1
WalleyeBum - There is a 14" minimum at Spring Valley Juls.
Juls - Thanks Bum!
ETT - Wow, the winner will be the guys who catch a big fish everyday. No ifs ands or buts!!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - When we took over the MWC we hired Kaz & Bev back as consultants. I speak with him almost everyday. They will both be at Spring Valley and Kaz will be onstage as our MC.
Juls - You got that right ETT!!
stevemn - Great, the good ole days!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Yes, that's true, but there's still a lot of money below first place to go after. Are you guys & gals all aware of the MWC payout?
Chatman - Can you cover the new payout schedule Kristine?
stevemn - So you better do it Juls!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Total payout for a full field will be just over $101,000!!!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - First place will be $25,000!! An increase of $14,000 over last year!!!
Juls - I'll give it my best shot partner...;-)
Ristorapper - Show ME the money!
stevemn - That's all we can expect Juls.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - 2nd place will be $12,500, 3rd $9000, 4th 7,000, 5th $5,500!
Juls - ;-)
Kristine Houtman, MWC - We pay out 17.5% of the field, and for a full field that will be 35 places. 26th through 35th will receive $750!
Juls - That sounds good Kristine.
Driftr - Kristine, how did the payout become larger?
Furball - How many boats are signed up for the Little Bay de Noc Tournament?
Chatman - Great! That'll give a little more umph to 30th place, for sure!
stevemn - I can't wait!!!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - We increased the entry fee and put the entire increase into the purse. Plus we bumped up the percentage. We could do that because the sponsorships have been so good.
rainy - Kristine, how much is the entry fee?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - I think Little Bay de Noc is about 100 teams, but don't hold me to that exact number. It could be 95 or 97 teams as of this point.
Juls - Win or lose, I still win!! I get a full week at Mille Lacs with a legend in my boat! I think I might just learn something!! LOL!!!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The entry fee is $600, per team, for each qualifying tournament. MWC annual dues are $25 per person or $35 for a family membership.
stevemn - Geez Juls, you're dreamin' again!
goose - Or teach him Juls!!
stevemn - Goose, don't give Juls any ideas!
Ristorapper - About how many fish to the scales per day at Spring Valley?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Teams will be bring their five best fish to the scales each day.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Kaz and I attended the Spring Valley Walleye Club meeting last month. The fisheries biologist that was there spoke about the extensive sauger population and their size. It should be a GREAT year for the tournament.
stevemn - '87 spring valley event the limit was 12 fish per boat.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - I guess times have changed a bit... :-)
Chatman - And 12 inches long, wasn't that the minimum Steve?
stevemn - Yes. For the better, for sure!
stevemn - I can't remember the minimum, I didn't catch little ones!! LOL!
Juls - LOL!
Chatman - Hee hee!! But even back then the average size was not as big as it has been recently. The river is getting better every year!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - From what the biologist has said, it really has been getting better every year. 
stevemn - In 1987, there was about a 2 pound average for the tournament. It took a 3lb. average to win.
goose - What size restrictions are there on Little Bay de Noc?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The Illinois fishery people are seeing over 40 fish per hour in their shock surveys. Exceptional!
Den. - What size?
Chatman - In the last tourney I fished at Spring Valley, Max and I had about a 3 1/2 pound average, and came in 35th!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - As you know, Cabela's is the title sponsor for the entire circuit. But "official" sponsors also get to name one qualifying tournament. Mercury & NAFC will be the co-title sponsors for the Spring Valley tournament.
stevemn - I guess things are different or you guys have learned more since then! LOL!!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Trilene and Ranger Boats will title the Mille Lacs tournament in May.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Lowrance is on deck for the August tournament at Little Bay de Noc.
Chatman - A bit of both Steve.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Lund Automotive and Lindy Little Joe will title the Lake Pepin tournament.
kc 1 - Kristine, are you planning on having any tournaments out west? 
Chatman - Kristine, you have mentioned Mille Lacs being a busy weekend, how will the weigh ins and blast offs be conducted between the MWC and Cabelas?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - We have two separate launch sites for the tournament. All 250 of the Cabela's teams (some of those might also be MWC teams) will launch from Eddy's. The others, MWC boats, will launch from Izatys.
RRoller - If you enter in the MWC on Mille Lacs and fish the Cabelas tourney as well, can you place in both of the tourneys?
stevemn - Kris, who makes up the anglers advisory panel?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The weigh in will all be at Eddy's. We're working with the folks at Cabela's to ensure an organized and efficient weigh-in. But there's no doubt about it, it will be hectic and busy. 
SUPERTROLLER - How many teams are signed up for all the tournaments? (MWC)
stevemn - It'll work just fine.
Chatman - Has Kristine missed any questions so far?
Lawrence Ecklor - Spring Valley is full, Correct?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The Angler Advisory panel consists of Jim Siewert of MN, Steve Baugnet of WI, Gina Gasser of WI, Doug Newhoff of IA and John Balla of IL. Of course Kaz & I will be on the AAP too.
stevemn - It sounds like a good, diverse group.
SUPERTROLLER - Ok, thanks.
Chatman - Not a bad tally for all 4!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Most all of the folks on the AAP are fishing all four tournaments. I think Steve Baugnet has to miss Mille Lacs due to a family wedding, but otherwise those folks will be on site for all the tournaments.
stevemn - Kris, if I can help with logistics at Mille Lacs, let me know, Chris Bahl has my number.
Lawrence Ecklor - Is Spring Valley full?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Lawrence, Spring Valley is full with 210. We filled the 200 plus the 5% over. So we're maxed out!
SUPERTROLLER - Wow! that's a lot of boats!
Chatman - Are you maintaining a waiting list for any of the tourneys that fill? If so, how long will the list be? And what is the policy?
stevemn - Good, a full payout!
Chatman - They used to occasionally allow 250 Supertroller.
SUPERTROLLER - Wow, good luck guys!
Juls - It's good to hear that Kristine. Spring Valley is always a favorite...;-)
SUPERTROLLER - Oooops!! Good luck to you too Juls!
Lawrence Ecklor - Do 40 or 50 boats go to the championship out of this season?
SUPERTROLLER - LOL!!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - So far, the only one that is in that situation is Spring Valley. We have one team on the waiting list at this time. In the future, I think we may expand the field at SV to 225 or 250.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - The top 50 from the 2001 MWC will fish this October's WWC at Prairie du Chien, WI. For the future, though, we cut that to 40. So the top 40 from 2002 MWC will fish the 2003 World Walleye Championship. Dates and location TBD.
stevemn - Kris, sounds like you are running a top notch ship!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - We've put together some nice MWC merchandise that we will sell at Spring Valley. MWC hats, shirts, etc.
Chatman - What was behind the decision to narrow the Championship field Kristine?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Thanks, Steve. It takes a good team to pull it all together, and we've got that. Interestingly, Steve Pennaz and Chris Bahl are in Costa Rica right now on a TV filming trip. Tough job, huh?
stevemn - I'll give'em a hard time about that!
Juls - Catching the big sail fish are they? Cool!
RRoller - Good Luck to all in the Spring valley Tourney!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - I must admit I was confused last month while at Spring Valley. Some of the guys were telling me that the river was so low, not enough snow. Then ten minutes later another guy was saying it was high. 
stevemn - Kris, tell Kaz Steve Fellegy is lookin' forward to seeing him!
Kristine Houtman, MWC - I will, Steve. He and Bev are looking forward to seeing everyone. It's just two weeks now!
stevemn - I will only fish Mille Lacs, with Juls.
Chatman - We are winding down, has Kristine missed any questions so far? Now is the time to ask.
WalleyeBum - Kristine the confirmation packets are out, will the Boat #s follow?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Mike Hurless has a great group of volunteers together for Spring Valley. It's bound to be a little bit different with the Cabela's bus and the computerized screens for weights, etc., but it should be an exciting transition too.
Chatman - Well the hour has slipped away.....
Warrior - Is the weigh in going to be run differently this year, to make it more fan friendly?
Kristine Houtman, MWC - Kris and I will organize boat numbers tomorrow afternoon. We'll put it on the bulletin board on our website as soon as we can. But for sure by Friday. Then we'll mail it out.
Kristine Houtman, MWC - I know it's confusing, but my assistant's name is Kris Mauersberger! So there's a Kris and a Kristine!!
Chatman - Ladies and Gentlemen, a warm round of applause for Kristine Houtman of the MWC!!!
SUPERTROLLER - Clap, clap, clap, clap!!
Juls - Clap, clap, clap, clap, thanks Kristine! Great job! ;-)
Den. - Clap, clap, clap!
Driftr - Clap, clap, clap!!!
stevemn - Clap, clap, clap!
Chatman - Clap, clap, clap!!
Warrior - Clap, clap, clap!!
ETT - Clap, clap, clap, clap!
goose - Thank You Kristine!
WalleyeBum - Clap, clap, clap! 
Chatman - Thanks again Kristine! Feel free to 
stick around or come back often.
walleyer - Clap, clap, clap!!
stevemn - Yes, good job Kristine!