Kjelden Leads FLW Tour Championship
Category: press release
Sep 29th, 2007 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 29th, 2007 at 12:00 AM
CLEVELAND (Sept. 29, 2007) – BFGoodrich Tires pro Dustin Kjelden of Brookings, S.D., and co-angler Mike Zawistowski of Wonder Lake, Ill., caught five walleyes weighing 39 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to give Kjelden the lead going into the final day of the sport’s most lucrative event – the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship – on Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland. The impressive catch also earned Zawistowski the title of co-angler champion and $11,000.The lake decided to show some mercy on the competitors Saturday after Friday’s wind subsided and 6 to 8 foot waves faded overnight. With just a slight chop, cool temperatures and a light variable wind, the top-10 anglers were able to haul in another impressive catch of 48 fish weighing 240 pounds, 6 ounces. The catch included nine five-fish limits. “This day was huge. This was the day to do it and get a big lead,” said Kjelden, who weighed in the biggest bag of the event thus far and holds an almost 7 pound lead over his closest competitor. “Everything just went amazingly well today. The second fish of the day was an 11-pounder. We weren’t even sure it was a walleye until we got it to the boat. These fish just seemed to be bigger today, and we just got the right bites. We probably went through about 30 fish throughout the day. We had our limit by 9 a.m. this morning.”Kjelden and Zawistowski found that the more aggressive fish were up higher in the water column first thing this morning. After that, they were able to key in on certain schools and catch quality fish with an array of spinners trolled around 45 feet of water near the Canadian border. Kjelden also said that he happened to luck up on these fish late in practice as he was out surveying different areas. “These fish were just out in the middle of this huge abyss of 45 feet of water. I’m not even sure why they are even there.”I’m felling really nervous. I have Scott Fairbairn to worry about,” Kjelden said. “I’ve never been in the driver’s seat going into the final day of competition. Every other time I have won, I have won it on the final day. I just hope to go back out and do the same thing all over again. The goal is about 25 pounds tomorrow. I would feel a lot more comfortable with that. The money would be huge. I don’t even know what I would do with that amount.”Rounding out the top five pros are Scott Fairbairn of Hager City, Wis. (five walleyes, 32-13); Folgers pro Denny Lantzy of Warren, Mich. (five walleyes, 24-01); Robert Crow of Patterson, Wash. (five walleyes, 23-12); and Jim Preissner of Hastings, Minn. (five walleyes, 23-05).In the Co-angler Division, Zawistowski chalked up an impressive win in just his third complete season on tour.”It was an incredible day,” he said. “This has been an outstanding year. I made the top-10 at Detroit and won here. It’s just unreal. I’ll probably use this money to pay some bills and go have some fun.”Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Adam Adler of Oconto Falls, Wis. (five walleyes, 32-13, $15,000); Patrick Bertelsen of Jackson, Minn. (five walleyes, 24-01, $5,000 ); Dewey Watson of Twin Falls, Idaho (five walleyes, 23-12, $5,500); and Nate Brunz of Madison Lake, Minn. (five walleyes, 23-05, $3,000).Voinovich Bicentennial Park, located at 800 E. Ninth St. in Cleveland, will host Sunday’s final takeoff at 7:30 a.m. The weigh-in will be held at the Cleveland Convention Center, located at 500 Lakeside Ave. E., beginning at 4 p.m. The community is invited to attend the takeoff and weigh-in as well as the Family Fun Zone, which opens at noon Sunday. The first 200 children 14 and under who visit the show will receive a free fishing reel.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 Thursday and Friday and then is cut to the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers for Saturday. Anglers in both divisions start from zero Saturday, and the co-angler winner is determined by the day’s heaviest catch. Pros carry their weights from Saturday over to Sunday, and the winner will be determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from both days.Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour Championship on Lake Erie will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on Dec. 2 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. Eastern. “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 Matchroom Sport, 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.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 Walmart.com.