Harsh on Top at Cass Lake
Jun 12th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 12th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
CASS LAKE, Minn. (June 12, 2008) – Ranger pro Pete Harsh of Sauk Centre, Minn., caught five walleyes weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces Thursday to take the lead in the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour presented by Yamaha on Cass Lake in Cass Lake, Minn., with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 31-01.
Harsh now holds a 1-pound, 11-ounce lead heading into the third day of competition in the nationally televised tournament that features 248 competitors from 23 states fishing for top awards of $100,000 in the Pro Division and $20,000 in the Co-angler Division.
“Today was brutal,” said Harsh, who has amassed more than $202,000 in career earnings with FLW Outdoors. “Yesterday, I was done fishing at 1 p.m. Today, we struggled and struggled. We threw the first three fish back including one over 20 inches. I thought to myself, if I’m going to win this I can’t be making mistakes like this.
“We were averaging about a bite an hour. I fished three spots yesterday and today I think I went 15 places. The weather system has been horrible.”
Harsh stated that he would rather have the strong winds from the first day of competition than a day like today with sunny skies and calm wind.
“Let the wind be your friend,” said Harsh. “Wind was made for tilling boats and boat control is triggering the fish this week. Also, I made a change and fished considerably deeper with the sun being out.”
Harsh explained that he has a different practicing method than most anglers. He locates fish with his depth finder but doesn’t see the need in hammering the fish.
“During practice I located fish and would catch two or three breaking them off at the surface. I looked to make sure they were walleyes and then I stopped. I could tell the size with my depth finder, I didn’t need to catch five and make them sore in the mouth.
“I do everything for a reason. Hopefully, with my knowledge of fishing Minnesota lakes I will have a good day tomorrow and make the final day cut.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Prilosec pro David Kolb of Ada, Mich. (10 walleyes, 29-05); Carl Adams Jr. of Blackduck, Minn. (10 walleyes, 27-8); Tony Renner of Hutchinson, Minn. (10 walleyes, 27-03); and Scott Steil of Richmond, Minn. (10 walleyes, 27-01).
Rick Engelman of Hoople, N.D., leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 27 pounds, 7 ounces. He caught five walleyes weighing 12-13 Wednesday while fishing with Andy Renner of Spicer, Minn., then added another five walleyes weighing 14-10 Thursday while fishing with James Gordon of Spicer.
Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Ronald Carson of Omaha, Neb. (10 walleyes, 25-12), Kevin Bruer of Robbinsdale, Minn. (10 walleyes, 25-09); Cal Van Cleve of Wilmot, S.D. (10 walleyes, 24-03) and Mike Taylor of Midland, Mich. (10 walleyes, 23-10).
“It was a picture perfect day,” said Carson, who fished with pro Brian Bjorkman of Fargo, N.D., weighing in 18-11 for the heaviest bag of the tournament thus far. “I only had 7-1 yesterday so I needed to gain some ground today and it worked out well.
“Now, all I have to do is have a good day tomorrow and hopefully I will make the cut.”
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 winners determined by the heaviest four-day weight.
Stony Point Resort in Cass Lake will host daily takeoffs each morning at 7. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will be held at Stony Point Resort beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 2025 Paul Bunyan Drive N.W. in Bemidji, Minn. beginning at 4:30 p.m. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public.
In addition to cash awards, anglers are competing for valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the $650,000 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship – the sport’s richest event – in Bismarck, N.D., Sept. 24-27. The top 50 pros and top 50 co-anglers in the Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year points standings will advance to the Championship, where they will compete for top awards of $150,000 and $20,000, respectively.
Tournament pros aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® offers anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour® stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour stop on Cass Lake will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on Sept. 14 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. The program airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time in most markets. Check local listings for times in your area.
Overall there were 445 walleyes weighing 936 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 124 boats Thursday. The catch included 62 five-walleye limits.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.