FLW Walleye Tour Visits the Mississippi River
May 1st, 2007 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified May 1st, 2007 at 12:00 AM
RED WING, Minn. – The Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, now in its seventh season, will hold its second of four qualifying events on the Mississippi River in Red Wing, Minn., May 2-5. With a $2.71 million total purse, including the no-entry-fee $675,850 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship on Lake Erie near Cleveland Sept. 27-30, and national television coverage on FSN, the FLW Walleye Tour is bigger and better than ever.A full field of 150 pros and 150 co-anglers will compete in the tournament, presented by Evinrude, for their share of a $509,300 purse, including as much as $100,000 for the winning pro and $18,000 for the winning co-angler.”I think it will be a great event,” said Land O’Lakes pro Eric Olson of Red Wing, Minn., who has amassed over $95,000 in career earnings with FLW Outdoors. “The Mississippi River is always a unique fishery. It can fish really big, spreading the field out and utilizing a number of different patterns. Guys could fish main-river stuff as well as backwater areas casting shorelines, vertical jigging, handlining or trolling.”I think the dominant pattern in this event will be trolling Rapala Shad Raps or three-way rigs with stickbaits like a Smithwick Rogue or Rapala Husky Jerk. Things this time of year will really depend on the water temperature and level to what pattern will work the best. The walleye will be in transition from spawn to postspawn, and I think you will see a lot of anglers trolling to cover large areas of water and find as many fish as possible.”It will come down to who gets their limit of five early and finds a big kicker fish before weigh-in. I don’t think we will see weights like we did last year, but I still think it will take about 35 to 40 pounds to make the cut and probably 70 pounds to win,” he said.Bay Point Marina in Red Wing, Minn., will host daily takeoffs each morning at 7 Central time. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 295 Tyler Road S. in Red Wing beginning at 4 p.m. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public.Ranger boat test rides will be given Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bay Point Marina in Red Wing, Minn. The Ranger boat test rides will feature Yamaha and Evinrude outboards.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 competes during the three-day opening round for one of 10 final-round slots based on their three-day accumulated weight. Weights carry over to day four, with the winner determined by the heaviest four-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 angler standings. The top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the 2007 FLW Walleye Tour Championship.The FLW Walleye Tour Championship is the most lucrative event in professional walleye angling, with guaranteed cash awards for the entire field. A guaranteed cash award of $100,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $50,000 will go to the FLW Walleye Tour Championship winner for a total pro award of $150,000. The champion co-angler will win a guaranteed cash award of $11,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $11,000 for a total co-angler award of $22,000.Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour stop on the Mississippi River will be broadcast to 80 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on June 24 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to 429 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.Following the Mississippi River tournament, the FLW Walleye Tour will visit Devils Lake in Devils Lake, N.D., June 6-9. Bays De Noc in Escanaba, Mich.., will host the fourth and final regular-season event, presented by Evinrude, July 11-14.Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.