The 2006 Nebraska Walleye Trail came to a close July 29th and 30th at Merritt Reservoir with the 2006 NWT State Championship.
We started the season on April 23 at Sherman Reservoir for the 11th Annual Rose Placzek Memorial. This was an early tournament with a tough bite. As best I could figure the walleye had just finished spawning less than a week prior to this event. Lots of males were caught near the lakes main spawning area. Nobody was able to bring a 5 fish limit to the scales. 4 fish won the tournament, weighing in at 15.61 lbs. Big fish was a nice one weighing in at 8.64 lbs. 2006 Rose Placzek Memorial Results
The second stop for the NWT was at Merritt Reservoir for the 2006 Chamber Open Walleye Tournament. This was another early tournament with yet another tough bite. This lake is a little bigger and deeper lake with the spawn finishing less than a week before the tournament. Fish were scattered all over the lake. The typical spring pattern on this lake is slip bobbering the flooded trees, yet a solid pattern for this technique was tough to nail down. Most teams covered a lot of water to get their fish. We found our fish in shallow water along the dam. There was a LOT of walleye up there, it just took all day to get a couple in the boat. My partner Pete Meister and I were pleased to finish in 10th place.2006 Merritt Chamber Open results
The third stop for us was the 2006 Shut Up and Fish tournament at Lake McConaughy. This was the biggest tournament of the year with the best bite, 148 teams brought 1,155 walleyes to the scales for a total of 3001 lbs. This lake continues to be the best walleye factory in Nebraska. Fish could be caught nearly anywhere on the lake using any type of tactic. 2006 Shut Up and Fish Results
Stop number four brought us to Harlan County Reservoir for the 2006 Harlan Anglers Tournament. This was another one day tournament with yet another tough bite. Fish under the 18 inch minium size limit were easier to find, and the keepers were far and few between. Big fish for this tourney was a dissappointing 4.7 lbs. You know the bite is tough when 2 fish will get you in the money! 2006 Harlan Anglers Tournament
We returned to Harlan County Reservoir the following weekend for the 5th stop on the trail. This was the Nebraska Governor’s Cup Walleye Tournament. The bite certainerly didn’t improve from the week before yet a few fishermen were finally able catch more than two fish a day. The winners were the only team able to come close to catching 5 fish a day. They caught their fish on crawler rigs behind bottom bouncers. Others coming up with more than 2 fish a day were trolling cranks in 7 feet of water or less. My partner and I pulled off a 15th place finish with a 2 day total of 9.2 lbs. 2006 Nebraska Governor’s Cup Walleye Tournament Results
Stop number 6 took us back to Sherman Reservoir for the Trade Winds Marina Walleye Tournament. Dialing in on susspended fish was the name of the game at this 2 day tournament. Only a few days prior to this tournament you could still pull some keepers from shallow water. With the water temps warming fast and the lake level dropping due to irriagation these fish quickly went into their summer pattern. Most of the keepers were caught over 25-30 feet of water down 10 to 14 feet. Everyone had their own ideas of what lure it took to put fish in the boat. For us we liked the new Berkley #7 Flicker Shad. The color didn’t seem to matter much. We figured the walleye liked the incredible action of these brand new baits. Anyway, we were lucky enough to get 16th place and finish the year 9th in the NWT final points standings. This also qualifies us for next years Cabela’s National Team Championship.
2006 Trade Winds Marina Tournament Results
We finished up the year at Merritt Reservoir for the NWT State Championship. We were so glad the points race was over and the pressure was off. This was a miserable tournament with temperatures well over 100 for our two days of pre-fishing and also for the 2-day tournament. This made for a tough bite but there were a lot of nice fish caught. Jigging the trees in 20 feet of water was the winning ticket with the majority of the top 20 finishers trolling cranks over the tree tops. We chose the most expensive game, trolling the tree tops. We lost well over 25 cranks a day but that’s what it took to catch fish. We just didn’t have enough luck on our side as we finished in 19th place. 2006 NWT State Championship Results
It was another great year for the Nebraska Walleye Trail. This was our third year on the trail and was by far the most fun. It seems that at every tournament we meet more people and learn more about walleye fishing than I ever dreamed of. It’s just sad to think that we have to wait until April 2007 to see all of the great friends we’ve made over the last three years.