In second place, Michigan’s Wayne Van Dyke, of Spruce, and Erich Carlson, of Presque Isle, weighed in seven fish for 47 pounds, 12 ounces, worth $5,300 in cash. / Contributed photo
The team of Ryan Dempsey of Oneida and Adam Adler of Oconto Falls claimed the top prize at the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit on the Bay of Green Bay at Oconto on June 20-21.
Dempsey and Adler caught just over 60 pounds of walleye in what was two rainy days on the water. The top prize was $10,500 out of a pool of $47,000
With the third largest daily haul of the tournament – 35 pounds – Wayne Van Dyke of Spruce, Mich., and Erich Carlson of Presque Ilse, Mich., laned in second place with 47.12 pounds.
They also notched the big fish award for an 8 pound, 9-ouncer caught the second day.
The second biggest daily catch – just over 39 pounds – was on the first day by the eventual third place finishers, Randy Gaines of Salem, Ohio and Mike Rhoades of South Bend,, Ind.
Few other teams even managed to bring in 20 or even 15 pounds on either of the two days. Only the top 12 team had 20 pounds or more for both days.
Out of 80 teams, 24 were skunked both days.
Day one was steady rain and wind with waves of one to three feet, while day two started out with rain, but slightly less windy, with waves of one to two feet.
But with no lightning, the tournament proceeded. Several competitors said they were able to find more fish closer to shore and rocks.
“This fishing was not anywhere near what this bay can put out,” said tournament director Dan Palmer at the conclusion of the event. “We all know tough fishing is part of the game.”
However, many of the fisherman praised the Oconto community and the welcome from businesses and residents.
Palmer called Oconto harbor “a great venue” for the Cabela’s tournament.
“I hope we can come back here next year,” he said. “All of the anglers just love coming here.”
The Oconto tournament was the sixth stop on the Cabela’s MWC this season.
1–RYAN DEMPSEY, ONEIDA WI and ADAM ADLER, OCONTO FALLS WI 5/37.15 4/22.10 T60.09
2–WAYNE VAN DYKE, SPRUCE MI and ERICH CARLSON, PRESQUE ILSE MI 2/12.11 5/35.01 T47.12
3–RANDY GAINES, SALEM OH and MIKE RHOADES, SOUTH BEND IN 4/39.07 1/1.11 T41.02
4–JOHNNIE CANDLE, DEVILS LAKE ND and DENNIS SKURULSKY, WAUKESHA WI 3/17.14 4/14.07 T32.05
5–STEVE VANDEMARK, LINWOOD MI and ROB RUCKMAN, FREELAND MI 3/10.05 5/17.11 T28.00
6–TOM HOINACKI, WAUPUN WI and KIETH DANIELS, FOND DU LAC WI 5/15.02 2/10.08 T25.10
7–PAUL GUTOWSKI, DE PERE WI and MICHAEL GUTOWSKI, APPLETON WI 3/16.15 2/7.06 T24.05
8–SCOTT LUDWIG, FARMINGTON MN and JEFF OTIS, ROSEMOUNT MN 2/6.11 4/16.06 T23.01
9–TROY MORRIS, FARGO ND and COREY HEISER, WEST FARGO ND 4/17.05 2/5.06 T22.11
10–KEVIN BLANCK, MALONE WI and KEN MARKLEIN, INGALLS MI 5/19.04 and 2/3.05 T22.09