2019 State Championship
The Nebraska Walleye Trail
held its last event on September 14 & 15, 2019 at Lake McConaughy.
This event featured 28 teams that qualified and battled for the coveted
title of State Champion. Teams had to fish 3 of the 4 points tournaments
throughout the year.
When the dust settled Scott Willis & Justin Debrie came out on top with 39.7 pounds. The duo was trolling lead core and a variety of crankbaits to catch their fish on the west end. They received $4,500 for the victory in which $500 was sponsored by Arrow Aviation of Broken Bow. A huge thanks to Casey and Melissa Williams for sponsoring an added bonus to first place in all tournaments this past year.
The team of Ted Robinson and Marty Benson had a great tournament and received $3,000 for their second place finish. They were also trolling crankbaits on the west end. They weighed 36.17 pounds.
Bill Kunze and Brad Dush finished in third place with a weight of 31.94 pounds. They used a combination of “slabbing” and trolling to get their fish. They received $2,000 for their efforts.
Rick and Dan Waldron
managed a fourth place finish by weighing 28.62 pounds. They only had
6.23 pounds and were towards the bottom of the pack after day 1, but
weighed the second biggest basket on day 2 of 22.39 pounds to move up
Big fish was awarded to Ron & Seth Green that weighed in at 9.05 pounds. They received $500 for that Lake Mac walleye.
We would like to thank everyone for fishing the trail and look forward to seeing everyone again next year. Nebraska features some great fisheries and we feel fortunate to have great sponsors to help us put on the Nebraska Walleye Trail.
Harlan Angler Rod Marshall Memorial Tournament
The 8th annual Rod Marshall walleye tournament was held May 4 & 5 at Harlan County Reservoir. This was a 2 day combined weight event that was held in conjunction with the Harlan Anglers Walleye Club. 78 teams took advantage of the beautiful weather and fished the event. Harlan is not only full of water, but it is full of nice walleyes as well. Teams caught walleyes lake wide on different presentations, but live bait fishing and pulling crankbaits were the primary presentations.
The field was greeted with nice weather both days of the tournament. The close of day one saw the team of Casey Williams and Kent Leibhart sitting on top the leaderboard with 5 fish that weighed 21.01 lbs.
Sunday the field was greeted with another beautiful day. Casey and Kent were able to hold on to the lead with another big bag that weighed in at 23.60 giving them a two total of 44.61 lbs. Casey and Kent were fishing live bait to catch their fish.
Finishing in 2nd place with another impressive weight was the team of Quinn and Frederick with 43.42 lbs of walleye. They were also using live bait to catch their fish.
3rd place was taken by Debrie and Willis with 40.53 lbs, they were using live bait to catch their fish.
In 4th place with 39.62 lbs was the team of Weber and Hunter, they were live bait fishing to catch their fish.
Rounding out the top five was Kunze and Dush with 39.53 lbs. They were live bait fishing and trolling crankbaits to catch their fish.
Big fish of the tournament was caught by Abels and Abels weighed in at 9.42 lbs.
Overall, it was great turnout and we would like to thank everyone who fished the event and say a special thanks to the Harlan Anglers Walleye Club for putting it on. For complete results and standings check out the NWT website.
The next event on the Trail is the Shut Up & Fish tournament held at Lake McConaughy on June 8th & 9th. We hope to see everyone there.
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.
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!
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.
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.
3rd place was taken by Todd Weber and Mark Hunter with 8.10 lbs, they were using shiners to catch their fish.
In 4th place with 7.86 lbs were the Jansen’s. They were live bait fishing to catch their fish.
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.