Ryan Shatters Records, Holds Lead at FLW
Published May 5, 2006
RED WING, Minn. (May 5, 2006) - Pro Jeff Ryan of Lake View, Iowa, caught a three-day total of 15 walleyes weighing 81 pounds, 2 ounces to carry his lead on day three of the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event presented by Yamaha on the Mississippi River near Red Wing, Minn. Ryan's catch already shatters the previous four-day weight record for an FLW Outdoors walleye event on the Mississippi River. The previous record weighed 55 pounds, 5 ounces, and was caught by Bruce Samson of Minnetrista, Minn., in the 2002 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship, which also launched out of Red Wing.
With a full field of 150 pros and 150 co-anglers, anglers are competing for their share of a $503,300 purse, including as much as $100,000 for the winning pro and $18,000 for the winning co-angler.
At the end of day two, Ryan had a lead of more than 14 pounds, enough for an entire quality limit. On day three, he increased his lead to nearly 24 pounds after catching his largest limit thus far - five walleyes weighing 28 pounds, 2 ounces.
It will definitely be a stretch for second-place pro Scott Allar of Welch, Minn., who has a three-day total of 15 walleyes for 57 pounds, 8 ounces, to catch Ryan.
Allar himself has more than an 8-pound lead over third-place pro Kevin McQuoid of Isle, Minn. McQuoid caught four walleyes on day three weighing 10 pounds, giving him a three-day total of 49 pounds, 1 ounce.
All week, Ryan has been catching his walleyes out of one sweet honeyhole. He's been slowly presenting live bait to his fish and hasn't been catching them on every cast. The walleyes he's hooked, however, have been big, and near flawless execution of each bite throughout the week has led to his success.
"I made a switch to a different bait yesterday, and it really paid off today," Ryan said. "Our smallest walleye today was 23 inches long. It just feels unreal to put three days like this together."
Regarding his area, Ryan said tons of fish gather just upstream of it to spawn, and he's found a place where they rest after as they trickle down. Ryan caught three of his walleyes on day three, while his co-angler partner, John Herrmann of Birnamwood, Wis., caught the other two. Herrmann just missed the cut in the Co-angler Division, finishing in 13th place. He took home a check for $800.
Many big bags of walleyes breaking the 20-pound mark were carried to the scale on day three. Land O'Lakes pro Eric Olson of Red Wing caught a fine limit weighing 22 pounds, 10 ounces to jump from 64th place into ninth place with a three-day total weight of 40 pounds, 1 ounce. Olson fished with co-angler Cary Lodl of Scribner, Neb., on day three, and their largest walleye, one pushing the 9-pound mark, managed to bite in half a No. 9 Rapala Floating Minnow. Lodl made the cut in the Co-angler Division in ninth place as well.
Also in the top-10 was 2005 Angler of the Year and Castrol pro Nick Johnson of Elmwood, Wis. Johnson has a three-day total of nine walleyes weighing 40 pounds.
All told, pros in the top 10 have a total of 26 FLW Walleye Tour top-10 finishes and five wins between them.
Rounding out the top five pros are Chuck Dube of Brooklyn Park, Minn. (13 walleyes, 44 pounds, 3 ounces); and Jason Kerr of Holly, Mich. (12 walleyes, 43 pounds, 10 ounces).
Gary Engberg of Mazomanie, Wis., leads the Co-angler Division. Engberg fished with Kerr on day three, and together they brought in a limit of five walleyes weighing 25 pounds, 5 ounces. Engberg has a three-day total of 15 walleyes weighing 59 pounds, 7 ounces.
Engberg and Kerr were handlining for their walleyes in deep water. "I've had great partners each day," Engberg said. "I haven't done the same thing on any day I've been out."
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Kristine Szczech of St. Paul, Minn. (13 walleyes, 58 pounds, 14 ounces); Dave Dugall of Highland, Mich. (15 walleyes, 51 pounds, 5 ounces); Jerry Cassell of Lawton, Mich. (15 walleyes, 47 pounds, 2 ounces); and Randy Mumm of Clear Lake, Iowa (15 walleyes, 44 pounds, 14 ounces).
The Red Wing Visitors and Convention Bureau is hosting the event. Colvill Park in Red Wing has hosted daily takeoffs each morning at 7. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 295 Tyler Road in Red Wing beginning at 4 p.m. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public.
Pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day and fish for a combined boat weight. Pros compete against other pros, and co-anglers compete against other co-anglers. The full field competes during the three-day opening round for one of 10 final-round slots based on their three-day accumulated weight. Weights carry over to day four, with the winner determined by the heaviest four-day weight.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 150 points awarded to the winner, 149 to second, 148 for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings. The top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the 2006 FLW Walleye Tour Championship.
The FLW Walleye Tour Championship is the most lucrative event in professional walleye angling, with guaranteed cash awards for the entire field. A guaranteed cash award of $100,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $50,000 will go to the FLW Walleye Tour Championship winner for a total pro award of $150,000. The champion co-angler will win a guaranteed cash award of $11,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $11,000 for a total co-angler award of $22,000.
Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour event on the Mississippi River will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on June 11 as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program. "FLW Outdoors" airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast internationally to more than 350 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.
Following the Mississippi River tournament, the FLW Walleye Tour will visit Devils Lake in Devils Lake, N.D., for the third regular-season event June 7-10, and the regular season will come to a close with an event presented by Evinrude July 12-15 on Green Bay in Green Bay, Wis.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.9 million through 241 events in 2006. FLW Outdoors also recently announced the addition of a striped bass circuit, which will debut in May.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.FLW Pro Qualifier - Mississippi River Results