Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

April 3, 2014

Win on walleye circuit 'validates existence' for duo

TRAVERSE CITY — Scott Rhodes and Jeff Koester are back on top.

The duo captured the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s season-opener over the weekend in Spring Valley, Ill.

Rhodes, who resides in Interlochen, and Koester, who lives in Indiana, finished the two-day, artificial-only tournament with a catch of 26 pounds, 4 ounces — more than two pounds ahead of Wisconsin’s Heath Bohman and Minnesota’s Gordy Powers.

The catch was also nearly eight pounds better than last year’s winner in this tournament on the Illinois River.

For Rhodes and Koester, it was their fourth win on the circuit, but first since 2008.

“It sort of validates our existence again,” Rhodes said.

The two-person teams — 89 in all — were allowed to weigh five walleyes, saugers or saugeyes per day. Rhodes and Koester went to the top of the leaderboard the first day with a catch of 14 pounds, 6 ounces. The take included a 4-pound, 15-ounce walleye — the largest of the tournament.

“It’s a sauger fishery,” Rhodes said. “There’s a small population of walleyes that are in it. The walleyes tend to be large by their standards, but not large by our standards on the Great Lakes. Our weight for the two days was the heaviest they’ve had in five years.”

The two came in with a catch of just under 12 pounds on Sunday.

“That’s always the challenge in tournament fishing, putting two days together,” Rhodes said. “We’ve had many (tournaments) where we’ve had a great first day, been right up there, and then fell on our faces the second day.”

Rhodes, who just turned 50, said the strategy both days was “to get five fish in the box, regardless of size,” as soon as possible.

“We wanted to take the pressure off,” he said. “Without catching five, you don’t have a chance. You have to make sure you get your limit.”

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Swiftair Loses Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid