Ninety-seven degree heat didn’t seem to slow down the walleye bite on day two of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour presented by Mercury on Lake Oahe. However, the gamble of letting the 20 and 22 inch walleyes go that were caught early in the day in hopes of getting a bigger walleye over the 20 inch slot mark did.
Danny Plautz of Madison, Wis. and his co-angler Wayne Olsen of Humboldt, S.D. were among the lucky few who managed to land a 28 ½ – inch walleye after letting a 20 ½-incher go early. But it wasn’t easy; they were sweating it out until about 2 p.m. before they were able to make good on the decision. After that they never caught another fish, but their five walleye limit weighing 15-13 was enough to put Plautz in the lead with a two day total of 10 walleyes weighing 31 pounds, 4 ounces.
Plautz now has a 1 pound, 4 ounce lead over John Campbell of Marco Island, Fla. who has a two day total of 10 walleye weighing 30-0 going into the final day of competition on Lake Oahe. Pros are fishing for a top award of $63,000 while co-anglers are battling it out for a top award of $10,500. The Pierre event features 103 pros and 103 co-anglers representing 15 states and Canada.
“The fish were on fire this morning,” said Plautz, who is looking for his first FLW Walleye Tour victory. “We had a 23 inch walleye right off the bat, followed that up with a 19 ½ incher and then came the 20 incher we let go. My co-angler cringed a little, but the way the fish were biting I knew we could do better. Then it stopped. We had a lot of little bites but no keepers.
I headed to my second spot but the fish weren’t there either. We stayed there for about an hour and a half before moving on to my third spot where I started bait rigging; but that went south too, I couldn’t believe it. We did manage to boat the third fish there before heading back to my first spot.
“I made two passes,” continued Plautz. “We got an 18 ¾-inch walleye and a 19 inch. Then we trolled and trolled and trolled and nothing. Boom, the 28 ½-inch walleye came and I pretty much knew the deal was sealed at that point so we headed home and checked in early. I knew we wouldn’t do much better than that.”
Plautz said he is fishing around structure using Reef Runners in two specific colors. Plautz believes that today’s flat, calm conditions may have caused the walleye to hunker down in the structure making them harder to get at. Yesterday’s chop definitely helped according to the Wisconsin native.
Believing he will be the only one fishing his number one spot, Plautz is excited about his chances tomorrow stating that the game plan will pretty much be the same.
Rounding out the remainder of the top 10 pros after day two on the Lake Oahe and fishing on the final day are:
3rd: Chevy pro Jason Przekurat, Stevens Point, Wis., 10 walleyes, 29-15
4th: Ryan Jirik, Rhinelander, Wis., 10 walleyes, 29-15
5th: Danny Steffens, Oxford, Wis., 10 walleyes, 29-2
6th: Gary Maher, Menoken, N.D., 10 walleyes, 29-0
7th: Brian Regelin, Cozad, Neb., 10 walleyes, 28-13
8th: Lynn Jurrens, Watertown, S.D., 10 walleyes, 28-12
9th: Eric Ewing, La Salle, Colo., 10 walleyes, 28-12
10th: Brett King, Claremont, Minn., 10 walleyes, 28-10
Cal Van Cleve of Wilmot, S.D., leads the Co-angler Division with 10 walleyes weighing 32-7, followed by Craig Salmonson of Timmins, Ontario, in second place with 10 walleyes weighing 30-14.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:
3rd: Dale Janota, Gillette, Wyo., 10 walleyes, 30-11
4th: Kenny Brenner, Moline, Ill., 10 walleyes, 30-6
5th: Wayne Olsen, Humboldt, S.D., 10 walleyes, 29-12
6th: Lowell Joy, Bemidji, Minn., 10 walleyes, 29-7
7th: Kevin Yancey, Newport, Mich., 10 walleyes, 29-6
8th: Keith Keivens, Toledo, Ohio, 10 walleyes, 29-3
9th: Chris Augustyn, Holdrege, Neb., 10 walleyes, 28-9
10th: Richard Ness, Blunt, S.D., 10 walleyes, 28-9
Overall there were 500 walleyes weighing 1,172 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 103 boats Friday. The catch included 94 five-walleye limits.
Anglers will take off from Spring Creek Resort & Deep Water Marina located at 28229 Spring Creek Place in Pierre at 7 a.m. Saturday. Final weigh-in will be held at located at 1730 North Garfield in Pierre beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at Walmart on Saturday from noon-4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in. The Expo includes the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, a trout pond, and interactive games and activities. The NPAA will be offering a free Youth and Family Fishing Clinic beginning at 2:30 p.m. Prizes, including rods & reels, will be given away after the clinic. All activities are free and open to the public.
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.
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 Sept. 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.
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.
Images courtesy of FLW