I.O.W.A. Championship Final Results
Roehlk, Mitchell Hang on to Take I.O.W.A. Hootersí Walleye State Championship
By Steve Weisman
I.O.W.A. Publicity Director
Gotta love it when a plan comes together! Thatís what happened at the I.O.W.A. Hootersí Walleye State Championship, Sunday, October 15, when the team of Scott Roehlk from Davenport and Ken Mitchell from Maquoketa put together a two-day 9-fish weight of 13.3 pounds to take the $11,500 first place purse!
It wasnít an easy win, though, as the second place team of Bruce Sparks from Des Moines and Jesse Roush from Clive ended up with a two day 8-fish weight of 13.08 pounds, good for $1800.
"What a finish!" declared I.O.W.A. Director Dean Higgins. "Fishing was tough, but I feel that these teams really put on a show for the crowd today!"
Roehlk talked about the tight finish. After weighing in six fish on Saturday, he and Mitchell could only bring in three on Sunday. "Boy was that close," said Roehlk. "In the first two hours all we could catch were 14 inchers. Our first spot died on us, so we bailed out and went down river to fish two of our favorite wing dams. In the first three passes we caught our three fish."
Trouble then arrived in the form of commercial fishermen, who ran their nets, stopping Roehlk and Mitchellís trolling run. They were able to boat no more keepers the rest of the day. "I really think we could have taken another fish or two, but what can you do? We knew we were either going to be heroes or zeroes," laughed Roehlk.
Sparks noted that he and Roush also only weighed three fish on Sunday. However, it was Saturdayís lost fish that had them shaking their heads. "We had four keeper fish that got off close to the boat on Saturday. It normally doesnít happen, but I think the weather made the fish more finicky. They werenít really smacking the Shad Raps, and I think thatís probably why we lost those fish."
Third place and a check for $1000 went to the team of Joel Shaw from Fairfield and Dave Smithburg from Libertyville with a 6-fish weight of 11.74 pounds.
Taking fourth place and a check for $750 with a 5-fish weight of 10.65 pounds was the team of Jack Davis from Mason City and Dan Krauth from Clear Lake. They also took home the Cabela's Big Fish award of a $100 certificate for their 2.73-pound walleye taken on Saturday.
Roehlk and Mitchell also won the $500 Stow Master Award for being the highest placing team using a Stow Master net.
The team of Carl and Dan Griese from Dolliver took home the Towtector Shield Comeback Award of two Towtector Shields for the team making the greatest comeback from Day I to Day II. They weighed no fish on Saturday but came back with a six-fish limit weight of 8.95 pounds to move all the way up to sixth place. They also won the Berkley Family Team Award of two rod and reel combos valued at $100 each for the highest placing family team.
The Need Mack's Lure Award of $200 went to the team of Joe and Kathy Kirk from Urbandale.
The top teams all spent most of their time fishing the Sylvan Slough area. The winners long-lined chartreuse/perch and purple demon Wally Divers. Although several teams fished the same general area, Roehlk noted the respect shown among the teams.
Sparks and Roush worked a wash out area with jointed Shad Raps. However, they would hover on the spot, letting the current move the Shad Raps. "We used two dead rods and then we each held a rod and would give a slow pump up and then let the bait go back. The natural color worked better on Saturday, but crawdad and firetiger worked better today," said Sparks.
Shaw and Smithburg worked the right arm of Sylvan Slough. They boated four fish on Saturday, but their bite died on Sunday, and they could only bring in two keepers on Day II. Shaw said their technique was to "troll up slow-stall out and hover." Hot tiger 7S and 5S Shad Raps and the natural colored jointed Shad Rap were the best baits. "We also fished with three different weights of Power Pro line-10/2, 20/6 and 30/8 to run the baits at different depths," added Shaw.
This now ends the inaugural season for the I.O.W.A. walleye circuit. "It has been a great year," said Higgins. "Iím really proud of the teams that have fished the circuit, and I look for more numbers next year. I also want to thank the great sponsors that helped make this first year go so well."
All of the latest news on the I.O.W.A. circuit can be found at the I.O.W.A. website (www.walleyepromotions.com).
Anglers interested in learning more about the I.O.W.A circuit can call (515) 571-8946 or they can email the I.O.W.A. staff at email@example.com.
Sponsors for the 2006 I.O.W.A Walleye Tournament Trail include Lund Boats, Mercury Outboards, Yacht Club/Eagle Trailers, Algona Marine and Sport, Humminbird, MinnKota, Berkley, Cabela's, TowTector, Stow Master, Smooth Moves Seats, Mack's Lure, Motor Inn Auto Group, Hooters of Iowa, Fort Dodge Ford and the Iowa Walleye Magazine.