junction City -one pound and two ounces was all that separated the winners of the 2015 Cabelas National Team Walleye Championships Saturday at Milford Lake.
They had caught two fish Saturday and Klepacki said he didn’t know if they would have enough.Going into the day Saturday Ed Klepacki of Wonder Lake, IL and Jim Miller of Angle Side, IL had a near eight pound lead over the second place team, but by the time they were up to weigh in they had lost their lead and needed six pounds 12 ounces to regain it.
“I looked in the live well and I went ‘Oh god, I don’t know.’ Then they weighed what we needed and I still can’t really believe it. When we were out there I didn’t think we had enough,” said Klepacki.
The weather played a different roll each day of the tournament, with lightning delaying the start on Thursday, a sunny and warm day on Friday and then a cold windy day on Saturday.
Miller said that the cold front that moved in Friday night into Saturday morning had them nervous.
“When we woke up this morning with that north wind howling we knew it was going to be hard, long, tough and it was,” said Miller. “We probably only had three bites today for sure and we lost a big fish.”
Both Klepacki and Miller fished this same tournament when it was at Milford Lake in 2003 and they explained they fished the same area on the north end of the lake that they did back then.
“We were fishing over in the catfish flats, fishing the old railroad bed. Pulling cranks in nine, eight foot of water. Sometimes the fish would push shallow and we’d slide up in there and try and get one here and there,” said Klepacki.
Klepacki and Miller won $30,000 cash plus a $68,000 Evinrude E-Tec powered 620 Ranger Boat.
When asked if they will be coming back to Milford Lake in the future Klepacki said,”Oh yeah for sure, I love this place.”