|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.