Banks leads Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event on Detroit River
TRENTON, Mich. – Pro Scott Banks of Cannon Falls, Minn.,
along with his partner, Michael Eichbrecht of Washington, Mich.,
caught five walleyes weighing 31 pounds, 5 ounces to lead day
one of the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event presented by Yamaha
on the Detroit River in Trenton, Mich., the first regular-season
event of the 2007 FLW Walleye Tour. With a $2.71 million total
purse, including the no-entry-fee $675,850 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye
Tour Championship on Lake Erie at Cleveland, Ohio, Sept. 27-30,
and television coverage on FSN (Fox Sports Net), the FLW Walleye
Tour is bigger and better than ever.
Anglers were greeted with gale-force winds the morning of the
season opener, and fishing was restricted to the Michigan waters
of the Detroit River due to the dangerous winds. Temperatures
remained in the 30s throughout the day and snow turned to rain
to make for miserable conditions for anglers, but they braved
the conditions and remained optimistic about the event.
“Every day the bite is getting better as the fish are
getting acclimated to the cooler water temperatures we’ve
had recently,” said Banks, who is beginning his fourth
year as a pro on the FLW Walleye Tour. “People around
us were catching fish, but we were doing something just a little
different that allowed us to land a little better fish.”
Banks and Eichbrecht found that the clear water offered a good
jig bite — a bite that produced quickly and consistently.
“We were culling fish by 10 minutes to eight this morning,”
Banks said. “Feeling the bite in the wind wasn’t
a problem — staying in place was. I had to really stay
on the trolling motor today.
“When we left our spot, it was to the point that we couldn’t
jig any more,” Banks continued. “Fortunately we
had our fish and didn’t have to worry about it.”
Banks, who grew up fishing the waters of the Mississippi River,
said he spent all of his time prefishing for the tournament
on the river instead of trying the lake bite.
“I’m going to do the same thing the rest of the
tournament,” Banks said. “I just want to catch a
few more solid limits.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Mark Meravy of Shorewood,
Ill. (five walleyes, 21 pounds, 8 ounces); Kevin Goligowski
of Maplewood, Minn. (five walleyes, 21 pounds, 5 ounces); Robert
Lampman of De Soto, Wis. (five walleyes, 20 pounds, 11 ounces);
and Rick McLaughlin of Glenrock, Wyo. (five walleyes, 20 pounds,
Eichbrecht leads the co-angler division. “Going into
today, I would have loved to have had 20 pounds,” Eichbrecht
said. “That would have been fantastic. As it turns out,
I’m doing much better than that. I’m just really
having a lot of fun out here.”
Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight. Rounding
out the top five co-anglers are Bill Buboltz of Ham Lake, Minn.,
Stephen Gaston of Montegut, La., Robert Dekorne of Newaygo,
Mich., and Shannon Larson of Rice Lake, Wis.
Elizabeth Park/Wayne County Parks is hosting the event. Anglers
launch daily at 7 a.m. from Elizabeth Park Marina located at
202 Grosse Isle Parkway in Trenton, Mich. Thursday and Friday’s
weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m.
Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store
located at 23800 Allen Road in Woodhaven, Mich., beginning at
4 p.m. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and
weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public.
Pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day and fish for
a combined boat weight. Pros compete against other pros, and
co-anglers compete against other co-anglers. The full field
competes during the three-day opening round for one of 10 final-round
slots based on their three-day accumulated weight.
Weights carry over to day four, with the winner determined
by the heaviest four-day weight.
Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns
points, with 150 points awarded to the winner, 149 to second,
148 for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings.
The top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers based on year-end points standings
will advance to the 2007 FLW Walleye Tour Championship.
The FLW Walleye Tour Championship is the most lucrative event
in professional walleye angling, with guaranteed cash awards
for the entire field. A guaranteed cash award of $100,000 plus
potential sponsor bonuses totaling $50,000 will go to the FLW
Walleye Tour Championship winner for a total pro award of $150,000.
The champion co-angler will win a guaranteed cash award of $11,000
plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $11,000 for a total
co-angler award of $22,000.
Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour event on the Detroit River
will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers
in the United States on May 13 as part of the “FLW Outdoors”
television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings
at 11 a.m. Eastern. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast
internationally to more than 350 million households in such
countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia,
Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely
distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.
Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage
to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world
in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on
the American Forces Network.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest
L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart
FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart
Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners
Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart
FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW
Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW
Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly
$43 million through 241 events in 2007.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected
companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart
signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the
world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more
information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments,
browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.