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  • Updated: 06/08/04


    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 come true.”
        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 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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