Arnoldussen Wins FLW Port Clinton

Category: Tournament

 May 2nd, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified May 2nd, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Dean Arnoldussen became the FLW’s first half-million dollar angler (FLW Outdoors Photo)

Hardly any practice, one day lost, possible cancellation of the final day, what else could go wrong at a pro walleye tournament? Nothing at all, because today was perfect; perfect that is for Ranger/Evinrude pro Dean Arnoldussen. The final day of the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event in Port Clinton, Ohio went off without a hitch for him. Thanks to a 29-10 limit, anchored by a 9-5 walleye for a three-day total of 85-9, he held off 2nd place finisher Russ McDonald and earned his second victory on the FLW Tour and an $87,000 paycheck. McDonald tallied 81-4, good enough for 2nd. In 3rd was Pat Neu with 70-9. Rick LaCourse captured 4th with 70-00 and in the 5th spot was Mark Schuitema with 67-7.Arnoldussen Prayed for WindA good walleye chop is desired by most anglers, but few wish for wind on Lake Erie. Erie can break your back, your heart and your boat, if the wind and waves get too brutal. Ironically, Arnoldussen prayed for it today.”It sure was pretty choppy today,” Arnoldussen said. “I was probably the only guy praying for the wind and I got some, but thanks to running the big Ranger 621, I was still pretty comfortable. If the water was too calm, I knew the fishing would be more difficult.”At about 11 this morning the heavier wind laid down and the fish moved up,” he said. We really put on a clinic for the camera boat that was with us. It was pretty cool. We put about 16 fish into the boat.His prime area was close to the Canadian border northeast of the Bass Islands in water depths ranging from 39-to 43-feet down 20-to 30-feet.

Arnoldussen’s “dialed-in” trolling speed made the difference (FLW Outdoors Photo)

Minn Kota Saved the DayPrecise trolling speeds were necessary to trigger the walleyes which had been pummeled by the severe spring weather the region had endured over the last week. Thanks to his trolling motor, Arnoldussen caught more fish.”I think the biggest thing in catching more fish for me was the use of my main-engine mounted Minn Kota,” he said. “I was using a prototype and it was just awesome. “While most of the other anglers use their kicker motor to troll, I used the Minn Kota,” he said. “It allows for super precise speed control and it also doesn’t have the thrust issues that a gas motor has. It slowly accelerates to the speed I need. I can control it down to a tenth of a mile per hour.”Also, when I’m fighting a fish and it gets close to the boat, the fish doesn’t spook,” he said. “With a regular kicker motor, the fish will often freak out and you can lose them.”He trolled spinner rigs with inline weights tipped with crawlers. This is a standard approach for Lake Erie. He felt his approach to hooking fish made the difference in this event.”I rigged my Off Shore planer boards with the tattle flags,” he said. “What I would do is keep a close eye on the tattle flags. When a fish would suck the bait in, I would grab the rod and set the hook. A lot of guys don’t do that and I know that made a difference, I hooked and caught more fish.”The other piece of equipment that came into play was the new Lowrance 111. He felt that the superior mapping ability allowed him to closely follow contour lines which kept him on fish.Dean Digs ErieMost anglers, regardless if they do or don’t fish tournaments, love to catch fish; especially big fish. Even though he took a beating this week, Arnoldussen feels Lake Erie is the walleye capital of the world.”I hated the weather here,” he said. “But I sure do like to fish Erie. I don’t know of any other place where you can catch 30-to 40-walleyes everyday under good conditions. Plus, you have a good chance at catching a real slob fish over 30 inches.”

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