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  • Updated: 06/22/04


    PIERRE, S.D. (June 17, 2004) – Bill Hall of Algona, Iowa, and co-angler Robert Sallee of Shiloh, Ohio, landed a five-walleye limit weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces Thursday to give Hall the Pro Division lead heading into Friday’s semifinal round of the four-day, $401,750 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour stop on Lake Oahe with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 30 pounds, 14 ounces. The catch also boosted Sallee from 26th place into a tie for fifth in the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 27 pounds, 12 ounces.
        Weights are cleared Friday for the top 20 pros and top 20 co-anglers who made the cut. The top 10 pros will advance to Saturday’s final round based on Friday’s catch for a shot at $90,000 in cash and prizes, including a Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat powered by Evinrude or Yamaha, and the top 10 co-anglers will fish Saturday for a top award of $15,000 cash. The winners in each division are determined by the heaviest two-day weight. 
        “There is not a huge separation between first and 20th, but I think I can hold on,” said Hall, who entered Thursday’s competition as the No. 3 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 16 pounds, 8 ounces on opening-day with co-angler Jim Danbury of Grand Junction, Colo. “For me it comes down to consistency. I may not bring in the heaviest catch tomorrow, but I think I can duplicate my weigh two days in a row, and that is going to mean a lot.”
        Hall and Sallee caught their walleyes Thursday while fishing a 200-yard stretch off an underwater island approximately 20 miles from takeoff at Spring Creek Resort. The pair targeted fingers that extend from the island, topping out in 16 feet of water and tapering off to 100 feet of water. A night crawler rigged on a gold hook and attached to a 1-ounce weight was their tactic of choice. 
        “There is not an abundance of big, big fish in the area, but the fish there are very healthy,” Hall said. “They weigh much more than what you would expect them to weigh based on their length.”  
        Rounding out the top five pros are Frank Christianson of Blomkest, Minn. (10 walleyes, 29 pounds, 7 ounces); Bill Leonard of Estherville, Iowa (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 15 ounces); Robert Crow of Paterson, Wash. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 15 ounces) and Joe Mitchell of Rush City, Minn. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 9 ounces).
        Larry Bawdon of Highmore, S.D., jumped into the co-angler lead after finishing opening day in 14th place with five walleyes weighing 14 pounds, 6 ounces. He and 2002 RCL Championship winner Bruce Samson of Minnetrista, Minn., caught five walleyes weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces Thursday for a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 29 pounds, 8 ounces. Bawdon fished with pro James Adsem of Shorewood, Minn., Wednesday. 
        Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dale Hein of Spring Lake Park, Minn. (10 walleyes, 29 pounds, 5 ounces); Reid Hanzalik of Crestwood, Ky. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 5 ounces); Robert Swank of Darby, Mt. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 4 ounces); Shawn Kaiser of Two Rivers, Wis. (10 walleyes, 27 pounds, 12 ounces) and Sallee.
        Kaiser and Sallee each caught 13 pounds, 6 ounces Wednesday and 14 pounds, 6 ounces Thursday. 
        Overall, 644 walleyes were caught Thursday, including 114 five-walleye limits. The day’s catch totaled 1,428 pounds, 12 ounces. 
        Anglers take off each morning at 7 from Spring Creek Resort, which is located at 10 miles north of Oahe Dam on Highway 1840. Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins start at 3 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 1600 N. Harrison Ave. in Pierre. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins. 
        Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight and are randomly paired each day. This is the fourth and final regular-season tournament 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. Cash awards are presented to the top 60 anglers in each division at every regular-season tournament.  
        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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