Trinidad Walleye Tournament Recap

The Colorado Walleye Association held its fourth and final points tournament of the year at what is unquestionably one of the nicest and well maintained state parks in Colorado, Trinidad Reservoir State Park. Many club members commented on the great condition of the park and its facilities, as well as, the friendliness of staff that work at the park. Many guys who pre-fished the lake reported that they had been catching some fish in the 16-17 inch range, and that the fish have put on a little bit of girth in comparison to years past. Luckily, no one caught the big one the day before and doomed themselves for let down on every other fished reeled into the boat. This year at Trinidad, we decided to mix things up a little bit by allowing teams to weigh 8 fish instead of the normal limit of 5. This made the decision making for each team key to being successful in controlling a destiny to the top. Also added this year, were a few new prizes for the team that weighed the shortest walleye, team with the biggest move from day 1 to day 2, and the team with the most consistent weight from day 1 to day 2 and first out of the money each day. These challenges and prizes were only made possible by our participating sponsors. Thank You!

Day 1

The day started cool and calm with Dave and Sue Gouveia from Canon Marine launching all the boats to start the day. Many teams started hot and were reeling in numbers of walleyes early. Walleyes that many teams returned back to the lake in hopes of getting some larger fish. Around 10:00am the bite had definitely slowed down, and teams had to work a lot harder to get a walleye in the boat. The father and son team of Deichsel and Deichsel didn’t have a limit, but found the big fish of the day at 1.37 pounds and the small fish of the day at 0.23 pounds. They got a check for $100 and a package from JB Lures worth $25 for big fish of the day on Saturday. The small fish of 0.23 pounds would hold out as the smallest fish weighed in the tournament, winning the prize of a Berkey Travel water filter valued at $228. The husband and wife team of Justin and Deven Jones won the mixed team award on day 1 with their limit of 8 walleyes weighing 7.74 pounds.  The father and son team, Brad and Nick Qualley, not only won the adult/youth division each day but they also finished first out of the money on Saturday and won a Tony Roach jigging pole from Eagle Claw and a set of planer boards from Yellow Bird Products.  Finishing in 4th place and receiving the first cash award was Cary Weaver and Jeff Annis – this was the second consecutive tournament in which they finished in 4th place on Saturday.  Finishing in 3rd place for the day was Mike Williams and Justin Crump with 8.90 pounds using live bait and some tubes jigs by Smokin Jigs. The 2nd place team of Frank Becvar and Todd Christofferson, proving that you don’t have to have a big expensive boat to do well, weighed 8.94 pounds by moving around from spot to spot and carefully picking out the bigger fish. Father and son team of Bob and Dan Giorodano, led the way on day one bringing in a nice consistent sack of larger and fatter fish, which allowed them to claim the crown on day 1 with a winning weight of 9.42 pounds using Eagle Claw hooks baited with leeches from Roadrunner Bait!

Day 2

The start of day 2 had a little something special in the air. Doug Beane was one of the first ones up and at them in the campground, and Bill Willingham seemed to have a certain swagger in the way he approached the lake. Canon Marine led the boats out and turned them loose promptly at 6:30am. It didn’t take long for Doug to hook a big one and Bill to scoop it up. They caught the 9.44 pound big fish for day 2 right off the bat, but they didn’t have the tournament in the bag yet. With day 2 hours a little shorter with the weigh-in time at 2:30pm, everyone had to try and work a little more efficiently to get there fish in the live well a little faster. Derek and Gail Kathol took advantage of Justin and Deven Jones’ lower weight to win the mixed couple award on Sunday as well as Mixed Couple for the Tournament.  Ryan Bartingale and Jim Thibodeau missed the 4th place check by .12 of a pound but they did take home a new jigging rod from ESOX and a set of planer boards from Yellow Bird Products.  Cary Weaver and Jeff Annis weren’t slowed down by shorter fishing hours, and brought in a nice bag of fish weighing 9.68 pounds to claim 4th place for the day, 4th place overall, and Top Ranger Boat sponsored by Crowley Marine. Warren Frederickson and Lory Phillips weighed 2 fish on the day 2 as well as day 1 and captured the most consistent team for the weekend weighing 2.01 and 2.02 pounds with a difference in .01 pounds day to day. With a consistent bite Frank Becvar and Todd Christofferson moved around a lot again and claimed 3rd place for the day with 9.89 pounds and 3rd place overall finish. Bob and Dan Girodando showed up with an even bigger bag of fish the first day and finished 2nd using there EGO net to scoop up 10.52 pounds of walleye and saugeye! They were slightly ousted by Doug Beane and Bill Willingham who powered themselves to the top with the big 9.44 pounder and 7 other nice fish to claim the 1st place victory with a final day weight of 16.82 pounds! Great work!

Overall, the weather was great and there weren’t two guys who were more deserving to catch a big fish and lead the way to victory. Congratulations to Doug and Bill! This tournament would not have been possible without our sponsors who provided prizes to our members. Reel Bait, Reef Runner, Eagle Claw, and Yellow Bird all provided product for the Saturday night dinner.  Berkey Water Filters provided the special prize for the smallest fish of the tournament, as well as, the drinking water for the dinner. EGO nets provided the prize for the team that made the biggest move in placing from day 1 to day 2. Dave and Sue from Canon Marine helped out in every aspect of the tournament, and things would not have been so smooth without their help! Thank You! They also donated a free tournament entry for a southern lake next year. Doug Beane and Bill Willingham won the free entry at the Saturday night dinner. Cabela’s provided the Cablela’s Angler Cash won by the top registered team, it went to Bob and Dan Giordano. Crowley provided $100 gift cards to the top finishing Ranger boat and Lund boat. Top Ranger was the team of Cary Weaver and Jeff Annis, and top Lund team was Jim Thibodeau and Ryan Bartingale.

The CWA board would like to thank everyone that came out and fished a tournament, helped at the weigh-in or stopped by and observed!  It’s been a fun year and we are hoping to make changes to make it even more fun and exciting next year.

Final Results

Overall Place Angler #1 Angler #2 M or Y Saturday   Sunday   Total Total Points
        Weight # Alive Weight # Alive Sat + Sun  
1 Doug Beane Bill Willingham   3.51 4 16.34 8 19.85 100
2 Dan Giordano Bob Giordano   9.42 8 10.27 8 19.69 99
3 Frank Becvar Todd Christofferson   8.94 8 9.60 8 18.54 98
4 Cary Weaver Jeff Annis   8.36 8 9.45 8 17.81 97
5 Mike Williams Justin Crump   8.90 8 8.89 8 17.79 96
6 Ryan Bartingale Jim Thibodeau   7.79 8 9.32 8 17.11 95
7 John Quarles Steve Shelton   7.86 8 7.95 8 15.81 94
8 Steven Spock Ron Spock   7.76 8 7.44 8 15.20 93
9 Brad Qualley Nick Qualley Y 7.95 8 6.83 8 14.78 92
10 Derek Kathol Gail Kathol M 5.82 7 8.32 8 14.14 91
11 Scott Beauvais Robert Schafer   6.62 8 6.88 8 13.50 90
12 Kevin Werre Tom Pike   5.51 5 7.41 7 12.92 89
13 John Flaherty Lonnie Snyder   5.11 5 7.52 7 12.63 88
14 Eric Weaver Gary Weaver   5.04 6 7.32 8 12.36 87
15 Justin Jones Deven Jones M 7.74 8 4.54 7 12.28 86
16 Ronnie Snyder Ronnie D. Snyder   3.69 4 8.48 8 12.17 85
17 Ray Deichsel Ray G. Deichsel   4.96 6 6.95 6 11.91 84
18 Warren Frederickson Lory Phillips   2.01 2 2.02 2 4.03 83
Total 116.99 119 145.53 133 262.52
Tournament Stats:
Total Walleye 252
Ave. Walleye Wt. 1.04lbs
Sat. Big Fish 1.37lbs Deichsel/Deichsel
Sun. Big Fish 9.44lbs Beane/Willingham
Top Mix Kathol/Kathol
Top Youth Qualley/Qualley
Ranger Cup Weaver/Annis
Top Lund Bartingale/Thibodeau
Cabela's Cash Giordano/Giordano


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