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  • Updated: 09/13/03

  • September 14, 2003

    Dan Plautz, Veteran Pro, Wins Mercury PWT Championship in Houghton, Mich.

        Houghton, Michigan....To the cheers of more than  5,000 walleye fans,
    veteran In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) pro angler Dan Plautz
    won the $113,000 Mercury Championship first prize.  His 49.86 pound catch
    beat 51 of the world¹s best walleye anglers on the Keweenaw Waterway in
    Houghton, Mich.  

        Plautz, Muskego, Wis., has now won more than $250,000 on tour with three
    victories.  He accepted the first place prize which included a Lund boat
    with a Mercury outboard on an Eagle trailer, and $75,000 cash.  He also
    received a $3,000 diamond and gold ring from Richardson¹s Jewelers in
    Escanaba, Mich.  Plautz landed a PWT limit of four walleyes daily.  ³This is
    one of the best fisheries I¹ve seen, but the walleyes just didn¹t want to
    bite like they did back in August,² he said.  His trolling pattern in 16 to
    20 feet of water with Storm Hot Ćn Tots and small Reef Runners just six feet
    under the surface proved to be the trick.  His best area was on the south
    side of Portage Lake.

        Rookie of the Year pro Kevin Schweder, Janesville, Wis. said, ³Fishing
    against my heroes was the greatest thrill of my life.  This season and this
    tournament will remain in my memory banks forever.²  He landed 34.50 pounds
    and a prize of $40,000.  Scoring his highest finish ever, Rich Boggs,
    Nisswa, Minn., collected the $30,000 third prize.  Schweder trolled gold
    spinners within a foot of the bottom in 35 to 45 feet of water.  Boggs
    preferred tiny Rapala Shad Raps.

        Fourth place and $10,000 went to ³The Jigmeister² Daryl Christensen,
    Montello, Wis., who placed highest while pitching jigs and jigging spoons in
    shallow water.  Keith Kavajecz, Kaukauna, Wis., failed to catch a fish on
    day three, but maintained a fifth place finish for $7,000.  Every pro (no
    entry fee required) won at least $2,000.

        PWT Angler of the Year Bill Ortiz, Dodgeville, Wis., was in position to
    win an extra $250,000 from Mercury if he also won the Championship.  He
    moved up to 9th position after two days, but was unable to climb higher.
    However, as Angler of the Year, he netted $35,000 ($10,000 as a Mercury
    bonus).  Likewise, the Quantum $1,000,000 prize for any pro breaking the
    Michigan state record walleye went unclaimed.  The largest walleye, 11.20
    pounds, was recorded by Andy Kuffer, Fair Haven, Mich., He won $3,000.
    Kavajecz won $1,000 for an 8.21-pounder.  Schweder also won $1,000 for a
    7.95 pound walleye.

        The Optima Batteries Top Gun award of $5,000 went to Kavajecz, who had
    the highest rating of all PWT pros throughout the season.  Top Gun is
    computed on overall finish (2nd), average place finish (2nd) and
    Championship finish (5th).  The Realtree Sportsman of the Year award of
    $500, voted by the Championship contestants, went to Bismarck, ND pro
    Sheldon Meidinger, for his heroic efforts when he rescued two capsized
    boaters on Lake Erie.

        Plautz won the $1,000 Gander Mountain Heavy Weight award of $1,000 for a
    second day 19.77 pound catch.  ³Actually, judging from the fishing I did in
    August, this represented only about half what I expected,² he said.  Eric
    Naig, Cylinder, Iowa, moved up 28 places to win the $1,000 Coleman Cool
    Under Pressure award.  The Norb Wallock Memorial Education award went to pro
    Brad Davis, Jackson, Wis.  He won $500 based on nominations from amateur
    partners on the quality of what he taught them this season.  Julie Wallock,
    Norb¹s widow made the presentation.

        During the awards banquet, PWT officials recognized many local
    volunteers, including event chairman Gary Lubinski.  Ted Takasaki, president
    of Lindy Little Joe fishing tackle in Brainerd, Minn., said, ³This was a
    great community with tremendous support, and I want to come back.²  His
    opinion was shared by all contestants.

        The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications
    Network headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, and PRIMEDIA, America's
    leading producer of targeted media. PWT sponsors include: Mercury Marine,
    Lund, Berkley Gulp!, Trilene, PowerBait, Realtree, Frenzy, Lowrance,
    MinnKota, Optima Batteries, Gander Mountain, Nissan, Blue Fox, Northland
    Fishing Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, Coleman, Storm, Eagle
    Trailers, Raymarine, Rapala, Matzuo, Pflueger, Ram rod holders, Drift
    Control, DeeZee, Cotton Cordell, Seal Skinz, Aqua-Vu, IMCO, Plano,
    KeepAlive, Stowmaster.net, Quantum Performance Tuned rods & reels

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