IOWA Walleye Tour To Visit Five Island Lake This Sunday
I.O.W.A. Publicity Director
Teams competing in the Iowa Organization of Walleye Anglers (I.O.W.A.) Team Walleye Tournament Trail for the 2011 season are making preparations for the first qualifier at Five-Island Lake in Emmetsburg this Sunday, April 17.
The I.O.W.A. trail will feature four regular season tournaments highlighted by the State Championship on Oct 22-23 at Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi River.
“This will be our first trip to Five Island. The community of Emmetsburg spent over $1.5 million in dredging and improvements to the lake with the goal of improving water quality and depth. This time of year is a great time to be fishing Five Island.”
In addition to the normal four qualifier series, the I.O.W.A. circuit this year will feature a series of open events that anyone can fish with an entry fee of $125. The regular qualifiers will still be $240 for a two-person team entry.
In addition to the typical 80 percent payback based on number of entries, sponsorships this year will continue to help provide additional cash and prizes.
Lund Boats will offer a $500 Lund Boat Bonus for the highest placing team fishing out of a Lund boat at each qualifier. Several other corporate sponsors are offering special awards: The Humminbird Team of the Year Award, The MinnKota Runner-Up Team of the Year Award, the Wright County Motors $500 cash bonus, the King’s Point drawing for 2-two-night’s lodging at King’s Pointe Resort of Storm Lake and FCIS Anglers Choice Insurance of Forest City is offering a $1000 in cash to the Rathbun Qualifier payout.
Higgins shared the excitement of a new catch, measure, photo and release procedure for this year. “Before, because of mortality concerns, we had to jam so many of our tournaments before June. Now, through the efforts of our I.O.W.A. Advisory Board and the Iowa DNR biologists, we have developed a plan that expands this time frame.”
Here is how this format will work. All teams must have a digital camera with a memory card and must use the same Judge 33″ ruler to measure the fish. At the morning check-in, teams will be given a certain color decal that will go on the upper portion of the ruler.
At the same time, teams will no longer have to decide which fish to keep, It eliminates the slot issue and the culling rule.
“Each team will get to measure and photo all fish caught and select the best six fish for the weigh-in. Those slot fish and those over-fish can now be measured, photos snapped and the fish quickly released.” adds Higgins.
The fishing competition itself runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, The weigh-in becomes a highlight for each team. “For this tournament, we’ll be holding the weigh-in in the Grand Ballroom at the Wild Rose Casino. By the time the teams arrive, the weigh-in will commence at approximately 3:30 p.m. “This will be a great place for the public to witness the new weigh-in process,” says Higgins.
To learn more about the I.O.W.A. circuit, check out the I.O.W.A. website (www.walleyepromotions.com), which contains all the rules, registration, schedule, special awards, contact information and sponsors. Interested anglers can call (515) 571-1085 or email Dean Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I.O.W.A. corporate sponsors include Lund Boats, MinnKota, Humminbird, Berkley, FCIS Anglers Choice Insurance of Forest City, Brightwells Boathouse, King’s Pointe Resort of Storm Lake and Wright County Motors of Belmond and Clarion.