In-Fisherman PWT Sets 2008 Schedule
Dec 4th, 2007 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Dec 4th, 2007 at 12:00 AM
The In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) has set its 2008 tournament schedule. The excitement kicks off with the Mercury Championship in May in Bay City, Michigan with tournaments scheduled in Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Arkansas. Several interesting modifications have been implemented, including Championship qualifications. Twice as many Regional pro anglers than ever before will qualify for the Championship. The top 40 Regional pros who fish all four tournaments will be invited to the Mercury Championship, set for spring of 2009. In the past, a maximum of 20 Regional pros qualified for the Championship. The balance of the Championship field will come from the ranks of those fishing the Super Pro tournament. The 2008 PWT tour includes four Regionals and one Super Pro tournament. Each tournament is a 3-day, cumulative weight event. Professional anglers fish with a different amateur partner each day, drawn at random, for the maximum boat weight. The Regional series begins May 28-30 in Mobridge, SD, with Lake Oahe walleyes peaking in quantity and quality. The tour moves south to Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas June 25-27, where the pros fell in love with this great reservoir several years ago. After these two Regionals, the Super Pro tournament in Dryden, Ontario, an invitational to the top active PWT money winners, will occur Aug. 13-15. Lake Wabigoon proved to be a tremendous fishery this past July, with “shallow” being the key for mid-summer walleyes. The 2008 Super Pro event will be the first-ever “artificials only” tournament in major professional walleye angling history. Throughout it’s 18-year history, the PWT has spawned cutting-edge innovations that have changed the face of walleye fishing. Now, the PWT will leap into the next frontier of walleye fishing, pushing the best professional walleye anglers in the world to create and evaluate new tactics, discover new tackle applications, innovate and improve traditional methods of catching walleyes with artificial lures. This will be positive news for the fishing industry. The final two Regionals are river events. The Sept. 11-13 tournament will occur on the St. Mary’s River in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The PWT has fished this system previously, but the later dates will produce even better fishing. A new PWT site, Hudson, Wisconsin, will challenge contestants with a great fall bite Oct. 16-18 on the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. Local river rats and PWT anglers agree that the news from this tournament could create another fall destination for walleye anglers.The popular Pro-Am concept will continue to educate amateurs/co-anglers and involve them in the latest and greatest walleye fish-catching tactics. Amateurs/co-anglers fish the PWT tour events to learn the secrets of the pros. According to surveys completed this past summer, 86 percent of amateurs said their number one reason for fishing three days with three different pros at each tournament was, “To learn tactics and secrets from the pros.” The tour opens in mid-May as the Mercury Championship qualifiers from 2007 compete on the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay, with festivities in Bay City, Michigan. The Mercury Championship, presented by the Dow Chemical Company, will feature a boat and sport show, a huge youth fishing event, community events, and a weigh-in on the river. Dates are May 16-18. The Mercury Championship and all of the 2008 events will be featured on the 26-week PWT television series produced by In-Fisherman. The series airs on Outdoor Channel in the US and WILD-TV in Canada. The PWT website, www.professionalwalleyetrail.com, will have forms and necessary information to enter the 2008 season, starting Dec. 4. Walleye fans may also check out the Championship qualifiers, news, statistics, photos and more. Media may download and use photos from the PWT site, with credit to the PWT. Or, call PWT headquarters at 218-829-0620 for entry blanks.