|Touring Walleye Pros Aiming for Wisconsin’s Walleye Factory
With all eyes on Winneconne, Wisconsin, the In-Fisherman Professional
Walleye Trail pro anglers and their daily amateur partners are
headed there for some hot walleye fishing action.
These top-ranked pro anglers will be competing in the Johnsonville
Brats Pro-Am, part of the MotorGuide Regional series of high-stakes
walleye tournaments. The April 25-27 dates will coincide with
typical spring-like weather, according to predictions, and a
great walleye population in this sprawling central Wisconsin
lake and river system.
Anchored by Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin’s largest inland
lake, and the upriver lakes of Butte des Morts, Winneconne and
Poygan, plus the connecting channels, bays and rivers, and the
Fox and Wolf Rivers that spill into the lakes, this tournament
provides the greatest variety of options of any PWT tournament
Headquarters and the popular spectator weigh-in ceremonies
occur at Waterfront Park, just south of the Winneconne bridge.
Weigh-in ceremonies begin Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at
3 p.m. and are “family-friendly” with a free catfish
pond and free rock-climbing wall for youngsters.
Doug Nelson, Winneconne businessman and tournament coordinator,
said, “This year, the pros will see more and bigger fish.
The tagging efforts by the DNR resulted in 10,000 walleyes being
tagged, more than ever, and the big males from 20 to 22 inches
surprised the biologists, but so did the many female walleyes
that were much larger.”
Living near the Wolf River his entire life, PWT pro John Kolinski,
Greenville, Wis., said, “This year, it could be won anywhere.
The fish have spawned in two waves, and will be done when we’re
there. The river in Oshkosh could be the key spot, or even Lake
Winnebago, but I bet Wolf River will be a solid bet, but trolling
in Poygan and around Winneconne could be the answer.”
He has a second and a 21st place finish at Winneconne.
Last year’s winner Tom Gatzke, Merrill, Wis., who ended
up as the 2006 MotorGuide Regional Champion, winning a total
of $72,900 said, “My strategy could change this year.
Being a week later will put the big spawned-out females in play,
and I may gamble for big fish in the lakes. But, really, jigging
in the Wolf River is so much fun, you’ll probably see
The PWT conducts tournaments throughout North America. Remaining
events on the Regional tour include Mille Lacs in Minnesota
and Bay de Noc in Escanaba, Mich, where some amateur/co-angler
openings exist. The PWT Super Pro series, presented by MinnKota,
with events in Ontario and Minnesota takes place in late summer.
PWT news, stats, photos, entry blanks and the Mercury Real-Time
Leaderboard are at www.professionalwalleyetrail.com.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Photos of 2006 Winneconne PWT winner Tom Gatzke
are on the PWT web. Go to PWT News and 2006 winners. Select
one of the photos that fits your format. All are identified.
The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications
Network headquartered in Baxter, Minnesota, and INTER-MEDIA,
America's leading producer of targeted media. PWT promotional
partners include: Mercury Marine, Lund Boats, Berkley, Lowrance
Electronics, Optima Batteries, Minn Kota, Realtree, MotorGuide,
Johnsonville Brats, Outdoor Channel, Coleman, Northland Fishing
Tackle, StowMaster, Reef Runner, Yo-Zuri Quality Lures, Smooth
Moves Seat Mounts, Kwik Pfyt Mud Flaps, Yellow Bird Planer Boards,
Allstar Graphics, Ram Mounts, Element Edge, Pflueger, Plano
Tackle Systems, Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge, E-Cell, Cannon,
Fin-Tech Tackle, Do-It Molds, Winneconne Village 920.582.4851
and the Chamber of Commerce 920.582.4775.