|VALLEY CITY, ND, May 23rd, 2008: The National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA), a non-profit organization focused on growing the sport of fishing and increasing the professionalism of its members, would like to congratulate all NPAA members who competed in the 2007 In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail Championship in Bay City, MI.|
Special recognition goes to our new NPAA member and Berkley Pro Mark Courts #719 from Harris, MN who held onto the lead all three days of competition. Courts held his lead by paying close attention to the speed he was trolling his spinner rigs and keeping up with the quality fish that roam Saginaw Bay. After he was declared Champion, Courts said, "This experience is unbelievable, and I can't thank all my family and friends that have helped me get to where I am today."
Hard charging NPAA member and Ranger/Evinrude Pro Tommy Skarlis #11 swung for the fence by staying in the Saginaw River for the entire last day. He jigged Berkley Gulp! weighing the biggest basket day three catching all his fish within two miles of the launch ramp showcasing the excellent fishery in Bay City, MI. Skarlis said, "I knew I'd have a hard time beating Courts, but after upgrading one fish in the river with little time to spare on day two, I felt some larger river fish could win the Championship."
NPAA member and Ranger/Evinrude Pro Bill Ortiz #57 stuck with his Hot N Tot trolling program to secure third place as a veteran PWT Championship qualifier.
All ten Championship anglers are NPAA members and are committed to grow the sport of fishing. They are in order:
1. Mark Courts #719
2. Tommy Skarlis #11
3. Bill Ortiz #57
4. Chase Parsons #806
5. Ernie Olson #396
6. Todd Riley #19
7. Mark Brumbaugh #70
8. Chad Schilling #283
9. Tom Kemos #913
10. Gary Parsons #24
What an outstanding fishery on Saginaw Bay. A fantastic spectator crowd attended the PWT Championship weigh-ins and sport show as many attendees brought families from the surrounding area to take part in PWT youth activities, and a live band after the weigh-in.
Special thanks to Mercury Marine, Evinrude Outboards, Lund Boats, Ranger Boats, Offshore Tackle, Northland Tackle, Fin-tech Tackle, Berkley, Navionics, Walleye's Inc., Greater Insurance Services, Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC), and FLW Outdoors, as they continue to grow the NPAA and the sport of fishing.
To learn more about the NPAA and its members go to www.npaa.net