|Wisconsin Pro Wins PWT Squeaker by 1/10th of a Pound
The weather was perfect; the fish were big; the Bays de Noc were
fairly calm; the Escanaba, Michigan crowds were huge; and the
pros brought the fans to their feet with big catches. Leading
the way was winning pro John Schneider, Shawano, Wis. He pocketed
a Lund/Mercury 1900 walleye boat worth $41,000 and $24,716 cash
and a special In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail watch from
Escanaba’s Richardson Jewelers.
Schneider trolled rock humps in 13 to 20 feet of water with number
five Northland bluegill fish pattern blades with nine purple beads
for his big fish, along with a chunky, well-conditioned night
crawler. His best speeds were 1.2 to 1.5 mph. For his “slot”
fish from 15 to 23 inches (each boat could only bring two walleyes
over 23 inches to the scales daily), he ran the same combination,
but with a size four blade and only five beads and a crawler that
was pinched off. He continuously varied speeds on his Minn Kota
engine mounted trolling motor. “Without my Lowrance Electronics
on the dash, I would not be on this stage,” he said.
The second place pro was Steve Bohn, Unionville, Mich. He missed
winning by one-tenth of a pound, but collected $17,638. Schneider
weighed 60.22 pounds while Bohn had 60.11 pounds in the Outdoor
Channel/Optima Batteries Pro-Am, part of the MotorGuide Regional
series. Pros fished with a different amateur daily, and the winning
amateur was Warren Kuhl, Sr., Frankenmuth, Mich. He won a $19,000
Lund/Mercury walleye boat.
Pro Tom Gatzke, Merrill, Wis., finished third with 58.73 pounds
to win $12,738. He also earned the Dow Chemical Company Heavyweight
$1,000 award, with a 25.94 pound limit on the final day. Greg
Yarbrough, day two leader, Port Clinton, Ohio, was fourth with
57.30 pounds to win $9,799. Hometown favorite Kim “Chief”
Papineau, Escanaba, was fifth with 55.65 pounds and won $9,309.
Pro Mark Martin, Twin Lake, Mich. and amateur Don Alimenti, Escanaba,
won Coleman Big Fish honors with a 10.59-pounder. Martin netted
$1,500 and Alimenti got $500. Pro Doug Coley, McHenry, Ill., won
the Coleman Cool under Pressure award, and amateur Ken Bundy,
Pulaski, NY advanced 100 places to win on the amateur side. The
second thru sixth place amateurs received rebate gift certificates
from Mercury in addition to their PWT merchandise and prizes.
Under great weather and mild conditions, pros were able to fish
both Big and Little Bay de Noc, and the Michigan waters of Green
Bay. Interesting statistics of the tournament: three 10 pound
walleyes came to the scales; nine pros caught limits all three
days; water temperatures were in the mid-70’s; anglers actually
were searching for “smaller” walleyes to round-out
their limits, and had better luck with those over 23 inches. The
average fish to the scales was 3.41 pounds. A record 810 youngsters
climbed the Outdoor Channel rock wall and kids also had fun at
the catfish pond.
Complete scores are listed on the PWT website, www.professionalwalleyetrail.com
<http://www.professionalwalleyetrail.com> . Check this site
for photos, news, rankings, Regional series standings, and more.
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, Motor Guide, 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, Delta Chamber of Commerce, 888.335.8264 and
Bays de Noc Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800.533.4386.