Kjelden Wins FLW Tour on Devils Lake; Johnson Wins Angler of the Year Title
Jun 18th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 18th, 2005 at 12:00 AM
SPIRIT LAKE, N.D. (June 18, 2005) – Pro Dustin Kjelden of Brookings, S.D., caught five walleyes Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 4 ounces, giving him a four-day total of 20 walleyes weighing 86 pounds, 12 ounces to win the inaugural Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Open on Devils Lake. For the impressive performance, Kjelden earned $100,000 – the largest regular-season award in professional walleye fishing. “Everything went well today,” Kjelden said. “We knew we were going to gamble and go for big fish, and we threw back some decent fish – one was 23 inches long – but I knew I needed to shoot for 25 pounds today. The fish pretty much came in the right order. In the first 40 minutes, we had 18 pounds in the boat. “I fished shallow, and boat control in the wind had a lot to do with the win. I was casting cranks in 7 to 8 feet of water, but the retrieve was very important. It was a fast presentation, with a jerk and a pause. Other boats around me this week weren’t doing that, and they weren’t catching the fish I caught. I used a chartreuse and white crank.” Rounding out the top five pros were Kevin Goligowski of Maplewood, Minn. (20 walleyes, 82 pounds, 11 ounces); Rick Olsen of Mina, S.D. (20 walleyes, 81 pounds, 9 ounces); were Mark Courts of Harris, Minn. (20 walleyes, 79 pounds, 8 ounces); and Scott Fairborn of Hager City, Wis. (18 walleyes, 73 pounds, 9 ounces). Pro Nick Johnson of Elmwood, Wis., who never finished lower than 33rd this season, won the FLW Walleye Tour Angler of the Year title. Johnson beat out Tommy Skarlis of Walker, Minn., by eight points. Fred Gordon of Willmar, Minn., won the Co-angler Division with a four-day total of 20 walleyes weighing 80 pounds, 12 ounces.Rounding out the top five co-anglers were Thomas Grzadzieleski (20 walleyes, 79 pounds, 3 ounces); Daryl Zimney of Jamestown (20 walleyes, 77 pounds, 6 ounces); Mark Magness of Fargo (20 walleyes, 74 pounds, 13 ounces); and John Hight of Fargo (17 walleyes, 67 pounds, 11 ounces).Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight and are randomly paired each day. 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. Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour.For more information on FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.