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  • Updated: 08/10/04

  • Next Stop on Professional Walleye Tour: Bay de Noc's Giant Walleyes

        Brainerd, Minnesota....Touring pro walleye anglers from as far away
    as Washington and New York will be heading to Escanaba, Michigan later this
    month.  The In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) anglers will be
    gunning for the $64,000 top prize.

        They will be fishing Little Bay de Noc and Big Bay de Noc, immense
    bays on the north end of Lake Michigan's Green Bay.  Fishing the Outdoor
    Channel Pro-Am will be 120 pros - the best of the best - who applied to the
    PWT credentials committee and were selected to fish.  

        This Pro-Am, Aug. 26 - 28, will set the field for the Mercury
    Championship, also in Michigan's Upper Peninsula this September.  The PWT
    slate of six qualifying tournaments (leading up to the Championship) runs
    April through August, with $2,000,000 in purses paid out this season.  The
    pros win big, as do their amateur partners.  The top amateur in every
    tournament tows home a Lund/Mercury walleye boat on an E-Z Loader trailer,
    valued at $17,000.  

        The Mercury Top Amateur at the end of the season also competes with
    the pro anglers at the Championship.  There, the winner takes home more than
    $100,000.  Last year Dan Plautz, Muskego, Wis. claimed first place.  

        The year-end prestigious Angler of the Year title will honor the
    most consistent pro over the past five months.  Going into Bay de Noc as the
    Number One angler is Mike Gofron, Antioch, Ill.  His five money finishes
    this year include first, fifth and seventh place trophies and more than
    $86,000 in winnings.  

        Giant walleyes roam Green Bay, prowling from the shallow weeds to
    the vast expanses of open water.  Anglers are faced with many choices,
    especially where to go and which tactics to use.  Andy Kuffer, Fair Haven,
    Mich., won at Escanaba last year, and favored spinners with night crawlers
    in Big Bay de Noc.  His best advice, "Don't rely on memories when fishing
    nomadic Great Lakes walleyes; be ready to travel and adapt."

        The daily weigh-in festivities occur at Escanaba Marina, starting at
    3 p.m. Aug 26 - 28, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Walleye fans are invited
    to the free stage shows to learn more about where the pros find fish and how
    they catch them.  As a special treat, the PWT, in cooperation with the NPAA,
    will conduct a Meet the Pros event designed especially for youngsters on
    Monday, Aug. 23 in the Menard's parking lot in downtown Escanaba, 6 p.m. to
    8 p.m.

        The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications
    Network headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, and PRIMEDIA, America's
    leading producer of targeted media. PWT sponsors include: Mercury Marine,
    Lund, Berkley Gulp!, The Outdoor Channel, Trilene, Optima Batteries,
    Realtree, MotorGuide, Mr. Clean, PowerBait, Lowrance, MinnKota, Frenzy,
    Gander Mountain, Blue Fox, Northland Fishing Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing
    Tackle, Coleman, Storm, Boat Buckle, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, Kwik Pfyt,
    Beckman, Rejuvenade, E-Z Loader, Raymarine, Rapala, Matzuo, Pflueger, Ram
    rod holders, Drift Control, Aqua-Vu, Plano, Stowmaster.net, Bay de Noc
    Convention & Visitors Bureau (800-533-4FUN) and Delta Chamber

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