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Game Plan Propels Toadvine, Helton to Ohio State Championship of Walleye Fishing Title
By Steve Weisman
GNWC Publicity Director
Sticking with the game plan that had given them the Day I lead with a six-fish limit weight of 13.08 pounds, the team of Jason Toadvine from Springfield, OH and David Helton from Fairborn, OH stayed on top and brought home the $5000 first place check at the Ohio State Championship of Walleye Fishing on the Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC) circuit.
In addition, the winners were awarded the Lowrance "YOU WIN!" award of two Lowrance LMS-332C color sonar/GPS units valued at $1400, making the total first place purse worth $6400.
Toadvine and Helton brought in a five-fish weight of 11.38 pounds on Sunday for a two-day total weight of 24.46 pounds.
Second place and a check for $2000 went to the team of Mike and Tom Defibaugh from Bellefontaine, OH with a two-day weight of 17.95 pounds. They weighed only 6.56 pounds on Saturday, but came back with a six-fish limit weight of 11.39 pounds to move from fifth place on Saturday to second place on Sunday. They also won the Top Family Angler Award presented by the FoodSource Lure Company of $200 in FoodSource Lures.
The team of Jonathan Siembor and Ronald Jewell from Andover, OH placed third with a two-day weight of 16.85 pounds. They won a $1000 for their efforts.The Cabelas Big Fish Award of a $200 shopping spree and the optional Big Fish Pot of $520 went to the team of Mike Landsberger from E. Palestine, OH and John Stout from Warren, OH with the 5.48-pound walleye they caught on Saturday.
The Ohio State Championship of Walleye Fishing is the second of seven such tournaments on the Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC) circuit.
"This was a great tournament. I really want to thank the community of Springfield and Marine Works for all that they did for the GNWC teams. They really welcomed us and did the little things that have made this a memorable experience for all of us," said GNWC Executive Director Bernie Barringer.
"Congratulations are in order for Jason and David. They took the lead and never looked back. Mike and Tom Defibaugh, our Yamaha Outboards Team of the Year, put together a strong second day, but they were too far back after the first day."
The game plan for Toadvine and Helton was to fish a series of humps on the east side of the lake, targeting walleyes suspended just off the break. They pulled Reef Runner Rip Shads at 2.7-3.0 mph. "Everything played out perfect for us," said Toadvine. Although they caught fish consistently both days, their big "window of opportunity" came right before Saturday afternoon's thunderstorm.
"After the first day, we felt we needed to get a couple of kicker fish, if we wanted to win the championship. We caught one over three pounds about 10:30 this morning and a second fish just like it about 12:30," added Toadvine.
When Mike and Tom Defibaugh left the take-off site on Saturday, they knew they were up against the odds. "Our main motor quit on us, and we had to use our kicker. We spent both days trolling Reef Runner Rip Shads, but we also wanted to try jigging a couple of spots. With the main motor out, we knew we couldn't do that," said Mike Defibaugh.
However, pulling Rip Shads was good enough for second place. "We worked a series of humps that topped out at 15-16 feet. We just made big circles and kept cutting back over the top of the humps," noted Defibaugh.
Their strikes quite often came two at a time. "Our first two fish on Saturday came at the same time. Both boards went back, and we had two fish. It seems that the walleyes on this lake feed like crazy for short periods of time and then shut off."
That happened to the Defibaughs on Saturday. They had three fish by 10:30 and never caught another fish.
Siembor and Jewell trolled black/silver Cotton Cordell Grappling Shads along a channel edge at the northwest corner of the lake on Saturday and then switched to #5 black/silver Rapala Shad Raps on Sunday. Siembor said, "We kept circling the same area, going from 17-18 feet of water up to 12 feet of water. On Sunday, we had to switch to the Shad Rap, after our first fish, because we couldn't get another hit on the Grappling Shad."
Several other special awards were presented at Sunday's weigh-in.
The Skeeter Boats award of a $1000 for the top-finishing Skeeter owner went to the team of Chuck Sabatose from Brockport, PA and Rich Fike from Farmington, PA. They ran a ZX 1950 Skeeter powered by a 200 hp Yamaha and finished in fifth place with 11.39 pounds.
The "Yo So Close" award of a Yo Net folding net valued at $80 went to the teams that placed just out of the money. They include the team of David Johnson from S. Salem, OH and Jason Walls from Chillicothe, OH in 9th place; Kevin Vernon from Westerville, OH and Darik Warnke from Aurora, OH in 10th place; and Robert and Randy Cline form Novah, OH in 11th place.
The Towtector Comeback Award of a Towtector boat protector valued at over $269 went to the team advancing the most places from the first day to the second day. This award went to the team of Kevin Vernon from Westerville, OH and Darik Warnke from Aurora, OH. They advanced from a tie for 17th place to 10th place at the tournament's end.
Those interested in checking out the standings, reading the releases about any of the seven regions or simply learning more about the circuit can access the GNWC website at www.walleyecup.com.
Major national sponsors for the GNWC include Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Lowrance Electronics, YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO, Aqua-VU, Aqua Innovations, Cabela's and UpNorthOutdoors.com. National championship sponsors are Towtector Shield and the FoodSource Lure Corporation.