2008 Tournament of Champions
Mississippi River Pools 4 & 5
Tournament Director: Peter Perovich
Randy Wieczorek Edges Out Andy Nitchals to Become the Minnesota Bass Federation Nation State Champion 2008September 5, 2008
Minnesota’s best amateur bass anglers tackled the sprawling waters of the Mississippi River for the Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation Tournament of Champions. Day one went like clockwork; all the anglers were on the water by 8:00 a.m. The perfect weather proved to be an advantage as the many bags of both largemouth and smallmouth bass brought to the scales prove the Mississippi River is a diverse and fertile bass fishery. Brian Brown of Breezy Point, MN led the pack on day 1 with 4 nice bass weighing over 12lbs, followed closely by Sport Smith of Maple Grove, MN. The field was very tight and most anglers in the Top 50 were in striking distance after Day 1.
Day two, the weather changed overnight and anglers were met with a dense fog cover; everyone got a late start, the first boats were not on the water until after 10am. Weights dropped off considerably on day two for most anglers, probably due to the shortened tournament hours and a cool front that had the fish in a funk.
Randy Wieczorek from local River Rats Bassmasters weighed in as one of the last few boats to bump Andy Nitchals West Central Bassmasters from the top spot. The remaining divisional team qualifiers: Rich Lindgren – Gopher Bassmasters, Dean Capra – 10,000 Lakes, Matt Hanson – Zumbro Valley Bassmasters, John Zvorak - West Central Bassmasters, Jim Pinke – Bass Wackers, Doug Pietzrak – Granite City Bassmasters, Brad Ballard – River Rats, Brian Brown – Range Bassmasters, Scott Fisher – River Rats, John Schlee Jr – Loon State Bassmaters, Tim Vondersitt – Upper Iowa Bassmasters.
Andy Nitchals & John Zvorak of West Central Bassmasters anchored their 4 man team to take the team honors. They beat our very respectable efforts by Loon State & Upper Iowa Bassmasters. Day 1, Tom Borkowski brought in the big fish of the tournament, a beautiful 4.79lb largemouth.
Zumbro Valley Bassmasters hosted the tournament and raised money for the Wabasha Food Shelf, and also collected non-perishable food items as well. The guys really stepped up and help make things work smoothly; so give Zumbro Valley Bass club a big pat on the back - good job guys! Steve Soukup of Skeeter Boats did an awesome job as Master of Ceremonies as anglers weighed their bags at tournament headquarters, which was held Ike’s park right on the banks of the river.
A total of 149 anglers, from 27 different clubs, competed for the top 12 spots to advance to next years divisional tournament on Lake St. Claire near Detroit, MI, fishing against seven other State Teams from Wisconsin, Indiana, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio, in August 2009.
A really fun thing about the Minnesota B.A.S.S. Nation State Championship is that the tournament and its anglers give back to the community. MNBFN sponsors really pitched in for the annual raffle with all the proceeds going to the Wabasha Food Shelf. This years sponsors were; Skeeter/Yamaha Boats, Precision Propeller Works, Slippery's Bar & Grill, River Crossing BP, Gemini Sports Marketing, Cabela’s, Vicious Fishing Line, Gopher Tackle Company, Minn Kota, MG Lures, Mojo Rods, Sure-Life Laboratories fish release formulas.
Thank You From the MNBFN Tournament DirectorSeptember 12, 2008
With the 2008 Tournament of Champions on the books, we give all the thank you’s to our sponsors for helping and others for the job they do to make the tournament run. I give my greatest thanks to those people who really do help make it run, without them we would not be able to even have a Tournament of this size. This thanks is for the alternates and volunteer workers:
Kathy Ludenia and Joan Lindgren for taking care of the scoreboard and weigh slips. Kathy and Joan have been giving their time to the MNBFN for years. Joan also got up early in the morning to help shuttle the anglers back from the parking area to the ramp.
Mary Nordlund & Stephanie Burcusa for helping organize the angler profiles and making sure our clip board people got them in the right order.
Steve Soukup for doing a great emcee job again.
And of course to all the alternate anglers who unfortunately I could not send to the TOC, even though they all deserve to go. Tyler Cysiewski, Bass Wranglers, Mike Juskiewicz, Golden Hook Bassmasters, Jason Elmes, Gopher Bassmasters, Bill Neuman, West Central Bassmasters our master plumbers,, Chris Klinkhammer, Granite City Bassmasters, Dan Norling, Lakes Area Bassmasters, Tracy Quandahl, Upper Iowa Bassmasters, Jay Swanson, Prior Lake Hook Setters, Don Klees, Bass Seekers, Roger Diesen, Happy Hookers Bassmasters, Larry Magel, West Metro Bassmasters, and Travis Krogh, River Rats Bassmasters, Loren Jannet, Team Ambassador.
Dale Richardson, Paul Perovich, Mickey Goetting, and Paul Becka for helping with the registration Wednesday night.
A very special thanks to Tim Allen, Zumbro Valley Bassmasters our host club, for being my right hand man on the deck. Tim was there 100% of the time (as you could probably tell by his 5-day old beard) when I needed him to run areas, put me in the right direction for things we needed, the list goes on.
And finally last but far from least, Mark Gomez, who took time out of his week to come down to Wabasha and be our weigh master. Mark was an incredible amount of help behind the scenes all week with me and Tim.
To the host club Zumbro Valley Bassmasters and all their members.
So thank you to all our alternate workers and volunteers for your hard work.
Minnesota BASS Federation Nation