Arnoldussen Leads Wal-Mart FLW Event on Lake Erie
Apr 30th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Apr 30th, 2005 at 12:00 AM
PORT CLINTON, Ohio (April 29, 2005) – Former Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour champion Dean Arnoldussen of Appleton, Wis., caught five walleyes weighing 30 pounds Friday to boost his tournament-leading total to 10 walleyes weighing 55 pounds 15 ounces. He will now lead the top 10 pros and co-anglers into the final round of competition in the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour stop on Lake Erie presented by Yamaha. Pro finalists are fishing for a top cash award of as much as $87,000, and co-anglers are fishing for as much as $16,700. The cancellation of Thursday’s competition due to a sever storm that rolled through the area forced many anglers to reassess their game plan in an event that would have originally been determined by the heaviest four-day catch. With one less day on the water, every ounce was critical Friday. “Today was beautiful,” said Arnoldussen, who won the 2001 FLW Walleye Tour Championship in Green Bay, Wis., and pocketed a record $400,000. “There was only a 6-inch chop on the water so we could run wide open and stay on top of our fish.” On Wednesday, anglers caught 329 walleyes weighing a total of 1,039 pounds, 3 ounces, including 31 five-walleye limits. Friday’s catch improved as 517 walleyes weighing 2,067 pounds, 10 ounces where brought to the scale, including 77 limits. Arnoldussen caught 14 walleyes, including an 8-pounder, Friday en route to a 30-pound limit while fishing the north side of Bass Island with co-angler Jackie Perry of Milaca, Minn. On opening day, he fished about a mile southeast of his day three location with co-angler Charles Dahl of Burlington, Wis., and landed five walleyes weighing 25 pounds, 15 ounces. On both days Arnoldussen and his partners pulled crawler harnesses with holographic Northland blades. “Once we located the fish, we circled right on top of them,” Arnoldussen said. “I don’t think they have eaten for five days with all the bad weather, and they are moving a lot. The clarity of the water was real important. If it was too clear, you wouldn’t catch anything and if it was too dirty, you wouldn’t catch anything. They were hanging right on the edge of milky water.” Rounding out the top five pros are Russell McDonald of Dryden, Ontario (nine walleyes, 54 pounds, 4 ounces); Larry Lambert of Lakeside Marblehead (nine walleyes, 49 pounds, 13 ounces); Mike Hiser of Pickerington (10 walleyes, 49 pounds, 2 ounce); and Richard LaCourse of Port Clinton (10 walleyes, 48 pounds). Joseph Fallaw of McHenry, Ill., leads the Co-angler Division with 10 walleyes weighing 63 pounds, 5 ounces. He pulled crawler harnesses with LaCourse on opening day to land five walleyes weighing 29 pounds, 14 ounces. On day three, Reef Runner crankbaits were the preferred bait en route to a five-walleye catch weighing 33 pounds, 7 ounces while fishing with Steve Carlson of Clinton. He fished north of Bass Island with both pros and landed just six walleyes each day. “I was sitting in second after day one, and it has been gut wrenching ever since,” said Fallaw, who is making his first top 10 appearance. “I’m usually a one-day wonder on Erie, but with a 9-pound lead, I have a real good shot at winning.” Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dale Todd of Janesville, Wis. (10 walleyes, 54 pounds, 5 ounces); Bruce Brasser of Rockford, Mich. (10 walleyes, 52 pounds, 7 ounces); Michael Watson of Spirit Lake, Iowa (10 walleyes, 49 pounds, 5 ounces); and Daniel Max of Oregon (10 walleyes, 48 pounds, 15 ounces). Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight and are randomly paired each day. The FLW Walleye Tour is the world’s most lucrative professional walleye-fishing series. At the $650,000 million Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Mississippi River in Moline, Ill., Sept. 28 – Oct. 1, pros will fish for as much as $125,000 cash and co-anglers will chase as much as $22,000. Saturday’s takeoff starts at 7 a.m. at West Harbor Launch Ramp. Saturday’s final weigh-in starts at 4 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store located at 4070 East Harbor Road in Port Clinton. The community is invited to attend the free takeoff and weigh-in festivities. Anglers from 21 states are competing in the lucrative tournament, which began Wednesday. The full field fished the shortened opening round for one of 10 final-round slots awarded based on the heaviest accumulated weights. Weights carry over to day four, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative weight for the tournament. Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. For more information on FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.