Devils Lake Guide Wins PWT Event on First Try
May 26th, 2006 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified May 26th, 2006 at 12:00 AM
Jason Feldner, fishing his first In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail tournament as a pro, claimed the victory on Devils Lake. This North Dakota lake, now about 130,000 acres, has grown four-times since the mid-1990’s, and all of this former marsh and farmland is great walleye habitat. Felder, a fishing guide who lives on the west side of the lake in Minnewaukan, ND, said, “Walleyes are everywhere, and people love fishing here.” That was the sentiment of the contestants as they crossed the PWT stage at Graham’s Island State Park, May 24-26. The Outdoor Channel/Berkley Pro-Am was the second stop on the Regional Series presented by MotorGuide. Feldner won a $53,000 prize, including a Lund boat, Mercury outboard and an E-Z Loader trailer for weighing 75.18 pounds(15 total fish).Feldner, like many of the anglers, watched slip bobbers in and among the thousands of standing, dead cottonwoods. Depths ranged from 4 to 7 feet. When the wind came up following a cold front, he left some slips out, but dragged jigs slowly to give walleyes another chance. “They liked the change-up,” he said, as his amateur partners really got in the act by catching many walleyes.
Second-place angler Ron Gazvoda, Lakewood, Col., won $15,000, and said he and his partners caught as many as 80 fish some days. Third went to pro Gary Maher, a rancher from Menoken, ND. He won $13,000. The top amateur, Brad Hedstrom, Wilton, ND, won a $15,000 Lund/Mercury walleye boat.Special awards included the E-Cell Heavyweight $1,000 award to pro Keith Carlson, Goodhue, Minn., for his first day catch of 32.80 pounds. The Coleman Big Fish winners were Rick Zachowski, Milwaukee, Wis., and Greg Pregorki, Libertyville, Ill. They won $1,000 and $500 respectively. Pro Jim Carpenter won the Coleman Cool Under Pressure award by advancing 88 places. Amateur Steve Gineris, Oshkosh, Wis., advanced 93 places to win.Leading the Tommy Docks Regional Championship race is pro Tom Gatzke, Merrill, Wis., who won the previous Regional event. Second is Tom Kemos, Oconomowoc, Wis. Gazvoda is third. Pro Jeff Edwards, Shoreview, Minn., is at the top of the Aqua-Vu Rookie of the Year standings.Two groups were recognized by the PWT on stage. Dick Horner accepted the PWT Superior Achievement award on behalf of his Graham’s Island State Park staff. The Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce was also a recipient of the Superior Achievement award for their many months of details and managing the event with volunteers.The final two Regional series tournaments take place in late July (Mobridge, SD) and August (Escanaba, Mich.). Amateur/co-angler openings remain; to enter call PWT headquarters, 218-829-0620.The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications Network headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, and PRIMEDIA, America’s leading producer of targeted media. PWT promotional partners include: Mercury Marine, Lund, The Outdoor Channel, Berkley, Optima Batteries, Realtree, MotorGuide, Lowrance, MinnKota, Trilene, Frenzy, Blue Fox, Powerbait, Johnsonville Brats, Northland Fishing Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, GULP!, Coleman, Storm, Tommy Docks, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, E-Village, Kwik Pfyt, Raymarine, Rapala, Pflueger, Ram rod holders, Gerbing’s Heated Clothing, Aqua-Vu, Plano, Stowmaster.net, Navionics, Yellow Bird, Beckman, Drift Control, Gemini Sport Marketing, Yo-Zuri and Reef Runner. The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications Network headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, and PRIMEDIA, America’s leading producer of targeted media and Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce, 701-662-4903.