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  • Updated: 06/22/04


    PIERRE, S.D. (June 18, 2004) – Robert Crow of Paterson, Wash., and co-angler Robert Swank of Darby Mont., landed a 16-pound, 4-ounce limit Friday to open a 4-ounce lead over their closest competitors in the $401,750 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour stop on Lake Oahe. 
       Crow and Swank used Rapala Husky Jerks trolled at 1.7 to 1.9 mph to target walleyes suspended in 20 feet of water. The catch was Crow’s heaviest of the tournament and solid enough to give the pair a final-round lead over No. 2 seeds Scott Pitlick of Pierre, S.D., and co-angler Stephen Froelich of Eagan, Minn, who caught five walleyes weighing 16 pounds after Froelich edged into the semifinal round by 2 ounces and Pitlick squeaked in as the No. 20 seed thanks to a tiebreaker.  
        “Anytime you go into the last day with a lead, it’s nice,” said Crow, an RCL Tour veteran who estimates that he and Swank caught 25 fish over the course of the day. “I just hope that I make the right choices tomorrow and come out on top.”
       Crow entered Friday’s semifinal round as the No. 4 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 15 pounds, 14 ounces Wednesday with co-angler Gregory Karch of Oshkosh, Wis., and five walleyes weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce Thursday with co-angler Chris Brown of Rapid City, S.D. Swank was the No. 4 seed after catching five walleyes weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces Wednesday with Terry Nelson of Pierre, S.D., and five walleyes weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces Thursday with pro Robert Heaford of Mason City, Iowa. 
       “We threw a couple of extra limits away that other teams would have liked to have had,” said Swank, who is fishing his second RCL Tour season. “I think if I can add another 14 pounds, I’ll be in good shape.”
       Weights were cleared Friday for the top 20 pros and co-anglers who made the cut out of an original field of 145 pros and 145 co-anglers. The 10 remaining pros are casting for a top award of $90,000 in cash and prizes, including a Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat powered by Evinrude or Yamaha, and the 10 remaining co-anglers are chasing a top award of $15,000 cash. The winners in each division will be determined by the heaviest two-day weight. 
       Rounding out the top five final-round qualifiers are pro John Zirzow of Fort Collins, Colo., and co-angler Jim Schleicher of Maxwell, Neb. (five walleyes, 15 pounds, 7 ounces); Nelson and Chester Jones of Michigan City, Ind. (five walleyes, 15 pounds, 1 ounce); and pro Frank Christianson of Blomkest, Minn., and co-angler Dale Hein of Spring Lake Park, Minn. (five walleyes, 14 pounds, 7 ounces).
       Overall, the 20 semifinal round teams fishing Friday weighed in 99 walleyes, including 19 five-fish limits. The day’s catch totaled 248 pounds, 7 ounces. 
       The final takeoff starts at 7 Saturday morning from Spring Creek Resort, which is located 10 miles north of Oahe Dam on Highway 1840. The final weigh-in starts at 3 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 1600 N. Harrison Ave. in Pierre. The community is invited to attend the takeoff and weigh-in. 
       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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