August 27, 2017: A beautiful sunny day on Brookville reservoir, perfectly calm and hardly a cloud in the sky. You could not ask for a nicer day on the lake, unless you were competing in the final day of the 2017 Indiana Walleye Anglers Association championship tournament. The fish were smashed into the mud and held tight to cover, making it difficult for even the finest of Indiana’s walleye anglers to put fish in the net.
A tight points battle throughout the four regular season events had kept things close so the pressure was definitely on. Out of seven teams competing on both days, only two limits would make it to weigh in each day. Prior to the event, Boo Brown and Leroy Arvin had found themselves in fourth place overall but after grinding out limits both days, they took the win on Saturday and second place on Sunday to earn them the overall win for the weekend. Those fish earned them enough points to squeak past the leaders for a two-point margin of victory and earn the coveted title of Team of the Year.
The team of Jimmy Lang and Rodney Owens did not make it easy for Brown and Arvin as they were hot on their heels on Saturday with a five fish limit that grabbed second. Lang and Owens then took the second-day win on Sunday to earn them a second place for the weekend and completing the season in fourth place overall.
The big fish of the weekend went to Rusty Kimmerly, denying either top-two team the two-point bonus for biggest walleye for the weekend. The father and son teams of Michael and Jacob Parks along with Mark and Luke Isaacs rounded out the top three in points for the season. Both teams had earned wins during the season and had swapped the leadership points several times but could not capitalize on the final day of the season. Three of the four regular season events were won by father and son teams. The last regular season event was won by Don and Triston Combs; 14 year old Triston also took home the big fish check for that weekend.
With just under 40 club members the first year, the initial membership was more than expected and series director Michael Parks says there has been a growing interest on social media and many new inquiries about next season. This year’s tournaments averaged 10 two-man teams at each event and Parks says he expects to double those numbers next season. If participation increases, payouts would double and more teams will attract increase sponsorship support for the IWAA.
Membership opens in January 2018 and the yearly rules and schedule meeting to be held at the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show. During the annual meeting members will also pick the lakes, dates, and vote on rule changes to better the IWAA.