MWC World Walleye Championship Recap

MWC World Walleye Championship Recap

Another MWC Championship has come and gone, and here I sit typing still without that elusive championship ring and trophy.  Ugh, gosh I wanted this one bad…  It was one in which I thought we might have been able to get an edge: a trolling bite, big water, and on our home court.  If tough conditions prevailed, which they did, I thought we would be able to use  our local knowledge to take home the crown.  Ehhhhhhhh, not so much…

Typically October is a transition time for Erie walleyes.  They are migrating west to the spring spawning grounds of western Erie, and fattening up for winter on massive schools of bait along the south shoreline and river mouths.   Mother Nature leading up to the tournament was a mean B.  Winds constantly turning from all directions at 20+, precipitation, and big time fluctuating temperatures.  The lake was churned up like a clogged toilet bowl.

A ‘Fish Huron’ tournament had launched the week prior on a tough bite, and of the 100+ boat field, almost all of them had went west, and a very modest 19lbs won on Lake Erie in October.   Let me say that again, 19 pathetic pounds won on Erie, com’n mother Erie, are you kidding me?   I just knew in my head that she had way more in her, and that wouldn’t cut it a week later for our championship.  Hats off to the team that won the Huron tournament on a very tough bite tough.   I was running around Vermillion and East that day, hardly saw a boat all day, and just had giant slob walleye marks all over my Lowrance Screen, granted I couldn’t them to bite, but nor did I really fish them hard as I usually spend my first day or so of practice just graphing around with my electronics.   I just knew that these fish would be firing by the end of the week, I just damn knew it, and I felt it semi-worthless to mess around with the smaller island fish out West.   So the week of practice progressed, we caught smaller fish out west, and the further east we went, the bigger and much rounder the fish were.

Even though we had trouble getting the big ones to really fire the way we wanted to out East, local knowledge told us big ones were firing at night and the perch boats were catching nice walleye out there while perching.  I also expected the bite to improve during the tournament with warm weather and South winds.  That’s what always happens on Erie! With the tournament looming, we had a pretty good idea most of the field would be heading to some structure in the western basin and playing bumper boats trying to grind out a limit of smaller fish.  Not what we were interested in or our cup of tea.   We swang big and went east to Avon on day one.  It didn’t happen and no body really got them like you would expect this time of year.   Day 2 and 3 we had to do the same thing as there was no way we were going to catch up on the smaller fish to the West.  Again it didn’t happen, and the guys that stayed on the smaller consistent fish out west prevailed.  Hats off to you guys: a tough bite, you ground it out, great tournament, you will be a World Champion forever.  Most of the top boats were fishing either Kelly’s or Gull Island Shoal.  These are greats spots under shifting strong wind conditions as the winds create lots of current and the off-shore proximity of this structure consistently holds good water color; granted not the biggest fish this time of year, but very catchable.

As for me, I’ve been a very consistent angler over my career.  Lots of top tens, top fives, usually somewhere in the top 30%, even multiple Team of the Year titles.   Its been great start to my career; gotten me lots of media coverage, and helped me build up an unbelievable line-up of sponsors.  Its all good, but I’m done.  I’m done with consistency.  I recently heard a quote from a walleye tournament great: “I’m done fishing for limits, I fish for big fish, if I catch 5, I win.”  This is the mindset we took into this tournament, and I have absolutely zero regrets on our decisions.  If another tournament set up the exact same way on Erie in October in the future, I would do the exact same thing.

Thank you sponsors and all of my followers for the support.   Thank you for reading this.  Expect more of these type of tournaments from me in the future.   When I’m in big tournaments from here on out, I could care less about top 10s or 5s, there is only one thing I want to do, WIN.