Byle Wins Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Event on Lake Erie

Category: press release

 Apr 18th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Apr 18th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

PORT CLINTON, OHIO (April 18, 2009) -Pat Byle of Colgate, Wis., along with his partner Kenny Henexson of Thornton, Colo., caught five walleyes weighing 28 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart FLW Walleye Tour event on Lake Erie in Port Clinton, Ohio. Byle had a three-day total of 15 walleyes weighing 92-9 to net him the win and $82,000.

Pat Byle moments after his first FLW Tour Event win on Lake Erie (Photo Courtesy of WalleyeFIRST)

“Today was a miracle,” said Byle, who got his first Walmart FLW Walleye Tour victory this week. “This has been a personal goal of mine since I started fishing the Walleye Tour in 2000.

“Coming into the tournament I really didn’t know what to think,” Byle added. “The pre-fishing was horrible. You had to fight to get out of bed each day. We did find some fish during practice which paid off.”

When it was tournament time Byle went out with a game plan. “My plan was to look for clean water and start trolling crankbaits,” he said.  “Speed was critical I stayed between 1.1 mph to 1.4 mph.

“Also, changing colors of my crankbaits with the light conditions and with the water clarity was key. My primary colors were pinks and purples.” 

Rounding out the top five pros are Ted Takasaki of East Gull Lake, Minn. (15 walleyes, 91 pounds, 4 ounces, $16,533); Rick Franklin of Bemidji, Minn. (15 walleyes, 88 pounds, 12 ounces, $16,946); Steve Vandemark of Linwood, Mich. (14 walleyes, 84 pounds, 5 ounces, $13,227); and Scott Schiefelbein of Birchwood, Wis. (15 walleyes, 81 pounds, 15 ounces, $10,747).

“Lake Erie is the best fishery in the world,” Byle said. “I cannot wait to come back and fish another tournament here. It was an amazing week of fishing.”

Henexson wins the co-angler division and $8,267 with a three-day total catch of 14 walleyes weighing 94-3 beating the closest competitor by 15 ounces.

“It’s a new experience to be up here (on stage) in first place,” said Henexson, who placed seventh in the 2008 Walmart FLW Walleye Tour on Lake Erie. “I can’t say enough about this fishery. I feel like everyone keeps saying that but it is absolutely the best place in the world to fish.

“I had three great partners this week and I owe this win to them,” he added. 

Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Kris Klingmann of Novelty, Ohio (15 walleyes, 93-4, $4,133), Bruce Frevert of Centerville, Iowa (15 walleyes, 92-15, $2,480), Don Cozzie of Orland Park, Ill. (15 walleyes, 82-15, $2,067) and Keith Nagel of Juneau, Wis. (14 walleyes, 79-14, $1,860).

Overall there were 41 walleyes weighing 223 pounds, 12 ounces caught by nine boats Saturday. The catch included six five-walleye limits.

Pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day and fish for a combined boat weight. Pros compete against other pros, and co-anglers compete against other co-anglers. The full field competed during the shortened two-day opening round for one of 10 final-round slots based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights carry over to day three, with winners determined by the heaviest three-day weight.

Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 150 points awarded to the winner, 149 to second, 148 for third, and so on. These points determine Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year standings. The top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers in the standings will advance to the FLW Walleye Tour Championship in Bismarck, N.D., Sept. 30-Oct. 3 for a shot at top awards of $150,000 and $20,000, respectively. The prestigious championship, hosted by the Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau, will also feature boater and co-angler points champions from each of four Walmart FLW Walleye League divisions. The no-entry-fee FLW Walleye Tour Championship is the most lucrative event in professional walleye angling, with cash awards for the entire field.

Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour, hosted by the City of Port Clinton and the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated “FLW Outdoors,” will air May 24 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.





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