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Lund - Tournament Coverage
RCL PRO Qualifier
 Pierre, SD
 6/16 - 6/19
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· Nelson, Kroona Win Walmart RCL Walleye Tour Event on Lake Oahe
· Crow, Swank Lead Walmart RCL Walleye Tour Finalists
· Hall, Bawdon Lead Walmart RCL Walleye Tour
· Christianson, Severson Take Walmart RCL Walleye Tour Lead
· Walmart RCL Tour to Wrap Up Season on Lake Oahe
Nelson, Kroona Win Walmart RCL Walleye Tour Event on Lake Oahe
PIERRE, S.D. (June 19, 2004) Pro Terry Nelson of Pierre, S.D., landed $90,000 in cash and prizes, including a Lund boat powered by Yamaha, Saturday after catching five walleyes weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces while fishing with co-angler Marly Kroona Jr. of Blaine, Minn., on the final day of the $401,750 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour stop on Lake Oahe.

Nelson and Kroona caught their biggest fish of the day, a 23-incher, within minutes of wetting their first line to continue Nelson's rise up the leader board with a two-day, final-round total of 10 walleyes weighing 31 pounds, 5 ounces. The catch gave Nelson a 3-puond, 4-ounce advantage over runner-up Robert Crow of Paterson, Wash., who landed 10 walleyes weighing 28 pounds, 1 ounce and earned $25,000.

"Things really started out good when we pulled in our first spot and caught that big one before we even had all of our lines in the water," said Nelson, who also fished the two previous RCL Tour stops in Pierre, finishing 47th in 2003 and 67th in 2002. "When that one came in the boat, I knew I was sitting in good position since I only had a pound and a half to make up from day three."

Nelson entered Friday's semifinal round of 20 anglers as the No. 12 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces Wednesday with co-angler Robert Swank of Darby Mont., and five walleyes weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces Thursday with co-angler Greg Abbott of Canton, S.D. Weights were cleared Friday, and Nelson advanced to the final round of 10 anglers as the No. 4 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 15 pounds, 1 ounce with co-angler Chester Jones of Michigan City, Ind.

Nelson and his co-anglers used bottom bounces with chartreuse beads and red hooks baited with either creek chubs or night crawlers to catch their fish throughout the tournament. The majority of the fish were caught out of less than 20 feet of water off humps in the middle of the lake and main creek channels. Smelt were another key ingredient of the productive pattern, as large clouds of the bait fish were present in the areas targeted.

Rounding out the top five pros are Scott Steil of Richmond, Minn. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, $20,000); Reid Widvey of Pierre, S.D. (10 walleyes, 27 pounds, 5 ounces, $15,000); and Scott Pitlick of Pierre, S.D. (10 walleyes, 25 pounds, 14 ounces, $12,500).

Kroona won the Co-angler Division and $15,000 with 10 walleyes weighing 30 pounds. He caught five walleyes weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces Friday while fishing with pro Reid Widvey of Pierre, S.D., to enter the final round as the No. 7 seed. When Saturday's catch with Nelson was added to the total, Kroona opened a 1-pound, 6-ounce margin of victory over Chester Jones of Michigan City, Ind., who caught 10 walleyes weighing 28 pounds 10 ounces and earned $7,500.

"We were only going to fish our first spot for 10 minutes and then move on, but after we caught that big one, we decided to stay a little longer," said Kroona, a veteran co-angler who also cracked the top 10 on the Illinois River in 2003. "It worked out great because we also pulled a 19-incher off the same spot a little later."

Kroona advanced to the semifinal round as the No. 7 seed with 10 walleyes weighing 27 pounds, 7 ounces that he caught with pros Jason Tomich of Omaha, Neb., and John Zirzow of Fort Collins, Colo., Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dale Hein of Spring Lake Park, Minn. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 6 ounce, $6,000); Stephen Froelich of Eagan, Minn. (10 walleyes, 27 pounds, 3 ounces $5,000) and Robert Swank of Darby, Mont. (10 walleyes, 25 pounds, 3 ounces, $4,000).

Overall, the final 10 teams caught 47 walleyes, including nine limits. The day's catch totaled 107 pounds, 3 ounces.

Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight and are randomly paired each day. This was the fourth and final regular-season tournament in their quest to qualify for the $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship in Moline, Ill., Sept. 29-Oct. 2 where the world's top pros will fish for as much as $400,000 cash and co-anglers will chase as much as $150,000 cash. Cash awards are presented to the top 60 anglers in each division at every regular-season tournament. The total purse for the 2004 season is $3.19 million.

The RCL Tour is administered by FLW Outdoors and named after boat manufacturers Ranger, Crestliner and Lund. FLW Outdoors, the world's leading marketer of competitive fishing, is named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood. Other FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails include the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League for weekend anglers; the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world's most lucrative bass-tournament series; the EverStart Series, designed as a pathway to the FLW Tour; the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League for weekend anglers; and the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail.

Wal-Mart and many of America's most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997.

For more information about the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
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Crow, Swank Lead Walmart RCL Walleye Tour Finalists
PIERRE, S.D. (June 18, 2004) - Robert Crow of Paterson, Wash., and co-angler Robert Swank of Darby Mont., landed a 16-pound, 4-ounce limit Friday to open a 4-ounce lead over their closest competitors in the $401,750 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour stop on Lake Oahe.

Crow and Swank used Rapala Husky Jerks trolled at 1.7 to 1.9 mph to target walleyes suspended in 20 feet of water. The catch was Crow's heaviest of the tournament and solid enough to give the pair a final-round lead over No. 2 seeds Scott Pitlick of Pierre, S.D., and co-angler Stephen Froelich of Eagan, Minn, who caught five walleyes weighing 16 pounds after Froelich edged into the semifinal round by 2 ounces and Pitlick squeaked in as the No. 20 seed thanks to a tiebreaker.

"Anytime you go into the last day with a lead, it's nice," said Crow, an RCL Tour veteran who estimates that he and Swank caught 25 fish over the course of the day. "I just hope that I make the right choices tomorrow and come out on top."

Crow entered Friday's semifinal round as the No. 4 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 15 pounds, 14 ounces Wednesday with co-angler Gregory Karch of Oshkosh, Wis., and five walleyes weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce Thursday with co-angler Chris Brown of Rapid City, S.D. Swank was the No. 4 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces Wednesday with Terry Nelson of Pierre, S.D., and five walleyes weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces Thursday with pro Robert Heaford of Mason City, Iowa.

"We threw a couple of extra limits away that other teams would have liked to have had," said Swank, who is fishing his second RCL Tour season. "I think if I can add another 14 pounds, I'll be in good shape."

Weights were cleared Friday for the top 20 pros and co-anglers who made the cut out of an original field of 145 pros and 145 co-anglers. The 10 remaining pros are casting for a top award of $90,000 in cash and prizes, including a Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat powered by Evinrude or Yamaha, and the 10 remaining co-anglers are chasing a top award of $15,000 cash. The winners in each division will be determined by the heaviest two-day weight.

Rounding out the top five final-round qualifiers are pro John Zirzow of Fort Collins, Colo., and co-angler Jim Schleicher of Maxwell, Neb. (five walleyes, 15 pounds, 7 ounces); Nelson and Chester Jones of Michigan City, Ind. (five walleyes, 15 pounds, 1 ounce); and pro Frank Christianson of Blomkest, Minn., and co-angler Dale Hein of Spring Lake Park, Minn. (five walleyes, 14 pounds, 7 ounces).

Overall, the 20 semifinal round teams fishing Friday weighed in 99 walleyes, including 19 five-fish limits. The day's catch totaled 248 pounds, 7 ounces.

The final takeoff starts at 7 Saturday morning from Spring Creek Resort, which is located 10 miles north of Oahe Dam on Highway 1840. The final weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 1600 N. Harrison Ave. in Pierre. The community is invited to attend the takeoff and weigh-in.

Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight and are randomly paired each day. This is the fourth and final regular-season tournament in their quest to qualify for the $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship in Moline, Ill., Sept. 29-Oct. 2 where the world's top pros will fish for as much as $400,000 cash and co-anglers will chase as much as $150,000 cash. Cash awards are presented to the top 60 anglers in each division at every regular-season tournament.

The RCL Tour is administered by FLW Outdoors and named after boat manufacturers Ranger, Crestliner and Lund. FLW Outdoors, the world's leading marketer of competitive fishing, is named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood. Other FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails include the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League for weekend anglers; the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world's most lucrative bass-tournament series; the EverStart Series, designed as a pathway to the FLW Tour; the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League for weekend anglers; and the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail.
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Hall, Bawdon Lead Walmart RCL Walleye Tour
PIERRE, S.D. (June 17, 2004) Bill Hall of Algona, Iowa, and co-angler Robert Sallee of Shiloh, Ohio, landed a five-walleye limit weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces Thursday to give Hall the Pro Division lead heading into Friday's semifinal round of the four-day, $401,750 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour stop on Lake Oahe with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 30 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch also boosted Sallee from 26th place into a tie for fifth in the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 27 pounds, 12 ounces.

Weights are cleared Friday for the top 20 pros and top 20 co-anglers who made the cut. The top 10 pros will advance to Saturday's final round based on Friday's catch for a shot at $90,000 in cash and prizes, including a Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat powered by Evinrude or Yamaha, and the top 10 co-anglers will fish Saturday for a top award of $15,000 cash. The winners in each division are determined by the heaviest two-day weight.

"There is not a huge separation between first and 20th, but I think I can hold on," said Hall, who entered Thursday's competition as the No. 3 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 16 pounds, 8 ounces on opening-day with co-angler Jim Danbury of Grand Junction, Colo. "For me it comes down to consistency. I may not bring in the heaviest catch tomorrow, but I think I can duplicate my weigh two days in a row, and that is going to mean a lot."

Hall and Sallee caught their walleyes Thursday while fishing a 200-yard stretch off an underwater island approximately 20 miles from takeoff at Spring Creek Resort. The pair targeted fingers that extend from the island, topping out in 16 feet of water and tapering off to 100 feet of water. A night crawler rigged on a gold hook and attached to a 1-ounce weight was their tactic of choice.

"There is not an abundance of big, big fish in the area, but the fish there are very healthy," Hall said. "They weigh much more than what you would expect them to weigh based on their length."

Rounding out the top five pros are Frank Christianson of Blomkest, Minn. (10 walleyes, 29 pounds, 7 ounces); Bill Leonard of Estherville, Iowa (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 15 ounces); Robert Crow of Paterson, Wash. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 15 ounces) and Joe Mitchell of Rush City, Minn. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 9 ounces).

Larry Bawdon of Highmore, S.D., jumped into the co-angler lead after finishing opening day in 14th place with five walleyes weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces. He and 2002 RCL Championship winner Bruce Samson of Minnetrista, Minn., caught five walleyes weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces Thursday for a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 29 pounds, 8 ounces. Bawdon fished with pro James Adsem of Shorewood, Minn., Wednesday.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dale Hein of Spring Lake Park, Minn. (10 walleyes, 29 pounds, 5 ounces); Reid Hanzalik of Crestwood, Ky. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 5 ounces); Robert Swank of Darby, Mt. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 4 ounces); Shawn Kaiser of Two Rivers, Wis. (10 walleyes, 27 pounds, 12 ounces) and Sallee.

Kaiser and Sallee each caught 13 pounds, 6 ounces Wednesday and 14 pounds, 6 ounces Thursday.

Overall, 644 walleyes were caught Thursday, including 114 five-walleye limits. The day's catch totaled 1,428 pounds, 12 ounces.

Anglers take off each morning at 7 from Spring Creek Resort, which is located at 10 miles north of Oahe Dam on Highway 1840. Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins start at 3 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 1600 N. Harrison Ave. in Pierre. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins.

Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight and are randomly paired each day. This is the fourth and final regular-season tournament in their quest to qualify for the $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship in Moline, Ill., Sept. 29-Oct. 2 where the world's top pros will fish for as much as $400,000 cash and co-anglers will chase as much as $150,000 cash. Cash awards are presented to the top 60 anglers in each division at every regular-season tournament.

The RCL Tour is administered by FLW Outdoors and named after boat manufacturers Ranger, Crestliner and Lund. FLW Outdoors, the world's leading marketer of competitive fishing, is named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood. Other FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails include the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League for weekend anglers; the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world's most lucrative bass-tournament series; the EverStart Series, designed as a pathway to the FLW Tour; the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League for weekend anglers; and the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail.
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Christianson, Severson Take Walmart RCL Walleye Tour Lead
PIERRE, S.D. (June 16, 2004) Frank Christianson of Blomkest, Minn., and co-angler Peggy Severson of Fort Pierre, S.D., landed a five-walleye limit weighing 17 pounds, 2 ounces Wednesday to lead the four-day, $401,750 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour stop on Lake Oahe. The event is the fourth and final regular-season tournament on the $3.19 million tour and features 145 pros chasing a top award of $90,000 and 145 co-anglers fishing for a top award of $15,000.

Christianson and Severson caught their walleye using minnows and night crawlers while fishing the edges of large schools of smelt to open a 7-ounce lead over their closest competitors, pro Bill Leonard of Estherville, Iowa, and co-angler Reid Hanzalik of Crestwood, Ky., who caught a limit weighing 16 pounds, 11 ounces.

"I'm very happy to be on top of the leader board," said Christianson, who fished as a co-angler last year and finished ninth at the 2003 RCL Tour stop on Lake Erie. "We had our limit by 8:30 this morning, and we caught at least 10 walleyes over the 20-inch slot."

Rounding out the top five teams are Bill Hall of Algonia, Iowa, and co-angler Jim Danbury of Grand Junction, Colo. (five walleyes, 16 pounds, 8 ounces); Greg Schenecker of Watertown, S.D., and co-angler Dale Hein of Spring Lake Park, Minn. (five walleyes, 16 pounds, 4 ounce); and Robert Crow of Paterson, Wash., and co-angler Gregory Karch of Oshkosh, Wis. (five walleyes, 15 pounds, 14 ounces).

Overall, 140 boats caught 627 walleyes Wednesday, including 110 five-walleye limits. The day's catch on the massive, 231-mile long reservoir totaled 1,461 pounds, 10 ounces.

Anglers take off each morning at 7 from Spring Creek Resort, which is located 10 miles north of Oahe Dam on Highway 1840. Thursday's weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. at the resort. Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins start at 3 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 1600 N. Harrison Ave. in Pierre. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins.

Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight and are randomly paired each day. The top 20 pros and top 20 co-anglers advance to the one-day semifinal round Friday based on their two-day opening-round catch. Weights are cleared Friday, and only the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers advance to Saturday's final round where the winners are determined by the heaviest two-day weight. Cash awards are presented to the top 60 anglers in each division.

Named after boat manufacturers Ranger, Crestliner and Lund, the RCL Tour is the world's most lucrative professional walleye-fishing series. This is the final regular-season stop en route to the $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River in Moline, Ill., Sept. 29 Oct. 2 where pros will fish for as much as $400,000 cash and co-anglers will chase as much as $150,000.

The RCL Tour is administered by FLW Outdoors, the world's leading marketer of competitive fishing. Other FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails include the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League for weekend anglers; the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world's most lucrative bass-tournament series; the EverStart Series, designed as a pathway to the FLW Tour; the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League for weekend anglers; and the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail. FLW Outdoors is named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood.

Wal-Mart and many of America's most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997.

For more information about the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
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Walmart RCL Tour to Wrap Up Season on Lake Oahe
PIERRE, S.D. (June 2, 2004) - The fourth and final regular-season event of the 2004 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour will take place June 16-19 on Lake Oahe near Pierre. The $401,750 event features as many as 160 of the world's best walleye pros competing for a top award worth as much as $90,000, including a fully rigged Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat. As many as 160 co-anglers will also compete for a top award of $15,000 cash.

The event marks the first time the RCL Tour has visited Lake Oahe since the tour's inception in 2000, and anglers familiar with the massive water body will find a different playing field when the RCL Tour rolls into town, as the lake is well below normal pool. "All the places where I've won tournaments are sitting high and dry right now," said pro Dave Spaid of Pierre. "This one is wide open - anyone could win it just about any place on the lake. The whole reservoir is good."

Spaid said Oahe walleyes will be locked into their summer patterns by tournament time, which means the fish will be keeping close tabs on roving packs of smelt and shad holding in the mouths of feeder creeks and around main-lake structure. "Finding food will be the key," Spaid said. "The fish are going to be on a pretty aggressive feed too, so there should be a lot of action and plenty of limits caught." He expects the winning weight to reach as high as 32 pounds.

Spring Creek Resort, which is located 10 miles north of Oahe Dam on Highway 1804, will host daily takeoffs at 7 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday's weigh-ins will also be held at Spring Creek beginning at 3 p.m., and Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 1600 N. Harrison Ave. in Pierre beginning at 3 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins.

The winning pro will earn $50,000 cash plus a fully rigged Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat powered by Evinrude or Yamaha for a top award worth $90,000. The winning co-angler will receive $15,000 cash. One hundred and sixty boaters and 160 co-anglers comprise a full field. 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 two-day opening round for one of 20 semifinal-round slots based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for day three, and the top 10 pros and co-anglers following Friday's competition advance to the final round. Final-round anglers continue Saturday, with the winner determined by the heaviest two-day weight.

Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points awarded to the winner, 199 to second, 198 for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings. The top 120 pros and 120 co-anglers based on year-end points standings qualify for the 2004 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River in Moline, Ill., Sept. 29-Oct. 2, where a pro can earn as much as $400,000 cash for a win. Another 20 boaters and 20 co-anglers from the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League and 60 pros and 60 co-anglers who compete in RCL-sanctioned events will comprise a championship field of 200 pros and 200 co-anglers.

The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship is the most lucrative event in professional walleye angling, with guaranteed cash awards through 100th place. Including sponsor bonuses, cash awards are available through 200th place. A guaranteed cash award of $150,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $250,000 will go to the RCL Championship winner for a total pro award of $400,000. The champion co-angler will win a guaranteed cash award of $75,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $75,000 for a co-angler award of $150,000.

The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour is administered by FLW Outdoors. Other FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails include the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League for weekend anglers; the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world's most lucrative bass-tournament series; the EverStart Series, designed as a pathway to the FLW Tour; the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League for weekend anglers; and the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail.

Wal-Mart and many of America's most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For more information about the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.

The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour and the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League are named after boat manufacturers Ranger, Crestliner and Lund. FLW Outdoors is named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood. (270) 252-1607.
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