Teams Joseph and Zaborski troll to LEWT wins
The Western Basin Sportfishing Association (WBSA) held the second event of the Triton Boats/Evinrude E-TEC Lake Erie Walleye Trail (LEWT) in Sandusky, Saturday, May 14. The day started off with 24 teams registering and launching. Once again mother nature showed that you really don't know what the weather is going to be like until you wake up and get to the ramp. Despite a bad forecast on Friday, Saturday turned out to be a very nice day on the water with just a few showers mixed in to the mostly cloudy day. Anglers were greeted with coffee and donuts provided by West Marine and Boat US.
The teams found the fishing hard after the rough water on Friday but teams were able to start to put a program together as the day progressed. The anglers were greeted with Pizza from Hungry Howies in Lorain when they returned to the Shelby Street Ramp at 3 PM.
The championship division ended up being quite a shoot out with 1 pound separating the top three places. Winners in the Championship points 2 man division were: 1st place - 4 fish for 21.95 lbs. - Tim Joseph of Utica and Jeff Lash of Lawrence $800, 2nd place - 5 fish for 21.5 lbs. - Wayne Jesionowski and Gary Zart both of Hinkley $464, 3rd place - 5 fish for 20.95 lbs. - Chris Morris of Oregon and Nathan Scheid of Oregon $340, 4th place - 5 fish for 19.15 lbs. - Keith Condon of Metamora and Jeff Pawlaczyk of Metamora $164. Keith and Jeff also won the big fish award in the championship division with a walleye weighing 9.55 lbs. that was worth another $300.
Money winners in the open division were: 1st place - 4 fish weighing 17.7 lbs. - Mike Zaborski of Sheffield Lake, Stan Zaborski of Sheffield Lake and Ed Zaborski of Wakeman $600, 2nd place - 3 fish 10.1 lbs - Steve Carlson of Clinton, Jim Stedke of Wapakoneta and Larry Weiss of Oak Harbor $320. Team Zaborski also took big fish honors with a 7.55 walleye that paid $100.
The teams talked about fishing from as far east as Lorain, to West Reef to the west, to the Canadian line to the north and everywhere in between. The techniques used were as far ranging as the fishing locations with fish being caught on Reef Runner crank baits as well as other cranks, Michigan Stinger spoons and worm harness'. The winning team in the championship division found their fish on the east side and north side of Kelly's Island in 40' of water. "One first fish came on a Reef Runner up high in the water column. After catching another one on a crankbait our last two came on a harness" remarked Tim Joseph.
The points race for team of the year is very tight with all teams still in the running to take the honor and the cash payout at the end of the year. The top 4 currently are separated by only eight points with Condon and Pawlaczyk leading the field.
In addition to the cash prizes awarded there were over $1000 worth of merchandise and food handed out to the participants. The top merchandise awards were an inflatable PFD donated by Boat US, a large Plano tackle box donated by West Marine and a large assortment of Reef Runners donated by Sportsmans Outpost. Other merchandise and food donations were made by Triton Boats, Evinrude E-Tec Motors, Reef Runner Lures, Cranberry Creek Marina, Kipawa Propellers, Hungry Howies, Fishermans Wharf, Buckeye Rod Maker and Tasmanian Devil Spoons.
The final statistics for the two divisions were as follows. Championship Division – 17 boats, 44 fish weighed, total weight of 168.7 lbs and an average weight of 3.83 lbs. per fish. Open Division – 8 boats, 12 fish weighed, total weight of 41.85 lbs. and an average weight of 3.49 lbs. per fish. Totals for both divisions combined were 56 fish caught, 210.55 total lbs with an average of 3.76 lbs per fish.
A big thank you goes out to the club members who have helped as volunteers at the first two events of the year and Jim McConville from Lowrance Electronics for emceeing the event.
Openings still exist in both divisions for the remainder of this tournament series. The next event will be in Vermilion Ohio at the Shelby Street Municipal ramp on June 11th. For more information about the WBSA or the LEWT you can visit www.wbsa.us The LEWT is sponsored by Triton Boats, Evinrude E-TEC (BRP), West Marine, Boat US, Reef Runner Lures, Cranberry Creek Marina, Kipawa Propellers, Hungry Howies Pizza, Michigan Stinger Spoons, Sportsman's Outpost, Erie Outfitters, Buckeye Rod Maker, Jims Taxidermy, Fishermans Wharf and Tasmanian Devil Spoons. More sponsors have expressed an interest in this series and could be on board for the next event.