2018 Team of Year
The Nebraska Walleye Trail anglers gathered at Outcasts bar and grill on August 17th to bring the 2018 season to a close. The anglers shared a meal provided by Ranger Boats, Thank you Ranger! Every year the anglers look forward to the Team of the Tear banquet, it’s a great time of comradery and recognition.
This year’s point’s race was tight one and came down to the last event at Merritt. After the final tally, the team of Mike Woerth and James Paul II came out on top and were crowned Team of the Year for the 2018, congratulations gentlemen. Mike and James won the final tournament at Merritt to secure the TOY. They were awarded cash, a pair of custom engraved St. Croix rods, and a Minn Kota Certificate. Also, of note Mike and James were awarded the Sportsmanship award this year. Again, Congratulations on a great year guys.
Team of the Year: Mike Woerth & James Paul II
In a very close second place finish was the team of Jeff Synak and Logan Spanel. They also fished strong all year, won the Big Mac Shut & Fish, and had a great year. They received cash and a pair of Smooth Move seats.
2nd Place TOY: Jeff Synak & Logan Spanel (Joe Thielen pictured sub for Logan)
Rounding out the top 3 this year was Justin Heflin and Ethan Penner.
3rd Place TOY – Justin Heflin and Ethan Penner
Finishing 4th was the team of Casey Williams Kent Leibhart.
5th place was Brian Regelin and Brett Vinzant.
6th place was Derek Wagner and Derek Rossen.
7th place was Andy Huff and Shane McCoy
8th place was Tom and Justin Bliven.
9th place was JD and Danny Baker
10th place was Matt Klein and Danny O’Connel
In all this was a fantastic season on the trail. From all of us on the board we would like to thank all the anglers, sponsors, and individuals that stepped up and made these tournaments happen. When you’re out and about make sure to support our sponsors and tell them thank you.
Thanks again and we hope to see everyone next year.
2018 State Championship
Harlan County Reservoir
The Nebraska Walleye Trail held the state championship at Harlan county Reservoir this year on August 18th and 19th. This tournament was two day combined weight event. We received some great help from the Harlan Anglers crew and they did a great job. Make sure and tell them thank you when you see them.
The quality of fish in Harlan right now is great and the anglers caught a lot of nice walleyes over the two day tournament. Most anglers trolled crankbaits to catch fish, but some fish come on vertically jigged hard baits. Saturday was a beautiful day on the water and Sunday,…well you had better have some good rain gear because it poured in the morning!
The team Knaggs and Probst jumped out to early lead on day one with 5 walleyes weighing 18.42 lbs. However, when the day 2 weigh-in rolled around it was none other than Mike Woerth and James Paul with yet another tournament win in 2018. Mike and James trolled crankbaits both days to catch their 10 walleyes that tipped the scales at 34.21 lbs. Congratulations to Mike and James on a fantastic year!
2018 runner-up team was Waldron and Waldron who were also trolling crankbaits near the dam to catch their fish. They weighed 10 for 30.53 lbs.
The team of Stuhmer and Wheeler rounded out the top 3 with 9 walleyes weighing 28.08 lbs. They also had big fish of the tournament with a 8.59 lb walleye.
Day one leaders Knaggs and Probst came in 4th, weighing 8 walleyes for 26.61 lbs.
Rounding out the top 5 was the team of Derek Wagner and Derek Rossen with a weight of 26.2 lbs of walleye.
What a great finish to a great year. From all us on the NWT Board, Thank you! Please stay up to date throughout the rest of 2018 and into 2019 on website and facebook page.
2018 Merritt Open Tournament
July 20, 2018
The Nebraska Walleye Trail finished up the points season race with the Merritt Open on July 8th. 50 teams took advantage of some nice weather and good fishing that Merritt has to offer. We definitely owe a big thank you to the folks that helped us out with the rules meeting and weigh-in.
The weather was nice and the winds were typical Nebraska winds…blowing, but that did seem to improve the bite. Most teams caught walleyes, it was just a matter of getting the better fish in the system to go. Fish came from all over the lake and were caught on a variety of methods including jigs, live bait, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. When the weigh-in concluded it was the team of Mike Woerth and James Paul II that weighed 5 walleyes for 23.14 lbs. They were trolling crankbaits in the Snake arm of the lake. 2nd place was taken by Travis Riley and David Bargell who also had 5 walleyes that weighed 19.48 lbs. They pitching jigs to the weeds in the lake. Scott Phillipi and Dave Howell took 3rd place with another 5 fish limit that weighed 19.34 lbs. 4th place was Justin Heflin and Ethan Penner they had 5 walleyes for 19.00 lbs. Rounding out the top five was the team of James Miller and Jason Cooper, they caught 5 walleyes for 18.95 lbs. Big fish of the tournament was a 9.51 lb Merritt beauty caught by Tim Stuhmer and Joel Wheeler.
1st place – Mike Woerth and James Paul II
2nd place – Travis Riley & David Bargell
3rd place – Scott Phillipi & Dave Howell
4th place – Justin Heflin & Ethan Penner
5th place: James Miller & Jason Cooper
The rest of the top ten are as follows:
6th place: Dustin Favinger & Zane Vapenik – 18.94 lbs
7th place: Tom & Justin Bliven – 17.96 lbs
8th place: Joe & Jesse Thielen – 17.82 lbs
9th place: Andy Huff & Shane McCoy – 16.91 lbs
10th place: Robby Rowland & Jason Erickson – 16.41 lbs
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 Harlan County on August 18 & 19 so if you fished 2 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.
As announced at Merritt, we will be awarding a sportsmanship award as well this year, so if you have witnessed at team going above and beyond please contact the NWT board.
19th Annual Shut Up and Fish Tournament
June 29, 2018
The 19th annual Shut Up & Fish walleye tournament on lake McConaughy was held June 23rd & 24th . This was a 2 day combined weight tournament hosted and put on by Vogl’s Lodge and Lure. 39 teams took on a pretty tough bite, not normally what “Big Mac” is known for in June.
The teams headed out Saturday morning in hopes to put 5 walleyes on the scales come weigh-in time. At the end of the day it was Dustin Favinger and Zane Vapennik who caught 5 walleyes that weighed a total of 19.52 lbs to take the early lead.
Sunday was forecasted to have some severe weather so teams knew they would have to get after it early. When the weigh in concluded the team of Jeff Synak & Logan caught 9 walleyes weighing a total of 29.81 lbs to take the top spot. They were trolling crankbaits and live bait fishing to catch their fish. Most of the teams trolled crankbaits or live bait fished to catch the walleyes.
1st place – Jeff Synak & Logan Spanel
The Top 4 teams are pictured below. 2nd – Jim and Jacob Knaggs. 3rd – Dustin Favinger and Zane Vapennik. 4th – Scott Sundstrom & Jerry Vierya.
Big Fish of the tournament was a 10.03 lb Big Mac beauty caught by Dustin Favinger and Zane Vapennik. Considering the unusually tough bite and the weather, we would like to thank all the teams who came out and fished. We would also like to give a special thanks to Chad Vogl and Vogl’s lodge for putting on a great tournament. Please visit the Nebraska Walleye Trail website and facebook page for more pictures and information.
The next event on the Trail is the Merritt Open held at Merritt on July 8th. This will be a special 1 day tournament you won’t want to miss.