Forty-two of the top walleye pros in the world continued their four-day competition for a top cash award of $100,000, the richest prize in walleye fishing, at the National Guard FLW Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River on Friday.
Tournament anglers were bundled up on the second day of competition, as air temperatures dropped more than 30 degrees in the 24 hours since the start of the event on Thursday. Chevy pro Jason Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis., vaulted to the top of the leaderboard after Day 2 by weighing in three walleye for 15 pounds, 4 ounces, including a massive 9-pound, 5-ounce kicker fish. Przekurat’s two-day catch of five walleye weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces gives him a 6-pound, 1-ounce lead heading into the third day of the tournament.
“All of these guys have been trying to catch the overs all week,” said Przekurat, who has more than $330,000 in career winnings with FLW. “I have to thank the Good Lord for allowing me to catch one today.
“We actually missed him with the net on the first shot,” Przekurat continued. “My partner and I almost came unglued. We regained our composure and on the second shot we got him in the boat. It happened so fast that it was almost unbelievable.”
Przekurat spent the day in pool 14, like the majority of the field, and said he is fishing four main areas. He said he was throwing a jig, targeting wing dams, and credited his areas and presentation as being the key to his day two success.
“Once I put the pattern together of finding fish on the wing dams, it’s been fairly easy to duplicate all over the system,” Przekurat said. “There are some guys around me, but they’re not doing what I’m doing. I’ve got lures figured out. I’ve got depths figured out. It’s just a matter of running into the right pods of fish at the right time. At any given time those fish move up, and if you’re there, it’s easy.
“When you come to a river, you really have to pay attention to detail,” Przekurat went on to say. “You have to notice how you’re presenting the lures to them. If you’re off by just 10 feet, you’re not going to get a bite. You have to know where your jig is at all times.
“My confidence is good heading into tomorrow,” the Chevy pro said. “Today was really the day that I worried about. Now I’m through the cut, and I can’t be nervous at this point. I’ve got a decent lead. Tomorrow, I’m just going fishing.”
Day one leader pro Danny Plautz of Madison, Wis., slipped to the No. 2 position with a two-day catch of eight walleye weighing 14-10.
The top 20 pros that will continue to Saturday’s competition are:
1st: Chevy pro Jason Przekurat, Stevens Point, Wis., five walleyes, 20-11
2nd: Danny Plautz, Madison, Wis., eight walleye, 14-10
3rd: Todd Zemke, Red Wing, Minn., seven walleye, 13-10
4th: Chris Gilman, Chisago CIty, Minn., five walleye, 9-4
5th: Ed Stachowski, Canton, Mich., six walleye, 9-0
6th: Dan Plautz, Muskego, Wis., five walleye, 7-6
7th: Ryan Jirik, Rhinelander, Wis., five walleye, 7-5
8th: Ted Takasaki, Sioux Falls, S.D., three walleye, 7-1
9th: National Guard pro Mark Courts, Harris, Minn., four walleye, 6-14
10th: Kevin McQuoid, Isle, Minn., four walleye, 6-5
11th: David Andersen, Amery, Wis., four walleye, 5-11
12th: Gary Parsons, Glidden, Wis., three walleye, 5-7
13th: Dusty Minke, Forest Lake, Minn., three walleye, 5-0
14th: National Guard pro Bill Shimota, Lonsdale, Minn., three walleye, 5-0
15th: Tom Kemos, Oconomowoc, Wis., three walleye, 5-0
16th: EverStart pro Dan Stier, Mina, S.D., three walleye, 4-11
17th: Jimmy Bell, Ham Lake, Minn., two walleye, 4-8
18th: Walmart pro Dean Arnoldussen, Appleton, Wis., two walleye, 4-8
19th: Eric Olson, Red Wing, Minn., two walleye, 4-2
20th: David Kolb, Rockford, Mich., three walleye, 3-15
Final results for the remaining field can be found on FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 44 walleyes weighing 82 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 42 boats Friday. The catch included two five-walleye limits.
Stuart Lubbert of Stewart, Minn., leads the co-angler division with a two-day total of four walleye weighing 17 pounds, 1 ounce, followed by Tom Wiehoff of Pierre, S.D., in second place with six walleye weighing 12-13. Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $15,000 that will be awarded Saturday.
The top 20 co-anglers are:
1st: Stuart Lubbert, Stewart, Minn., four walleye, 17-1
2nd: Tom Wiehoff, Pierre, S.D., six walleye, 12-13
3rd: Craig Cayemberg, Valders, Wis., five walleye, 9-4
4th: Anthony Erdmann, Watertown, Wis., five walleye, 8-14
5th: Todd Dankert, Anoka, Minn., five walleye, 8-9
6th: Bruce Frevert, Centerville, Iowa, five walleye, 7-15
7th: Corey Meyer, Pierre, S.D., five walleye, 7-6
8th: Dennis Gullickson, Fergus Falls, Minn., five walleye, 6-14
9th: Dale Janota, Gillette, Wyo., four walleye, 6-11
10th: Tyrone Larson, Amherst, Wis., four walleye, 6-11
11th: Col. Scott St. Sauver, Little Falls, Minn., four walleye, 6-5
12th: Douglas Ripperger, Eldridge, Iowa, four walleye, 6-3
13th: Steve Beasley, Macomb, Mich., three walleye, 5-15
14th: Chris Augustyn, Holdrege, Neb., three walleye, 5-11
15th: Randy Hummel, Jackson, Minn., two walleye, 5-7
16th: Jacob Ell, Bismarck, N.D., three walleye, 4-10
17th: David Dedecker, Orion, Ill., two walleye, 4-9
18th: Staff Sgt. Leroy McCoy, Fridley, Minn., three walleye, 4-3
19th: Boyd Strissel, Billings, Mont., two walleye, 4-1
20th: Keith Hahn, McHenry, Ill., two walleyes, 3-9
Final results for the remaining field can be found on FLWOutdoors.com.
Anglers will take off from the Centennial Park Launch located at 315 S. Marquette St. in Davenport, Iowa at 7:30 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at the River Center located at 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport beginning at 4 p.m. daily.
In celebration of the festivities, Davenport, Iowa, Mayor Bill Gluba and the Davenport City Council proclaimed the week of October 22-28 as FLW National Guard Walleye Championship Week.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo at the River Center on Saturday and Sunday from noon-4 p.m. prior to the weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. On Sunday the first 300 children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult will receive a free rod and reel combo courtesy of the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau/Quad Cities Sports Commission. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a $500 Walmart gift card. The gift card giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.
Coverage of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs Dec. 2 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.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors