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HEIN, BARTH WIN WAL-MART RCL WALLEYE TOUR EVENT
ON DEVILS LAKE
SPIRIT LAKE, N.D. (May 29, 2004) – Pro Jerry Hein of Stillwater, Minn.,
landed $90,000 in cash and prizes, including a Lund boat powered by Yamaha,
Saturday after catching five walleyes weighing 23 pounds, 13 ounces while
fishing with co-angler Lynn Jurrens of Watertown, S.D., on the final day
of the $401,750 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour stop on Devils Lake.
Hein and Jurrens caught their limit using Rapala
No. 7 Shad Rap RS crankbaits in chrome and blue to boost Hein from third
into the top spot with a two-day, final-round total of 10 walleyes weighing
48 pounds, 1 ounce. The catch gave him a 7-ounce advantage over runner-up
Phillip Milliser Jr., who landed 10 walleyes weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces
and earned $25,000.
“I thought we were one upgrade short of the win,”
said Hein, who finished sixth on Devils Lake last season and sixth at the
2003 RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River in Red Wing, Minn.
“We had one 19-incher that I wanted to upgrade to a 22 to 23-inch fish.
I knew I needed a good finish to make the championship, so this is a dream
Hein entered Friday’s semifinal round of 20 anglers
as the No. 7 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 18 pounds, 4 ounces
Wednesday with co-angler Thomas Bower of Macedonia, Ohio, and five walleyes
weighing 25 pounds, 8 ounces Thursday with co-angler Russell Mann of Gilman,
Iowa. Weights were cleared Friday and Hein advanced to the final round
of 10 anglers as the No. 3 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 24
pounds, 4 ounces with co-angler Randy Blasky of Fordville, N.D.
Hein and his co-anglers switched tactics daily,
fishing leeches Wednesday, night crawlers Thursday and back to leeches
Friday. He started Saturday by working leeches along the east side of Grahams
Island but moved to the south and switched to crankbaits after boating
just one small fish by 9 a.m. Hein and Jurrens then caught three walleyes
almost immediately after tying on the crankbaits and casting them to submerged
brush and grass.
Rounding out the top five pros are Shannon Kehl
of Menoken, N.D. (10 walleyes, 39 pounds, 4 ounces, $20,000); Mark Presta
of Racine, Wis. (10 walleyes, 38 pounds, 9 ounces, $15,000); and Jeff Koester
of Brookville, Ind. (10 walleyes, 38 pounds, 3 ounces, $12,500).
Hein also earned a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for
using only Garmin electronics.
Barth won the Co-angler Division and $15,000 with
the heaviest two-day total in either division, 10 walleyes weighing 52
pounds, 9 ounces. He caught five walleyes weighing 29 pounds, 11 ounces
Friday while fishing with Bruce Hill of Forest Lake, Minn., to enter the
final round as the No. 1 seed with a 4-pound, 15-ounce advantage over his
closest competitor. He then added five walleyes weighing 22 pounds, 14
ounces Saturday while fishing with Milliser to open a 5-pound, 3-ounce
margin of victory over Jurrens, who caught 10 walleyes weighing 47 pounds,
6 ounces and earned $7,500.
“That 5-pound lead coming into the finals really
helped,” said Barth, who was fishing his first tournament and postponed
closing on a new house Friday in order to compete. “Being a first-timer,
I really didn’t know what to expect, but I had great draws and great pros
to work with.”
Like Hein and Jurrens, Barth and Milliser caught
fish using No. 7 Shad Rap crankbaits in chrome and blue. The pair opted
for a jointed model and tipped the hooks with bits of night crawlers. They
also caught fish on leeches.
Barth advanced to the semifinal round as the No.
2 seed with 10 walleyes weighing 48 pounds, 7 ounces that he caught with
pros Mark Courts of Harris, Minn., and Dan Majeske of Billings, Mt., on
Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Mark Gardner
of Casper, Wyo. (10 walleyes, 43 pounds, 1 ounce, $6,000); Tim Rutten of
Devils Lake, N.D. (10 walleyes, 39 pounds, $5,000) and Janet Flynn of Tea,
S.D. (10 walleyes, 38 pounds, 10 ounces, $4,000).
Rain and wind gusting to 20 mph Saturday made fishing
difficult as many teams reported waves of 4 to 6 feet. Overall, the final
10 teams caught 44 walleyes, including seven limits. The day’s catch totaled
162 pounds, 4 ounces.
Pros and co-angler are randomly paired in RCL Tour
competition, and cash awards are presented to the top 60 anglers in each
division. A total of 348 anglers representing 21 states and Canada participated
in the tournament.
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 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 season
is $3.19 million.
The RCL Tour 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-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
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.