Gil Mollet Wins PWT Championship Shootout
Oct 20th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Oct 20th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
National Professional Anglers Association pro fisherman Gil Mollet experienced a day filled with sadness, happiness and fun. The Jefferson, South Dakota pro, driving the Sue Bee Honey boat, won the $50,000 In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail Championship Shootout, a one-day event, at Hudson, Wisconsin, Oct. 18.
His 12.5 pounds (5-fish limit) caught trolling lead core and Flicker Shads, Shad Raps and Walleye Divers north of Hudson on the St. Croix River was happy as he won his first PWT tournament after several second-place finishes. It was sad for the long-term pro because it was the final PWT tournament. In-Fisherman ran the PWT since 1989, but announced they would not run a circuit in 2009. It was also fun, because Mollet said, “I just went fishin’. I fished my spots from the past few days, and caught 25 walleyes.” Mollet is sponsored by Sue Bee Honey, Ranger Boats, DanO’s Marine, Berkley and Stowmaster.
NPAA member and Mollet’s roommate on tour, Dave Van Oss, Appleton, Wisconsin, finished second. Other top 10 NPAA finishers included Karyl Walcher, Minneapolis, Minnesota, fourth; Dave Randash, Dillworth, Minnesota, fifth; John Kolinski, Greenville, Wisconsin, sixth; Tom Kemos, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, seventh; Tom Backer, Fargo, ND, eighth,; Mike McMaken, Cedarville, Michigan, ninth; and Jim Chitko, Greenleaf, Wisconsin, tenth.
The NPAA pro anglers complimented the PWT for 20 years of service to the sport. Scott Fairbairn, Hager City, Wisconsin, said, “What we know collectively about walleye fishing today was accelerated by the PWT.” Pro Jon Thelen said, “Without the PWT we wouldn’t have whatever’s coming up next.” Keith Kavajecz, Kaukauna, Wisconsin said, “We all appreciate the PWT, and look forward to the new company formed by the anglers which will continue with a tournament circuit. Kemos said, “I’m sorry to see this chapter come to an end, but the future looks good.”
Immediately preceding the PWT Championship Shootout, the Lowrance/Optima Pro-Am was also held at Hudson, with NPAA member Tommy Skarlis, Waukon, Iowa, continuing his impressive season. He placed third for two top 10 PWT finishes this year and was crowned FLW Champion ($150,000) last month. Bruce Mirabella, Bartlett, Illinois, scored his highest PWT finish, fourth, while Keith Kavajecz was fifth.
The 2008 Starcraft Marine Angler of the Year honors and a $44,000 rigged walleye boat went to Dan Stier, Clearwater, Minnesota. Stier won a 2050 Starcraft rigged with a Mercury 200, a stainless prop, a tandem trailer, and 520c and 38cHD Lowrance Electronics units. Stier also won the September PWT Pro-Am at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and finished among the top 15 at every PWT tournament this season. Stier’s sponsors include Ranger Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Lowrance, and Berkley.
NPAA member Mike Gofron, Antioch, Illinois, notched another top 10 place finish, adding to his impressive PWT record. He owns the record for the most PWT top-10 finishes in history — 35. He is also a past 3-time winner, Championship winner and Angler of the year. This season, he was second in Angler of the Year standings.
The NPAA is an organization dedicated to improving and bringing professionalism to the sport of walleye fishing. Membership is open to all anglers wishing to become affiliated and learn more about tactics, sponsorships, the industry, youth events and to help grow fishing participation. NPAA supporting partners who share the same goals include Northland Fishing Tackle, Navionics, Mercury Marine, Evinrude Outboards, Lund Boats, Ranger Boats, Off-Shore Tackle, Fin-Tech Tackle, Berkley, Walleye’s Inc., Greater Insurance Services, Masters Walleye Circuit and FLW Outdoors.
To learn more about the NPAA and its members go to www.npaa.net