2017 Team of Year

               The Nebraska Walleye Trail anglers gathered at the Sands Edge bar and grill on August 19th to bring the 2017 season to a close, share a meal, and hand out the Team of the Year awards, prizes, and checks.  Every year the anglers look forward to the Team of the Tear banquet, it is a great time when friends and competitors come together to share stories, swap a few lies, share a few drinks, and just plain old have a good time.  As in year’s past the meal was sponsored by Ranger Boats.

                This year’s point’s race was tight one and came down to consistency and in some cases weathering the storm, all the anglers that hung in there for the Shut Up & Fish tournament know what I am talking about.  After the final tally, the team of Roger Sheckler and Kenney Gewecke came out on top with 532 points and were crowned Team of the Year for the 2017, congratulations gentlemen.  Roger and Kenney were consistent all year they had solid top 20 finishes in every tournament.  They were awarded $1400 in cash, a pair of custom engraved St. Croix rods, and a Minn Kota Certificate.

Team of the Year:  Roger Sheckler & Kenney Gewecke

Team of the Year:  Roger Sheckler & Kenney Gewecke

In a very close second place and no strangers to the podium was the team of James Miller and Jason Cooper with 531 points.  They made a late season charge at Merritt Reservoir with a strong jig fishing performance.  They received $1100 in cash and a pair of Smooth Move seats.

2nd Place TOY:  James Miller & Jason Cooper

2nd Place TOY:  James Miller & Jason Cooper

              Rounding out the top 3 this year was Randall Horine and Brandon Sinsel with 522 points.  For their efforts Randall and Brandon received a check for $900.  Finishing 4th and receiving $600 was the team of Jason Hettler and Brandon Shada with 520 points.  5th place was Bill McGannon and Brian Hunke with 515 points, they received a check for $500.  In 6th place was Rob Martensen and Greg Meckelburg with 510 points, they received a check for $400.  Finishing in 7th place and receiving $300 was with 508 points and total weight of 53.03 lbs was the father/son team of JD and Danny Baker.  In 8th place was Scott Willis and Ben Seim also with 508 points and a total weight of 45.03 lbs, they earned $250.  Finishing in 9th place and receiving a for $200 was Ron and Seth Green with 501 points and completing the top ten in 10th place was Travis Riley and David Burgell with 497 who earned a check for $150.

                In addition to the TOY awards The NWT started a traveling plaque for the Sportsmanship award.  This award was started to recognize a team that went above and beyond the call to help out others.  This year Nick Green and Blake Powers went of their way to catch and retrieve some other angler’s gear and return it to them.  For their good deeds, Nick and Blake received a traveling plaque and a paid entry to the 2018 state championship tournament.  Throughout the year anglers are encouraged to let the board know if they see a team going out of their way to help.

                In all this was a fantastic season on the trail, we had some of the biggest fields and largest payouts we have had in years.  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.

2017 State Championship

The Nebraska Walleye Trail in conjunction with the Nebraska Walleye Association held a combined state championship this past weekend at Lake McConaughy.  This tournament drew some of the best walleye anglers in the state.  Vogl’s Lodge & Lure ran the tournament and did a great job.  Make sure and tell Chad and his crew thanks when you see them.

The quality of fish in Big Mac right now is great and the anglers took advantage of good weather conditions and caught a lot of very nice walleyes over the two day tournament.  Most anglers used a combination of trolling spinnerbaits and crankbaits around the trees or vertically fishing jigging spoons in the trees to catch fish.

Rob Martenson and Greg Meckelburg jumped out to early lead on day one but with a slim lead and the big fish in Lake Mac, they knew they had to “catch’em” on day two.  Day two the weigh-in had plenty of excitement as some of guys caught some really nice fish and brought in some big bags to shake up the leaderboard.  Martenson and Meckelburg brought in another solid 5 fish limit for 18.06 lbs giving them a total of 38.45 lbs and were crowned Nebraska State Champions, Congratulations guys.  Bill Kunze and Brad Dush caught a 7 pounder with 5 minutes left to fish to make a late charge and take 2nd place with a total 35.16 lbs.  Derek Wagner and Derek Rossen flew up the leaderboard to claim 3rd with a great bag weighing 23.4 lbs giving them a two day total of 32.17 lbs.  They also had the big fish of the tournament, a 9.53 pounder.  Scott Willis and Ben Seim took 4th place with a total weight of 31.41 lbs and rounding out the top five was Jeff Synak and Logan Spanel with 30.64 lbs.

1st place – Rob Martenson and Greg Meckelburg

1st place – Rob Martenson and Greg Meckelburg

2nd place – Bill Kunze & Brad Dush

2nd place – Bill Kunze & Brad Dush

3rd place – Derek Wagner & Derek Rossen

3rd place – Derek Wagner & Derek Rossen

4th place – Scott Willis & Ben Seim

4th place – Scott Willis & Ben Seim

5th place:   Logan Spanel & Jeff Synak

5th place:   Logan Spanel & Jeff Synak

The rest of the top ten are as follows:

6th place:   Curt Baker & Marie Wadas

7th place:  Justin Debrie & Randy Coffman

8th place:   Newcomer & Huff

9th place:    Kruger and Walker

10th place:   Hunter & Weber

This was a great tournament and we would like to thank all the anglers and staff that made it happen.

2017 Merritt Open

The Nebraska Walleye Trail finished up the points season with the Merritt Open on July 9th.  54 teams braved the July heat and headed to Merritt reservoir.  We definitely owe a big thank you to the folks that helped us out with the rules meeting and weigh-in.

The NWT decided to start a Hall of Fame and the at the rules meeting Saturday evening the first inductee, Steve Isom was on hand to receive the award.  Thank you Steve for all your hard work and what you’ve done fort the NWT.

The weather was HOT and the winds were light which made for challenging conditions.  Most teams didn’t get many bites and the teams that capitalized on those few bites were rewarded for their efforts.  Most fish came out of shallow water on a variety of presentations which included jigs, live bait, and crankbaits.  When the weigh-in concluded it was the team of Bill Kunze and Brad Dush that weighed 5 walleyes for 20.74 lbs.  They were trolling crankbaits in the Snake arm of the lake.  2nd place was taken by James Miller and Jason Copper who also had 5 walleyes that weighed 18.19 lbs.  They were pitching jigs to the few remaining weeds in the lake.  Dennis and Shelby Vance took 3rd place with 3 quality fish that weighed 15.65 lbs.  4th place was Dustin Favinger and Zane Vapenik, they had 4 walleyes for 14.36 lbs.  Rounding out the top five was father/son team of Baker and Baker.  They caught 5 walleyes that weighed 14.08 lbs.  Big fish of the tournament was an 8.83 lb Merritt beauty caught by Sam Dondlinger and Chris Elliot.

1st place – Bill Kunze and Brad Dush

1st place – Bill Kunze and Brad Dush

2nd place – James Miller & Jason Cooper

2nd place – James Miller & Jason Cooper

3rd place – Dennis and Shelby Vance

3rd place – Dennis and Shelby Vance

4th place – Dustin Favinger &  Zane Vapenik

4th place – Dustin Favinger &  Zane Vapenik

5th place:   J.D Baker & Danny Baker

5th place:   J.D Baker & Danny Baker

The rest of the top ten are as follows:

6th place:   Sam Dondlinger & Chris Elliot

7th place:   Cliff Doty & Scott Haes 

8th place:   Damon Shada & Justin Weaver 

9th place:    Jason Hettler & Brandon Shada

10th place:   Steve Gildersleeve & Wade Johnson

  We would like to thank all the anglers that made this tournament one of the best attended tournaments ever 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 August 26 & 27 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.

18th annual Shut Up & Fish Walleye Tournament

The 18th annual Shut Up & Fish walleye tournament on lake McConaughy was held May 20th& 21st .  This was a 2 day combined weight tournament hosted and put on by Vogl’s Lodge and Lure.  74 teams braved some pretty horrible conditions on Saturday to go after the giant walleye that live in the depths of “Big Mac”.

The field was met with rain, wind, and even a little snow on Saturday making staying warm and dry pretty tough.  Despite the conditions some the anglers showed off what Lake McConaughy is capable of.  Numerous big fish weighing over 8 lbs were caught on Saturday.  At the end of the day it was Travis Sanger and Terry Zimmerman who caught 5 walleyes that weighed a total of 23.73 lbs to take the early lead.

In typical spring Nebraska weather fashion Sunday was a much welcomed change with warmer temps, some sunshine, and less wind.  When the weigh in concluded the team of Brian Canning & Mike Vorderstrasse caught 7 walleyes weighing a total of 39.93 lbs to take the top spot.  They were trolling crankbaits in deep water to catch their fish.

1st place – Brian Canning & Mike Vorderstrasse

1st place – Brian Canning & Mike Vorderstrasse

Finishing in 2nd place was the team of Ryan and Hunter Vowers, who caught 6 walleyes that weighed 36.31 lbs.  They were also trolling crankbaits in deep water to catch their fish.  They also had the big fish of the tournament, an 11.06 lb walleye.

2nd place – Vowers & Vowers

2nd place – Vowers & Vowers

Hunter Vowers with big fish, 11.06 lb Big Mac walleye

Hunter Vowers with big fish, 11.06 lb Big Mac walleye

3rd place was taken by Travis Sanger and Terry Zimmerman who caught 7 walleyes weighing a total of 35.88 lbs, they were using Big Eye Spinnerbaits to catch their fish.

3rd place – Sanger & Zimmerman

3rd place – Sanger & Zimmerman

The rest of the top ten are as follows:

4th place:   Steven and Dylan Thompson – 5 fish weighing 35.5 lbs. 

5th place:   Dan and Mitch Rosencutter – 6 fish weighing 31.99 lbs.

6th place:   Ron and Seth Green – 6 fish weighing 31.52 lbs. 

7th place:   James Miller and Jason Cooper – 6 fish weighing 31.5 lbs. 

8th place:   J.D and Danny Baker – 5 fish weighing 30.57 lbs.

9th place:   Jeremy Canning and Colten Cross – 6 fish weighing 30.18 lbs.

10th place:   Cliff Doty and Scott Haes – 10 fish weighing 29.71 lbs. 

Considering what Mother Nature dealt out it was great turnout and 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 9th.  This will be a special 1 day tournament with added money and give away items, you won’t want to miss this one.

The 2017 NWT season kicked off May 6 & 7 with the Rod Marshall Memorial tournament at Harlan County Reservoir.

The 2017 NWT season kicked off May 6 & 7 with the Rod Marshall Memorial tournament at Harlan County Reservoir.  This was a 2 day combined weight event that was held in conjunction with the Harlan Anglers Walleye Club.  85 teams took advantage of the beautiful weather and fished the event.  Catching walleyes on Harlan was not the issue, but finding the over 18” walleyes was a tough task, especially Saturday.

The field was greeted with calm conditions and flat water on Saturday, which made the bite tougher for most teams.  The close of day one saw the team of Ben Seim and Scott Willis sitting on top the leaderboard with 4 fish that weighed 15.30 lbs.

Sunday the field was greeted with absolutely opposite conditions with a stiff south wind that really turned on the walleyes.   With the bite turned on, teams were able to catch fish with a variety of presentations including live bait, trolling and casting crankbaits, and jig fishing.

When the weigh in concluded the team of Rob Martenson and Greg Meckelburg made a Sunday comeback to take the top spot with a total weight of 25.88 lbs.  Martenson and Meckelburg were trolling crankbaits to catch their fish.

1st place – Martenson & Meckelburg

1st place – Martenson & Meckelburg

Finishing in 2nd place was the team of Bill Kunze and Greg Belgum, with 24.94 lbs of walleye.  They were also trolling crankbaits to catch their fish.

2nd place – Kunze & Belgum

2nd place – Kunze & Belgum

3rd place was taken by Caleb Quinn and Travis Fredrick with 24.42 lbs, they were using live bait on the west end of the lake to catch their fish.

3rd place – Quinn & Fredrick

3rd place – Quinn & Fredrick

In 4th place with 23.6 lbs was the team of Scott Willis and Ben Siem, they were trolling crankbaits to catch their fish. 

4th place – Willis & Siem

4th place – Willis & Siem

Rounding out the top five was Randell Horine and Brendon Sinsel with 22.6 lbs.  They were also trolling crankbaits to catch their fish.

5th place – Horine & Sinsel

5th place – Horine & Sinsel

6th place was Roger Sheckler and Kenney Gewecke who weighed 21.14 lbs of walleye.  7th was Jared Beckman and Josh Beckman with 17.54 lbs.  8th was Jason Hettler and Brandon Shada with 16.86 lbs.  9th was Nate Newcomer and Jim Lindahl with 16.16 lbs and 10th was Chris Lynch and Brian Dittbrener with 15.94 lbs.

Big fish of the tournament was caught by Larry Riggs and Myron Brown and weighed in at 8.65lbs.

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 May 20th & 21st.  We hope to see everyone there.