First 2010 Lake Erie Walleye Trail Won by Father and Son Team-Sponsored by "Happy Hooker Bait and Tackle"
Thomas Sibert of Sandusky, OH and his Son Tommy Sibert of Castalia, OH have won the first LEWT event of the season with a five fish limit of 44.14 pounds!
Winds gusted up to 41mph this afternoon, whipping up the lake in a hurry and sending many teams back to the docks early. Those who chose to stay out managed to catch nice limits of fish, but were happy when they finally made it back in. All 50 teams made it back in safely.
Dust devils blew around the weigh in site, stinging eyes and gritting teeth. A big tent was torn from its steaks, sending people running for their vehicles parked along side it. And, if that wasn't enough to deal with, there was also rain that blew sideways on and off all afternoon.
With all that excitement going on, there was still a well run tournament to watch. Team after team brought in Walleye to the scales that in most areas of the country would be considered a fish of a lifetime, but here on Lake Erie, we have so many that it's almost expected to catch fish like that everytime out. When we don't we are disappointed.
The top three teams who topped the 40 pound mark today can say they brought in all "trophy fish" to the scales. The winning team had an average of 9 pounds per fish, but had "kicker" that went just over 12 pounds.
I spoke to Tommy Sibert after he weighed in and he shared their day with us:
Juls: Congrats! How does it feel?
Tommy: It feels great!
Juls: Can you tell our readers on Walleye Central what your day was like today? Obviously it went really well, but take us from start to finish, will you?
Tommy: Well, it went REAL well! (laughs) It was probably one of our better days. We got to our spot...we were just on the East side of "G" Can...probalby a half a mile or so, and we got set up and started trolling. We were running Gold Clown Reef Runner 20' back. I think we had our first big one in the first ten minutes, and we had another 4 fish in the next hour and a half. Then we were "stuck" until probably 1:00pm. Then the wind kicked up really bad, and all we could do was get a dead down wind troll, and we just got lucky...one of our boards went off right at the last second and it was a 12 pounder!
That wind, it was kick'n out there. It was 4 footers easy...maybe even fives.
Juls: You said your first fish was a big fish...how does that feel to catch a fish that size for your first fish during a tournament?
Tommy: Oh! I was estactic! (laughs) It's hard to explain...I was jumping up and down. There weren't too many people around, but if there were, they probably heard me. (laughs again). It feels great just pulling something like that in....nice! Nice!
Juls: Sweet! Ok, what kind of water were you fishing in today?
Tommy: I could see the cavitation plate...but, if the prop bounced up and down in the waves, I could see the prop. If it was calm, I couldn't see the prop, but I could see the cavitation plate.
We did pull some fish with the baits only about 17' back. 17 to 20 foot, there's not that much of a difference there, but....
Juls: So, with a Reef Runner that puts the baits at what? About 8 to 10 feet down? Nose bleed high?
Tommy: (Nods in agreement) Yeah, I'm figuring that puts it about 10 foot down...at the most.
Juls: So, today, those fish were "body surfing", eh?
Tommy: Yeah, I could see them on the fish finder. They would come through and I would see long drawn out lines across the sonar. Every one was high, and if I seen them...well, if it was at 8 foot...well, the cones only so big, so I had to figure there were a lot more around us than what we were seeing.
I don't know...It was GREAT! It's a good feel'n! (Smiles broadly)
In second place, and only 2.04 pounds behind the day's leaders is the team of Scott Geitgey of North Canton, OH and Joe Nadzam of Richfield, OH with a five fish limit of 42.10 pounds.
Juls: Scott (aka PapaScott on WC), congrats on your second place finish. This should make the folks at Vic's Sport Center proud to have made you part of Team StarCraft this year! Joe, well done! What were you guys doing today to catch your fish? Take us through your day today, will you?
Scott: We started out just East of Round Reef...there's a little point that sticks out in about 18 foot of water. We were trying to work the mudline that was there for the last two days, but today it had shifted a little further East. So, our first pass was very unproductive. We didn't pull a fish for about an hour and a half until we got back into "colored" water. In the second pass we were smart enough to look for the dirtier water and from then on it was just turning numbers of fish, just trying to get the highest weight that we could.
Juls: So, how were you going through so many fish. What was your program?
Scott: All of our fish came on "WoodPecker" RipSticks, and "SkinSquirrel"...the Bare Naked Pink Squirrel...40-55 back.
Juls: You said you were working 18 foot of water?
Joe: Yeah, 18-24 foot.
Scott: Speed was 1.0 to 1.3mph. I think our first two fish were two of our bigger fish, were caught while trolling into the waves...when the winds were light. Then, when the winds picked up there was no choice, but to go with the waves, and just hold on for dear life, and try to catch two upgrades (laughing).
Joe: And, we actually did catch two upgrades after that. We were in two to four foot waves...we set the trolling bags out and we were going .6-1.5mph (surges)...there were times where the boards were passing the front of the boat. (laughs)
Scott: Or, laying completely on their sides...(laughs again)
Joe: It was intimidating.
Juls: So, there's only one question left for you two...what does it feel like to take second place today?
Joe: It feels good! We're really happy!
Scott: It feels really good! Thanks Juls.
Bringing in the only other 40 plus pound limit today is the team of Dick Chicoine of Port Clinton, OH and his partner John Below of Marble Head, OH with basket of fish that weighed in at 40.08 pounds.
Due to wind in the voice recorder, their interview is inaudible, unfortunately. I can tell you however, that they were trolling crankbaits too.
In forth place is Charlie Robinson of Perrysburg, OH and his partner, Mike Zaborski of Sheffield Lake, OH with a five fish limit weighing in at 38.68 pounds.
And, rounding out the top five today is Dan Stier of Clearwater, MN and Dave Truett of Marble Head, OH with 38.18 pounds.
For full results please go to www.liveleaderboard.com.
Thanks for joining us here on Walleye Central for the first Lake Erie Walleye Trail event of the season. The next LEWT event is May 15th, 2010 out of Sandusky, OH.
For more information about the Western Basin Sport Fishing Association and the Lake Erie Walleye Trail, please go to www.wbsa.us