BISMARCK, N.D. Sept. 25, 2011 – EverStart Pro Dan Stier of Mina, S.D., caught five walleyes weighing 18 pounds, 14 ounces to win the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Missouri River. Stier had a four-day catch of 18 walleyes weighing 69-4. He won by more than 4-pounds over his closest competitor in an event featuring the top 40 pro and 40 co-anglers from the 2011 National Guard FLW Walleye Tour season. Stier took home $70,000 for his efforts.
“This is truly a dream come true for me,” said Stier, who won his first FLW championship title. “This is one of the greatest moments of my life. I’ve had a bad year. I lost my dad in Feb. and two weeks later my grandmother so things were not all that great. I’ve had a lot of fishing mishaps this year and I was beginning to wonder if I would ever catch a break. But this…this is amazing.
“I ended the tournament where I started,” Stier went on to say. “In the honey hole that we all fished this week. I was going down there just to play for one or two bites. It truly was a morning bite and I knew it was just a matter of time before the fish would replenish. The area had seen a lot of pressure all week so I was thinking if I could get one or two good bites early I would be okay. I had some areas in the main river where I was getting some pretty good action in the afternoon so figured as soon as I got my first two I would move into the river to catch the rest of my limit.
“I got my first fish within the first 20 minutes of the day. Fifteen minutes later I got my second fish. Then I lost the third fish that was probably 24 inches, landed the next fish and knew I wasn’t leaving that area. I had to stay there all day, the fish were back. At one point I lost four in a row that were all 20 to 25 inchers. Thankfully the lack of the fifth fish didn’t cost me the tournament.
“All week long I was either throwing a jig with plastics; Gulp! Minnows and Bass Pro. When the fish stopped biting the jig I would change up and start trolling crankbaits. Glo green was the color that seemed to work best for me this week.
Rounding out the top 10 pros are:
- 2nd: Walmart pro Dean Arnoldussen, Appleton, Wis., 19 walleyes, 64-15, $29,000
- 3rd: OFF! pro Chris Gilman, Chisago City, Minn., 20 walleyes, 63-8, $18,000
- 4th: David Andersen, Amery, Wis., 20 walleyes, 62-12, $8,000
- 5th: National Guard pro Bill Shimota, Lonsdale, Minn., 18 walleyes, 61-1, $10,000
- 6th: Tommy Skarlis, Waukon, Iowa, 16 walleyes, 58-15, $7,750
- 7th: National Guard pro Mark Courts, Harris, Minn., 20 walleyes, 56-10, $6,500
- 8th: Tom Kemos, Oconomowoc, Wis., 20 walleyes, 55-9, $4,000
- 9th: Keith Kavajecz, Kaukauna, Wis., 16 walleyes, 51-2, $3,000
- 10th: Kevin Carstensen, Merrill, Wis., 15 walleyes, 44-14, $3,250
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Todd Dankert of Anoka, Minn., earned the Co-angler championship title on Saturday and took home $7,000. His three-day weight totaled 58 pounds, 12 ounces. He fished with OFF! pro Chris Gilman, David Andersen and Tommy Skarlis during the tournament.
Overall there were 34 walleyes weighing 92 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 10 pros Sunday. The catch included four five-walleye limits.
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