With temperatures reaching 100 degrees at the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour on Lake Oahe presented by Mercury, John Campbell of Marco Island, Fla., was calm, cool and collected as he won his first FLW Walleye Tour catching a five-walleye limit weighing 15-6 and beating second place Eric Ewing of La Salle, Colo. by one pound. Campbell had a three day total of 15 walleyes weighing 45 pounds, 6 ounces in an event featuring over 300 anglers from 15 states and Canada. Campbell’s win earned him$50,000. (Originally reported in error as $55,000)
Fishing his first tournament back after suffering a serious neck injury that Campbell thought sidelined him for good said this win was incredible.
“Fishing is such a big part of my life,” Campbell continued. “I really thought I was done fishing; this win is huge for me.
Campbell indicated that his main presentation was trolling spinnerbaits, Booyah in chartreuse and white, over wood. When he needed fish he said he would try rigging.
“I broke off a lot of bait this week,” Campbell went on to say. “I had two or three spare rods ready at any given time. Sometimes we would break off two at a time. I was lucky to fish with Salmonson twice, by the second day he knew the routine and could tie the fastest knots I’ve ever seen.
“Boat control was key; I was trolling at two miles per hour and that was crucial,” Campbell continued. “It seemed if I went faster than two miles per hour the fish wouldn’t bite and the same if I went slower.
“If I needed some 19-inchers to fill up the bag I would do some Lindy rigging off islands in about 28- to 32-feet of water. I had four main spots that I would go to every day, they were all located within a 10 mile stretch starting at the dam and going up.
Fishing conservatively, Campbell said that he had to throw a lot of “monster” walleyes that were over the 20 inch slot size back including two on the final day.
Rounding out the remainder of the top 10 pros on Lake Oahe are:
2nd: Eric Ewing, La Salle, Colo., 15 walleyes, 44-6, $14,982
3rd: Chevy pro Jason Przekurat, Stevens Point, Wis., 15 walleyes, 43-1, $10,300 plus $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus and $5,000 engine bonus
4th: Brett King, Claremont, Minn., 15 walleyes, 42-7, $8,427
5th: Danny Steffens, Oxford, Wis., 15 walleyes, 42-0, $7,491, plus $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus and $1,500 engine bonus
6th: Gary Maher, Menoken, N.D., 15 walleyes, 40-1, $6,555 plus $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus and $1,500 engine bonus
7th: Lynn Jurrens, Watertown, S.D., 15 walleyes, 39-2, $5,618 plus $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus
8th: Danny Plautz, Madison, Wis., 15 walleyes, 38-15, $4.682 plus $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus
9th: Ryan Jirik, Rhinelander, Wis., 15 walleyes, 36-14, $4,214 plus $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus and $1,500 engine bonus
10th: Brian Regelin, Cozad, Neb., 15 walleyes, 35-9, $3,745
A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com
Craig Salmonson of Timmins, Ontario, earned the victory in the Co-angler Division to take home $6,000. His three-day total was 15 walleyes weighing 46 pounds 4 ounces.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:
2nd: Chris Augustyn, Holdrege, Neb., 15 walleyes, 44-3, $2,809
3rd: Dale Janota, Gillette, Wyo., 15 walleyes, 43-13, $1,873
4th: Wayne Olsen, Humboldt, S.D., 15 walleyes, 42-10, $1,498
5th: Richard Ness, Blunt, S.D., 15 walleyes, 42-6, $1,311 plus $500 bonus
6th: Lowell Joy, Bemidji, Minn., 15 walleyes, 40-8, $1,124
7th: Cal van Cleve, Wilmot, S.D., 15 walleyes, 40-2, $936
8th: Keith Keivens, Toledo, Ohio, 15 walleyes, 39-9, $749
9th: Kenny Brenner, Moline, Ill., 15 walleyes, 37-5, $655
10th: Kevin Yancey, Newport, Mich., 15 walleyes, 36-2, $562
Overall there were 50 walleyes weighing 113 pounds, 10 ounces caught by 10 boats Saturday. The catch included 10 five-walleye limits.
In Walleye Tour competition, pro and co-anglers are competing for valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the 2012 National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship which will be held on the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities Oct. 25-28. Anglers are also vying for the coveted Angler of the Year title, which earns them a place in the 2013 Walleye Tour Championship, as well as $10,000 for the pro and $2,500 for the co-angler.
The FLW Walleye Tour on Lake Oahe will be featured on the Oct. 14 episode of ‘FLW’ which will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network from 1 – 2 p.m. ET. ‘FLW’ is hosted by Chip Leer and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
Fishing fans were also treated to NPAA’s free Youth and Family Fishing Clinic Saturday. Approximately 80 youth attended the event that was presented by FLW Walleye pros Eric Olson, Rick Zachowski, Joe Whitten, Walmart pro Dean Arnoldessen, Darrin Palmer, and Jim Priesner. Rods & reels were distributed to everyone in attendance.
The National Guard FLW Walleye Tour on Bays de Noc will be the next and last tournament of the 2012 season which is being held Aug. 2-4 in Escanaba, Mich. The event will be hosted by the Bays de Noc Convention & Visitors Bureau; boats will launch from Escanaba Harbor. For a complete schedule visit FLWOutdoors.com.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.