Heavy rains in early April muddied up the Illinois River and made for difficult fishing conditions for a pair of one-day Illinois Walleye Trail qualifying tournaments Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, a total of 20 two-person teams only landed 12 keepers.
“Sunday … IWT anglers set out yet again for another day on the muddy Illinois. Water quality did not improve much over night, so the field was plagued with much of the same conditions,” Adam Sandor, tournament series director wrote in a press release. “However the bite did improve slightly from Saturday a few more fish were caught. A total of 15 fish were brought to the scales for a total weight of 29.97 pounds.:
“The winning team of Brian Ernat and Troy Nelson weighed in five sauger for 9.32 pounds to secure the win and $1,325. Brian andTroyalso had the big fish of the event a 3.08 sauger good for $190.”
John Dalzot and Joe Perez weighed three fish totaling 6.43 pounds and also collected $114 for having the second biggest fish and $500 as the top finisher in aLundboat.
Max Actis and Mike Stuckert won $525 for third place and 5.3 pounds of fish.
The weights fell off considerably after that, but not the payouts, as Mike Hanson and Matt Wohead’s one fish at 2.85 pounds secured fourth place and $350 for them as well as $74 for being the third biggest fish.
Steve Sandor and Jeremy Piacenti received $100 for being the topLundboats team finishing out of the money, and weighed just two fish for 2½ pounds for fifth place. Only three other teams weighed fish.
The next event is May 3-4, the two-day state championship in Savanna, Sandor said. The top 25 teams in the points race will compete for the State title next month.