South suburban Steve Skupien with young anglers Amy and Jeremy Skupien won this year's Angler Young Angler event out of Hennepin on the Illinois River Sunday.
I loved the attitude of Chicagoan John Mannerino and his grandson Jack Wilcek, who finsihed second.
``I fish a lot of walleye tourneys and it is the one I look forward to every year,'' Mannerino said. ``Jack was a trooper, stayed out in the rain and fished and was awesome reeling in the fish. The high fives after every sauger/walleye we caught (keeper or not) was priceless.''
Even proud grandmother Katherine Mannerino gets the idea, ``Grandson No. 2 is 2 1/2. We'll see about next June for him.''
Here's the complete press release from Bob Kidd, who brought the AYA idea down from Canada three years ago.
First we want to say, Thank You to all the participants, volunteers, National and local sponsors for Hennepin Marine's 3rd Annual AYA Fishing Tournament that took place Sunday, June 7th at Hennepin. Unfortunately, the day started off on the gloomy side; however the teams launched the boats and received a little shower, but by 10:30 -11:00am they had dimished.
After the Pledge of Allegiance the 50 boat field eased off to begin a full day of Walleye & Sauger fishing. The team's found the water cleaner upstream of Hennepin with a foot of clarity and 69 degree surface temps. All the teams found a bunch of fish wanting to eat the only problem was they were below 14 inch minimum size.
However the team of Steve Skupien, Amy Skupien, and Jeremy Skupien brought in a 5 fish limit weighing 8.32 pounds to win the 3rd Annual Angler Young Angler Tournament. They found their fish around Clark Island in the 9-12 foot area and triggered the bigger fish to feed on crank baits pulled behind 3 ways. For the first place win the team received a Lund Boat, Mercury Outboard, and Shorlander Trailer. They also received trophies, along with a 360X Box and a 19 inch LCD TV. By winning the Hennepin Tournament they will also receive an invite to the International Championship on Lake of the Woods and compete against 27 additional teams from the United States and Canada and receive 500.00 travel and personal money.
Placing second was John Mannerino and grandson Jack Wilcek with 4 fish weighing 7.10 pounds. Placing third was Adam Sandor from Tonica, Illinois, Kaylan Trumpinski, Granville, and Christopher Harsted with a five fish limit weighing 6.64 pounds.
We would like to Thank our Local Sponsors for there support and help without them this event would not be a large success. Village of Hennepin, Oak State products, First Federal Insurance, City of Spring Valley, Dr. Peter Meier-IV Orthopedics, Gary Dahl State Senator, Spring Valley city Bank, Norscott Group, Aramark, Tru Turn, Hutch's Tackle, Citizens First National Bank, Ball Warehousing, Dan Wheaton, Staples Office Store, Midwest Outdoors, Illinois Walleye Trail, Schweickert and Ganassin Attorneys, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, North central Bank, Country Financial Insurance, Culligan Water, Hennepin Township, Johnsonville Brat, Rattle Trap, heartland Outdoors, A&M Guttmen, Ripon Foods, Adventure Sport Outdoors, Casey's General Store, Hennepin Marine, Reef Runnier Lures, Country Companies Insurance, Lincoln Jig Company, TechniSand/Santrol