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  • Updated: 05/12/04


    SPIRIT LAKE, N.D. (May 12, 2004) – The $3.19 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour will stage its third regular-season event on Devils Lake May 26-29, a tournament that will pay out $401,750 in cash and prizes. The event is the next-to-last stop on the 2004 RCL Tour and will feature as many as 320 pros and co-anglers competing for a top pro award worth as much as $90,000 and a top co-angler award worth $15,000 cash.
        RCL Tour pro Bruce Samson of Minnetrista, Minn., known to many as the “Devils Lake Master,” expects Devils Lake to surrender its usual heavy stringers that have earned it a reputation as one of the most productive walleye fisheries in the upper Midwest. “It’s a fabulous lake that’s full of fish up to 12 pounds,” Samson said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if it takes 24 pounds per day to make it though the cuts and just as much to win. Five-fish, 25-pound sacks are pretty common.” Samson said there will be multiple patterns working when the RCL Tour rolls into town, but he predicts the majority of the heavier sacks will come on medium-diving firetiger crankbaits snaked through timber, brush and weedbeds in shallow water.
        Spirit Lake Casino and Resort, located at 7889 Highway 20/57 in Spirit Lake, will host daily takeoffs at 7 each morning. Wednesday and Thursday’s weigh-ins will also be held there beginning at 3 p.m., and Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 210 Highway 2 W. in Devils Lake beginning at 3 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins.
        The winning pro will earn $50,000 cash plus a fully rigged Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat powered by Evinrude or Yamaha for a top award worth $90,000. The winning co-angler will receive $15,000 cash. One hundred and sixty boaters and 160 co-anglers comprise a full field. Pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day and fish for a combined boat weight. Pros compete against other pros, and co-anglers compete against other co-anglers.
        The full field competes during the two-day opening round for one of 20 semifinal-round slots based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for day three, and the top 10 pros and co-anglers following Friday’s competition advance to the final round. Final-round anglers continue Saturday, with the winner determined by the heaviest two-day weight.
        Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points awarded to the winner, 199 to second, 198 for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings. The top 120 pros and 120 co-anglers based on year-end points standings qualify for the 2004 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River in Moline, Ill., Sept. 29-Oct. 2, where a pro can earn as much as $400,000 cash for a win. Another 20 boaters and 20 co-anglers from the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League and 60 pros and 60 co-anglers who compete in RCL-sanctioned events will comprise a championship field of 200 pros and 200 co-anglers.
        The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship is the most lucrative event in professional walleye angling, with guaranteed cash awards through 100th place. Including sponsor bonuses, cash awards are available through 200th place. A guaranteed cash award of $150,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $250,000 will go to the RCL Championship winner for a total pro award of $400,000. The champion co-angler will win a guaranteed cash award of $75,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $75,000 for a co-angler award of $150,000.  
        The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour is administered by FLW Outdoors. 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.
        The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour and the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League are named after boat manufacturers Ranger, Crestliner and Lund. FLW Outdoors is named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood.
    Editor’s Note: For a list of competitors from your area, please contact Dave Washburn, communications director, at (270) 252-1607. 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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