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  • Updated: 10/05/03


    RED WING, Minn. (Oct. 2, 2003) – Pro Randy Carroll of Oswego, Ill., hauled in a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 31 pounds, 11 ounces to lead the 12 pros who advanced to Friday’s semifinal round of the four-day, $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River. The tournament kicked off Wednesday with 220 pros in the hunt for a top pro award worth as much as $400,000 cash, the richest payout in walleye-tournament history. Twelve co-anglers from the original field of 220 also advanced to Friday’s competition, after which the co-angler winner will be crowned and awarded as much as $150,000.
        Thick fog delayed morning takeoff for two hours Thursday, and anglers already off to a late start found the Mississippi to be as challenging a playing field Thursday as it was Wednesday. Carroll, along with his co-angler partner Darrell Archey of Great Falls, Mont., still managed to catch a limit of five walleyes weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces Thursday to finish the opening round in first despite a potentially crippling lack of current. Carroll and Archey caught their walleyes following shad in the backwaters.
        “The bite has been so bad lately that anything you stumble upon is a blessing,” said Carroll, who finished fourth on opening day. “Right now they’re all transition fish – fish moving in, fish moving out. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you’ll catch some fish.”
        Rounding out the top five pros are Scott Allar of Welch (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 1 ounce); Sam Anderson of Inver Grove Heights (five walleyes, 26 pounds, 15 ounces); Mike Lacher of Bismarck, N.D. (10 walleyes, 26 pounds, 3 ounces); and Jerry Hein of Stillwater (10 walleyes, 23 pounds, 10 ounces).
        Richard Volkman of St. Paul leads the Co-angler Division into their final day of competition thanks to a two-day catch of seven walleyes weighing 31 pounds, 8 ounces. Volkman and Anderson, his Thursday pro partner, landed three walleyes weighing 22 pounds, 2 ounces to give Volkman the edge on the co-angler side.
        “It’s very tough,” said Volkman, who finished opening day in the 23rd position. “We fished four or five different spots and made 500 casts for three fish – there are a lot of lures in the rocks.”
        Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Archey (10 walleyes, 27 pounds, 10 ounces); Luke Kersten of Boyceville, Wis. (five walleyes, 25 pounds, 11 ounces); Glenn Rosenfeldt of Sabin (seven walleyes, 23 pounds, 10 ounces); and Jarrad Fluekiger of Alma, Wis. (four walleyes, 22 pounds, 6 ounces).
        Two women advanced to Friday’s competition on the co-angler side. Susan Hugill of Pine City, Minn., had a two-day total of seven walleyes weighing 19 pounds, 15 ounces to finish the opening round in the No. 7 spot. Audrey Robb of Dryden, Ontario, enters the co-angler final round in the No. 8 position thanks to a two-day catch of seven walleyes weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces. She finished in the top 12 despite ranking 105th after Wednesday’s competition.
        Treasure Island Resort and Casino will host semifinal- and final-round takeoffs at 7 a.m. each day. Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 1752 Frontage Road in Hastings at 5 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. The community is encouraged to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins. The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour Family Fun Zone featuring boat and truck displays, sponsor giveaways and children’s games will open at the Hastings Wal-Mart at 3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday. Admission is free.
        The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship field is comprised of anglers who qualified for the event via the $3.07 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour or other sanctioned tournament organizations. Pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day and fish for a combined boat weight. Pros supply the boat and tackle and control boat movement. 
        The top 12 anglers in both the pro and co-angler divisions advanced to the semifinal round based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for the semifinal round, and pros compete for one of six final-round slots. Co-angler competition concludes Friday based on their one-day weight.
        The winning pro is guaranteed $150,000 cash. Qualified Ranger, Crestliner and Lund owners are eligible for a $150,000 bonus, and if the winner’s boat is equipped with an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard, he will receive another $100,000 for a top pro award of $400,000 cash. The winning co-angler is guaranteed $75,000 cash, and if he is a registered owner of a Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat, he will receive a $45,000 bonus. If his boat is equipped with an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard, he will receive another $30,000 for a top co-angler award of $150,000.
        The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship 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 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 a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com.

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