After fishing with his father Kurt for as long as he can remember, Matthew Stobbe, teamed up with his dad to win the Mercury Marine National Walleye Tournament on Sunday at Walleye Weekend in Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac, Wis.
The Stobbes, who call Berlin, Wis., home, had a two-day catch that totaled 36 pounds, 8 ounces. Jon Janiak of Fond du Lac, and Jim Demboski of North Fond du Lac, placed second with 35 pounds, 9 ounces, while Korey and Karl Sprengel of Beaver Dam, Wis., took third with 33 pounds, 9 ounces. Full rankings can be found on the tournament website.
According to the Fond du Lac Reporter, the Stobbes have been participating in the Walleye weekend for many years. Kurt has competed for 30 years, while Matthew has participated for approximately 12 to 15 years. For this year’s tournament, they pre-fished for three days were hoping for a top 10 finish. Teams are allowed to bring in five fish each afternoon. They fished Saturday with a strong total of 18 pounds, 5 ounces. Sunday’s total of 18 pounds, two ounces put them over the top.
Their victory earned the Stobbes $4,000 cash plus a new Tracker Targa V-18 WT with a 150-hp Mercury Four Stroke outboard. Their current boat is about 20 years old, so the victory was well-timed.