Keenan Holds on to Lead Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Event on Leech Lake
Category: press release
Jun 11th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 11th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
WALKER, Minn. (June 11, 2009) – Team Chevy pro Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis., weighed five walleyes weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces to give him a two-day catch of 10 walleyes weighing 34 pounds, 10 ounces to lead the Walmart FLW Walleye Tour presented by Berkley on Leech Lake in Walker, Minn. Keenan holds a 2-pound, 14-ounce lead heading into Day 3 of the nationally televised tournament that features anglers from 18 states and three Canadian provinces fishing for total cash awards of $155,000 in the Pro Division and $30,380 in the Co-angler Division.
Tim Renner of Spicer, Minn. leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day catch of 10 walleyes weighing 28-13. Renner fished with Keenan today, also bringing in five walleyes weighing 14-11. Renner now holds a 1-pound, 8-ounce lead over the second-place finisher going into the third day of competition.
“We truly had a great day,” said Keenan, whose 27 ½-inch “overs” and 16 ½-inch “unders” (anglers are bound by a protected slot of 18 to 26 inches) were the envy of most of the field. Still, the day was not without challenges. “It took two hours to get our unders and I was pretty surprised,” Keenan noted. “I thought it would only take half an hour.”
Keenan admits he and Renner were “hopping around all over the lake” rather than focusing on a handful of key spots. “I spent a lot of time in prefishing driving around using my electronics to look at reefs, trying to find the areas with the biggest rocks,” he said. “Now I’m concentrating on those exact spots, going over each one two or three times and moving on if I don’t catch anything or mark a bunch of fish.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros are Brian Brosdahl of Max, Minn. (10 walleyes, 31-12); Dan Stier of Pierre, S.D. (seven walleyes, 29-10); Kevin Larkins of Greenwood, Neb. (10 walleyes, 26-3); Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn. (eight walleyes, 25-12); Andy Renner of Spicer, Minn. (10 walleyes, 25-3); Ted Takasaki of East Gull Lake, Minn. (10 walleyes, 24-7); Brad Davis of Jackson, Wis. (10 walleyes, 24-6); Toby Kvalevog of Brainerd, Minn. (10 walleyes, 24-2); and Scott Steil of Richmond, Minn. (seven walleyes, 23-9).
The leaderboard saw numerous changes as some top 10 pros from the first day struggled, while others farther back in the pack came on strong. Rick Olson of Mina, S.D. brought a 14-pound, 13-ounce limit to the stage the first day but dropped from fourth to 12th as his big-fish pattern stiffened and hookups became harder to come by. “The bite was definitely off today,” he said. “I’m trying to get my ‘overs’ with big creek chubs, and the walleyes would just pick them up and hold them. You could give those fish five minutes and they still wouldn’t take it. It was frustrating.”
Stier, meanwhile, vaulted from 16th into third place with a monstrous 18-pound, 8-ounce five-fish limit. Other notable improvements included the rise of Mark Courts of Harris, Minn., who moved from 43rd to 14th with a 14-pound limit.
Also on the move, Renner took over the lead on the co-angler side, surging from seventh place on Day One. He drew praise from Keenan, who said he hoped each of them would have a strong third day and, “fish together on Saturday.”
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are Justin Steinke of Birnamwood, Wis. (10 walleyes, 27-5); Jerome Meyer of Hutchinson, Minn. (nine walleyes, 25-8); Gerud Hetland of Maple Grove, Minn. (eight walleyes, 24-11); William Drake of Horace, N.D. (five walleyes, 23-14); Dan Soehren of New Ulm, Minn. (10 walleyes, 23-8); Terry Reishus of Buffalo, Minn. (10 walleyes, 22-11); Scott Perz of Crystal Lake, Ill. (nine walleyes, 22-1); Del Ringling of Valley, Neb. (nine walleyes, 21-11); and Francis Gleason of Nicollet, Minn. (10 walleyes, 21-8).
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.
Overall there were 332 walleyes weighing 620 pounds caught by 93 boats Thursday. The catch included 49 five-walleye limits.
Blue Water Lodge & Marina, located at 7051 Wintergreen Trail in Walker, will host daily takeoffs each morning at 7 a.m. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at Walker City Park beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Northern Lights Casino located at 6800 Y Frontage Rd. MW in Walker beginning at 4 p.m. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public.
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 Northern Lights Casino, 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 Sept. 6 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 has taken 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.