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Bob Propst, Jr., Repeats with 2nd PWT Win in 2 Years at Chamberlain

Bob Propst, Jr., claimed the Berkley/Lund Pro-Am victory in the opening tournament of the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail 2007 season. He was competing in the MotorGuide Regional series on the Missouri River and Lake Francis Case in Chamberlain, SD.

His $66,000 win places him atop the Johnsonville Brats Angler of the Year race, the same position he occupied after a $55,000 win in Chamberlain last season. He fished a similar pattern, but concentrated on deeper water about 40 miles south of Chamberlain. His lure of choice last year was PowerBait Power Minnows. This year it was Berkley Gulp! Specifically, the chartreuse 2-inch Minnow Grub vertically jigged in 20-plus feet of water made the difference. He pinched off a bit of the tail, added a minnow, and caught his fish in the right order.

His 11.14 pounds eclipsed all other anglers in the weather-shortened tournament. PWT officials called off day one due to strong winds and cold temperatures. The “middle” day proved very fishable, though cold (20 degrees at take-off, up to 30 degrees later in the day). Day three dawned cold with a 10 mph breeze. All computer forecast models called for very strong winds, and coupled with the 17-degree air temperatures and 40-degree water temperatures, the third day was also canceled. The winds were blowing at 20 mph by 9 a.m. and 25 mph at the 10 a.m. awards ceremonies.

Jim Kalkofen, PWT executive director, in meeting with the Advisory Council representatives, said, “For 18 years, safety has been our most important operating guideline, and the decision to protect people is the reason for canceling the day.” Marty Glorvigen, PWT pro and Council member said on stage with his 29th place trophy, “I wanted to go fishing earlier, but with the strong winds now, you made the right call.”

Winning on the amateur side was Corrie VrBicky, Omaha, Neb. He towed home a 17-foot Lund boat with a 60-hp Mercury, valued at $19,000. The second place pro and amateur, Steve Alverson, Chester, SD won $15,964, while Mark Huntley, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa won $3,050 in merchandise and gift certificates from PWT sponsor partners. They also claimed Coleman Big Fish, a 5-pounder, which paid $1,500 to Alverson and $500 to Huntley.

As a special “thanks” to the PWT amateurs/co-anglers, Mercury Outboards presented rebate gift certificates to second through sixth place winners of $500 to $1,800. The top 30 amateurs and top 30 pros all won cash and/or merchandise or gift certificates.

Mike Gofron, Antioch, Illinois, won another top-10 place finish with a third and $11,530. He holds the record with the most PWT top-10s, now at 33. Two rookie pros were fourth and fifth. Eric Schuelke, Jackson, Wis., won $8,868, and Chad Shilling, Akaska, SD, won $8,426. Past PWT Chamberlain winner Mark Martin, Twin Lake, Mich., was sixth, with $7,982.

The hospitable staff at Cedar Shore Resort earned the PWT Key Award. Ron Madison, general manager, in accepting the award said, “We really love having the PWT guys and gals here, and look forward to seeing you in Chamberlain again.”

The Regional Series hits the water in Winneconne, Wis., April 25-27, with a full field of 120 pros. More schedule news, photos from Chamberlain, entry blanks for a chance to fish with the pro anglers in the Pro-Am format, and other details are on the PWT website, www.professionalwalleyetrail.com.

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 and Do-It Mold, Chamber at 605-234-4416 and Cedar Shore Resort, 605-734-6376

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