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  • Updated: 05/04/04


    PORT CLINTON, Ohio (May 1, 2004) — Pro Carl Grunwaldt of Green Bay, Wis., reeled in $90,000 in cash and prizes, including a Ranger boat powered by Evinrude, Saturday after catching five walleyes weighing 30 pounds while fishing with co-angler Charles Dahl of Burlington, Wis., on the final day of the $401,750 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour event presented by Yamaha on Lake Erie. 
        Friday’s catch boosted Grunwaldt’s two-day, final-round total to 10 walleyes weighing 63 pounds, 8 ounces to give him a 6-pound, 2-ounce margin of victory over runner up Jason Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis., who landed five walleyes weighing 32 pounds, 2 ounces while fishing with co-angler Matthew McAlpin of Findlay, Ohio, in the final round. Przekurat earned $25,000 for finishing second with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 57 pounds, 6 ounces.
        “This feels great,” said Grunwaldt, an RCL Tour veteran who earned two top-10 finishes last season. “I’m stunned. It’s really overwhelming at this point. I’ve been close several times, so it’s good to finally break through. I’m still a little shocked.”    
        Grunwaldt advanced to Friday’s semifinal round of 20 anglers in ninth place with five walleyes weighing 30 pounds, 13 ounces after 35 mph winds and a U.S. Coast Guard Small Craft Advisory forced the cancellation of Thursday’s competition. He then moved into the final round of 10 anglers as the No. 1 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 33 pounds, 8 ounces Friday with co-angler William Vogel of Lafayette, Ind.
        Grunwaldt caught solid limits each day of competition by trolling three-way rigs off the north side of Kelleys Island, an area that was a popular target for most of the top competitors. One key to his presentation, Grunwaldt says, was using a deep-diving crankbait on the bottom of the rig with a crawler harness and spinner on top. All of his fish were suspended at depths of 20 to 30 feet over 40 to 50 feet of water. He and his partner had seven bites Saturday but landed only five fish.
        “The wind switched at noon and our fish moved,” Grunwaldt said. “We couldn’t relocate them, and we didn’t catch another fish all day. It was a tense few hours at that point. 
        Rounding out the top five pros are Dennis Jeffrey of Garrison, N.D. (10 walleyes, 52 pounds, 11 ounces, $20,000); Scott Allar of Welch, Minn. (10 walleyes, 48 pounds, 8 ounces, $15,000); and Bill Leonard of Estherville, Iowa (10 walleyes, 46 pounds, 14 ounces, $12,500).
        Grunwaldt also earned a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for using only Garmin electronics.
        Vogel won the Co-angler Division and $15,000 with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 57 pounds, 12 ounces. He caught five walleyes weighing 33 pounds, 8 ounces Friday while fishing with Grunwaldt then added five walleyes weighing 24 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday while fishing Allar. Vogel qualified for the semifinal round in ninth place with five walleyes weighing 30 pounds, 13 ounces. He entered the final round as the No. 1 seed with five walleyes weighing 33 pounds, 8 ounces 
        Vogel and Allar were using planer boards to pull spinner rigs along the north side of Kelleys Island. 
        “We got the job done, but the fish were real, real skittish,” said Vogel, who finished 11th at last season’s Lake Erie stop. “The thing about this lake is that it’s possible for anyone to bring in 50 pounds of fish, so you never think you have it won.”
        Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dahl (10 walleyes, 55 pounds, 3 ounces, $7,500); Thomas Bower of Macedonia, Ohio (10 walleyes, 53 pounds, 10 ounces, $6,000); Ken Engel of Waterford, Wis. (10 walleyes, 50 pounds, 6 ounces, $5,000) and Keith Keivens of Toledo, Ohio (10 walleyes, 50 pounds, 1 ounce, $4,000). 
        In RCL Tour competition, pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight and are randomly paired each day. Cash awards are presented to the top 60 anglers in each division.
        Three hundred and forty-eight anglers representing 22 states and Canada participated in the tournament, which ranks as the state’s most lucrative walleye tournament to date. 
        Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour anglers compete in four regular-season tournaments in their quest to qualify for the $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River 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. The total purse for the 2004 RCL Tour is $3.19 million. 
        This was the second stop on the RCL Walleye Tour. Anglers will visit Devils Lake in Spirit Lake, N.D., May 26-29 and Lake Oahe in Pierre, S.D., June 16-19 for the final qualifying event. 
        FLW Outdoors administers the RCL Tour, which is 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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