SCHUETTE LEADS WAL-MART FLW WALLEYE TOUR EVENT ON GREEN BAY
GREEN BAY, Wis. (May 19, 2005) - Pro Pat Schuette of Manitowoc caught a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 66 pounds, 3 ounces to lead the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event on Green Bay. A field of 133 pros is competing for a potential top award of $86,000, while co-anglers are competing for a potential top award of $16,600.
The weather took a turn for the worse on Thursday. Competitors faced five hours of steady downpour in the morning as well as high southeast winds, yet the fishing was still phenomenal for the second straight day.
"The weather was terrible today, but the fishing was still good," said Schuette. Schuette fished one small area and threw spinners and crawlers in shallow water. He plans to work the same area again on Friday, as he has it mostly to himself with the exception of two nearby competitors.
Rounding out the top-five pros are Pat Nue of Forestville (10 walleyes, 65 pounds, 7 ounces); Scott Allen of Green Bay (10 walleyes, 64 pounds, 10 ounces); Glenn Chenier of Gladstone, Mich. (10 walleyes, 61 pounds, 3 ounces); and Gordy Powers of Rockford, Minn. (10 walleyes, 61 pounds, 2 ounces).
A total of 506 walleyes weighing 2,290 pounds, 12 ounces were caught Thursday.
Mark Cottingham of Green Bay leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 67 pounds, 3 ounces.
"I did most of the actual fishing, while my pro partner controlled the boat and netted the fish," Cottingham said. "It was really rough out there, and you had to keep your balance or fall in." Cottingham fished with pro Paul Wright of Westpoint, Ind., on Thursday.
Rounding out the top-five co-anglers are Scott Tipton of Box Elder, S.D. (10 walleyes, 59 pounds, 5 ounces); Richard Conrad of Brillion (10 walleyes, 58 pounds, 13 ounces); Chuck Jones of Michigan City, Ind. (10 walleyes, 54 pounds); and Mike Lewis of Seymour (10 walleyes, 53 pounds, 13 ounces).
Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight and are randomly paired each day. The FLW Walleye Tour is the world's most lucrative professional walleye-fishing series. At the $650,000 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Mississippi River in Moline, Ill., Sept. 28 - Oct. 1, pros will fish for as much as $140,000 cash and co-anglers will chase as much as $22,000.
Daily takeoffs at Green Bay start at 7 a.m. at Metro Park Boat Launch. Friday's weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. at the marina, and Saturday's weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 2440 West Mason Street in Green Bay. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public.
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.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America's largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour.
For more information on 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 title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.
The Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour has taken its lumps over the first half of the season. Such maladies as a low field turnout and an even lower fish count at Bull Shoals and another short field along with brutal conditions and a relatively small amount of fish caught at Port Clinton have plagued this lucrative tour. Times, however, look like they are changing.
Reports of plenty of 4-to 6-pound walleyes in the bay, along with the occasional 7-to 8-pounder being hoisted aboard the tour boats during pre-fish, have provided that spark and hopefully, the excitement that these events usually provide. Many locals feel the FLW timed this event perfectly.
Pzrekurat Feels Good
Evinrude/Gander Mountain pro and former Angler of the Year Jason Pzrekurat has a positive outlook for the Green Bay event.
"I'm feeling pretty good about this tournament," he said. "I've got four spots I have consistently been able to catch good fish. I've been getting the 4-to 5-pounders plus the occasional 7-pounder I'll need to make it to the finals."
Long runs are not advised by Pzrekurat.
"I'm fishing relatively close to the launch site," he said. "the fish I've located are not too far away. I feel that making really long runs will definitely limit your abilities to catch the fish you need in this event. More time fishing and less time running should pay off.
While some anglers will certainly probe the depths for trophy walleyes, Pzrekurat plans on staying shallow.
"I will be pulling spinners for sure," he said. "I'm looking for the warmest water and that happens to be in the shallows. This is where I've found the fish and I'm sticking with it, unless something changes. I know I can get the quality fish I need."
His shallow walleyes are also in areas without much additional pressure.
"Iím not fishing in the crowds," he said. "This is not Lake Erie, where a large group of anglers can work a big pod of fish and catch them. If you get 20 boats in an area here, there are not enough fish to go around, especially over four days. The spots I've been fishing donít have the pressure."
Pzrekurat knows you can only make one mistake. "We are allowed to put 6 fish in the livewell," he said. "We can weigh 5 fish. That allows for one mistake, one smaller fish can be kept. You better make sure your 5 fish are the biggest fish you can weigh."
His call for making the final round is 28 pounds of walleye per day.
He is currently ranked 17th in the World Walleye Rankings and 2nd in the FLW Angler of the Year points race.