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Pamps Outboard
It’s the Saginaw Bay for the PWT Mercury Championship, Presented by Dow
Rookie Pro Wins PWT $66,000 Prize at Mille Lacs

Fishing Lake Mille Lacs proved to be the best fishing experiences for dozens of amateur anglers in the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail tournament held May 30 through June 1. Winning was rookie pro Steve Bradt, Hudson, Wis., in his first PWT tournament, the Lowrance/Realtree Pro-Am.

The topic of great catches, big walleyes landed and released due to the “no-keep” slot of 20 to 28 inches, smooth weather and top-notch pro partners was the talk of the tournament, part of the PWT Regional series presented by MotorGuide. Bradt, Hudson, Wis., won with 34.72 pounds, while his son, Geoff of Osceola, Wis. finished ninth.

Three pros moved from 26th, 35th and 45th places to finish in the top seven. Catching a walleye that exceeded 28 inches was like netting a gold nugget. Bradt won $25,000 cash and a $41,000 Mercury-powered walleye boat. Al Sholts, Alexandria, led the pro ranks for two days, but fell two-tenths of a pound short of winning. He collected $18,000, plus $1,000 from The Dow Chemical Company for the Heavyweight award, a 16.48-pound limit on day one.

Pro Gil Mollet, Jefferson, SD was third with 34.28 pounds, and won $13,000. Pro Tom Backer, Fargo, ND, scored $10,000 for fourth place with 33.53 pounds. Mark Courts ended in fifth place with 32.49 pounds and won $9,500. He also claimed the Coleman Big Fish honors and $1,500 for a 7.85-pound walleye. His amateur partner Rick Willett-Johnson, Omaha, Neb., won $500.

Bradt, who in his “day job” is manager of new product development for Anderson Windows, but calls Mille Lacs his home lake, ran spinners near Spirit Island in the southwest corner of Mille Lacs. Specifically, he used small Colorado silver blades with chartreuse beads and an 11-foot snell. A two-ounce bell sinker with a 12-inch dropper kept the rig in the strike zone. His front hook was chartreuse and orange and the back hook was bronze. He used night crawlers and moved along at .9 to 1.1 mph, on the 22 to 25 foot mud/rock transition zone.

Most anglers ran either spinner rigs or live bait rigs, like the Roach rigs sold under the Northland Tackle banner, and named after the sixth place pro, Gary Roach, Merrifield, Minn. Roach netted $9,000. Amateur Brent Afseth, Preston, Minn., claimed the first place amateur/co-angler prize after fishing with Roach on day three. Afseth won a $19,000 Mercury-powered walleye rig. The second through sixth place amateurs earned Mercury rebate certificates up to $1,500, along with a tremendous array of merchandise and gift certificates from PWT sponsor-partners.

After the smoothest three days ever in a Mille Lacs tournament, anglers were able to run from one side to the other, and from flats to rocks. They were also able to control their fishing tactics, and concentrate on exact presentations.

Leading the MotorGuide Regional series is Gary Parsons, Glidden, Wis. Second is Pat Neu, Forestville, Wis., and Mike Gofron, Antioch, IL is third. The top 20 Regional series pros and the top 30 in the Johnsonville Brats Angler of the Year race will be invited to compete in the May 2008 Mercury Championship presented by The Dow Chemical Company on Saginaw Bay.

George Nitti, owner of Hunter’s Point Resort accepted a special PWT award for the tremendous effort of the staff and their “do-everything-possible” cooperation to bring together a very smooth production.

The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications Network headquartered in Baxter, Minnesota, and InterMedia, 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, The Dow Chemical Company, 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 & Hunter’s Point Resort 320.676.3227.

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