Tight Finish at Lake Berlin By Steve Weisman Gander Mountain GNWC Publicity Director What a shootout! Only .04 of a pound separated the top two teams at the final tournament on the Ohio Region of the Gander Mountain Grand National Walleye Cup (GNWC). Held on Sunday, June 6 at Lake Berlin, the tournament ended with the team of John Clark from Dayton, OH and Mark Colwell from Springfield, OH taking home the $1000 first place check with a six-fish limit weight of 12.24 pounds. Todd Kunk from St. Henry, OH and Adam Harlamert from Cold Water, OH took second place and the $320 check with six fish weighing 12.20 pounds. Their 4.4-pound walleye that also gave them the Berkley Trilene Big Fish Award of $400 in Berkley products. Third place and a check for $200 went to Mark Droton from East Palestine, OH and Sam Cappelli from Poland, OH with a six-fish limit weight of 10.02 pounds. This tournament also settled the battle for the Ohio Team of the Year honors. Kunk and Harlamert, who had been tied with Mike and Tom Defibaugh heading into the Lake Berlin tournament, used their second place finish to take the Ohio Team of the Year honors with 15 points. With their first place finish at Lake Berlin, Clark and Colwell ended up in second place with 17 points, while the Defibaugh team ended up in third place with 18 points. "Boy did this tournament have a lot of drama to it," said Gander Mountain GNWC Tournament Director Gary Bowman. "Only .04 of a pound between first and second place, and the race for Team of the Year was also decided right here. Plus, the water level on Lake Berlin has really been something. It dropped 6' in a matter of two days. Ramps and parking lots were flooded before they let the water level drop. That really made the water murky, but these team did a remarkable job catching six-fish limits of walleyes." The teams adjusted to the murky water by going to bright colored crankbaits and jigs. The winners pulled bright colored Shad Raps in 12-15' of water. They found speed to be the key and pulled the crankbaits at 2.8 mph. Meanwhile, Kunk and Harlamert worked bright colored jigs and crawlers, along with bright colored VIB"E" lures to catch their fish. However, instead of vertical jigging, they slowly drifted their bait around the sunken island. The third place team also pulled bright colored Shad Raps to trigger their fish. A series of special awards were also announced. The "Yo So Close" award of a Yo Net folding net valued at $80 went to the teams that placed just out of the money. They include Mike and Tom Defibaugh from Bellefontaine, OH in 4th place; and Steven Dehart from Columbus, OH and Brian Biggio from Steubenville, OH in 5th place. The winner of the Gander Mountain "Need More Stuff" drawing of $200 for a Gander Mountain Shopping Spree went to Curt Braden and Jeff Matthews from North Canton, OH. A series of special awards came from David Calhoun, owner of Boat Boys, the official Ohio Regional Skeeter Boats sponsor. The top placing teams receive Skeeter Boats certificates toward the purchase of a new Skeeter boat or toward accessories. "I'd like to thank all of the teams who fished the Ohio Region this year. Until today, the weather had been brutal, but they still hung in there. I'd also like to thank David Calhoun and the Boat Boys for all their help. They have volunteered their time at these tournaments and have really helped things go smoothly," said Bowman. For complete results, check out the Gander Mountain GNWC website at www.walleyecup.com. Anglers interested in more information on the GNWC circuit can call 1-800-890-FISH (3474), or they can email the GNWC at firstname.lastname@example.org. The top Ohio teams now prepare for the Ohio Gander Mountain GNWC Regional Championships July 10-11 at Mosquito Creek. A complete list along with the Championship itinerary will be released soon. Title Sponsor for the GNWC is Gander Mountain. Other major national sponsors include Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Outboards, the Sportsman Channel, Berkley, Aqua Innovations, YoNet Folding Nets by AMFYOYO, VIB"E" Lure Company, TowTector Shield and UpNorthOutdoors.com. The Ohio Regional Skeeter Boats sponsor is Boat Boys out of Newark, OH.