2019 Merritt Open

The Nebraska Walleye Trail finished up the points season race with the Merritt Open on June 30th.  58 teams braved a summer heat wave to chase the fat walleyes that inhabit Merritt reservoir.  We definitely owe a big thank you to the folks that helped us out with the rules meeting and weigh-in.

With the hot weather the teams that did well caught their fish early in the morning for the most part.  Most of the fish were caught on spinnerbaits, jigs, and live bait.  Fish came from all over the lake, but finding the productive weed beds was key.  When the weigh-in concluded it was the team of Travis Riley & David Bargell that weighed 5 walleyes for 21.60 lbs.  They were fishing weeds with jigs to catch their fish.  2nd place was taken by Blaine and Brent Janssen who also had 5 walleyes that weighed 20.26 lbs.  They were fishing bait in the snake arm of the lake.  Veteran anglers James Miller and Jason Cooper threw spinnerbaits all day to take 3rd place with another 5 fish limit that weighed 19.97 lbs.  4th place was Curt Baker and Marie Wadas they had 5 walleyes for 19.51 lbs.  Curt and Marie were also throwing spinnerbaits to catch their fish.  Rounding out the top five was the team of Weaver and Weaver, they caught 5 walleyes for 19.24 lbs.  Big fish of the tournament was a 7.71 lb Merritt beauty caught by the Nadolski’s.

1st place – Travis Riley & David Bargell
2nd place – Blaine and Brent Janssen
3rd place – James Miller & Jason Cooper
4th place – Curt Baker & Marie Wadas
5th place:   Weaver & Weaver
Big Fish:  Nadolski & Nadolski

We would like to thank all the anglers that made this tournament another great event at Merritt Reservoir.  Also, thank you to the Frederick Peak Club club for hosting our rules meeting.  Please visit the Nebraska Walleye Trail website and facebook page for more pictures and information.

The final NWT tournament of the year will be the State Championship held at Lake McConaughy on September 14 & 15 so if you fished 3 of the regular season tournaments we hope to see you for the state championship.  We will also conclude our season with a meal and hand out the Team of the Year awards following the rules meeting Friday evening.

2019 Sherman Ice Out

The 2019 NWT season kicked off Sunday April 14th with the Sherman Ice Out tournament hosted by Trade Winds Marina at Sherman Reservoir.  50 teams gathered at the Colony Inn in Loup City on Friday evening for the rules meeting and registration.  The first order of business was to recognize Tim and Diane Hoffman as the 2019 inductees into the Nebraska Walleye Trail Hall of Fame.  Tim and Diane go way back and have done so much for the NWT over the years and deserve a big Thank You!

Tim and Diane Hoffman

Sunday morning was cold and the anglers felt the lingering effects of the major winter storm that rolled through on the prior Thursday.  The winds were light for Nebraska standards and the day turned out pretty nice.  Even the fish decided to bite after it warmed up a bit.  Most of the anglers were either using shiners or pulling crankbaits on leadcore to catch their fish.  Sherman Reservoir allows anglers to keep 2 fish between 15 and 20” and one over 28” per angler.  All though quite a few walleyes close to 28” were reported; no one landed an “over”.  This made the final weigh-in a game of ounces.  At the end of the day Hall of Famer Tim Hoffman and his son Shawn Hoffman weighed four walleyes for 8.72 lbs for the win.  They were fishing shiners to catch their fish.

1st Place – Hoffman & Hoffman

Finishing in 2nd place was the team of Mike Rein and Mike Green with 8.26 lbs of walleye.  They were using shiners and chubs to catch their fish.

2nd Place – Rein & Green

3rd place was taken by Todd Weber and Mark Hunter with 8.10 lbs, they were using shiners to catch their fish.

3rd Place – Weber & Hunter

In 4th place with 7.86 lbs were the Jansen’s.  They were live bait fishing to catch their fish. 

4th Place – Jansen & Jansen

Rounding out the top five was Brian Regelin and Jason Kruse with 7.85 lbs.  They were also live bait fishing to catch their fish.

Big fish of the tournament was caught by Scott Willis and Justin Debrie weighing in at 3.03 lbs. 

Overall, it was great turnout and we would like to thank everyone who fished the event and say a special thanks to Trade Winds Marina and the Colony Inn.  For complete results and standings check out the NWT website.

The next event on the Trail is the Rod Marshal Memorial at Harlan County Reservoir put on by the Harlan Anglers Walleye Club.  We hope to see everyone there.