Meleen Claims FLW Walleye Angler of the Year
Category: press release
Aug 17th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 17th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
MINNEAPOLIS (Aug. 17, 2010) – Completing a remarkably consistent 2010 season, Cabela’s pro Paul Meleen won the FLW Walleye Tour Angler of the Year award with 818 points over six qualifying events. To be eligible, competitors had to fish both divisions, Eastern and Western, of the FLW Walleye Tour.
|Paul Meleen (Photo WalleyeFIRST)|
Meleen started the Eastern Division season with a 19th-place finish on the Detroit River in Trenton, Mich. He then placed 16th on the Illinois River in Spring Valley, Ill. At the season-opening Western Division event on Pool 3 of the Mississippi River, Meleen notched his first of three top-10s – finishing seventh. He then took 35th, his worst tournament of the year, on Lake Oahe in Pierre, S.D. Meleen finished the Eastern Division season with a fifth-place performance on an ultra-stingy Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, Wis. He closed the Western Division season with a sixth-place finish on Devils Lake in Devils Lake, N.D.
“Winning Angler of the Year means I was the best out there in 2010,” said Meleen. “And that’s something no one can take away from me. It gets harder and harder every year to win, so I feel very fortunate.
“This past year wasn’t the best for tournament walleye fishing, but the majority of the really good sticks – the Keenans, the Przekurats and the Harshes – still fished. Everything has to go just right to win AOY; one bad day or one bad decision can cost you.”
Meleen attributed his success to a loyal group of sponsors and old-fashioned hard work.
“I’m old school; I simply put more time in than anyone else. I’m practicing from sunrise to sundown, trying to find something off the wall. I also have the confidence of a great sponsor team. Foremost among them is Evinrude. Cabela’s has also been instrumental, and I’ve been with Ranger Boats since 1988. In fact, I was the first walleye pro to run a 600-Series Ranger.”
In his career, the Isle, Minn., native has accumulated over $100,000 in FLW Outdoors earnings. He’ll have a chance to add to that total at the 2010 FLW Walleye Tour Championship, to be held Sept. 22-25 on Leech Lake in Walker, Minn.
“I’ve had two goals for a long time. The first was to win Angler of the Year and the second was to win the year-end championship. I’m halfway there, and this could be my year.”
Hatley, Wis., pro Tom Keenan won the points race in the Eastern Division with 421 points over three events. Keenan, the 2006 Angler of the Year, finished fourth on the Detroit River, first on the Illinois River and 27th on Lake Winnebago. Keenan clinched his victory with two skinny 15-inchers caught during the final few minutes of the Winnebago event.
In the Western Division, Bill Shimota edged out Dusty Minke by a tiebreaker. Shimota and Minke each tallied 422 points, but Shimota accumulated more weight during the season. Shimota won the first event of the year on the Mississippi River, took 12th on Lake Oahe and finished 18th on Devils Lake.
The Angler of the Year title is determined by the total accumulated points from all six regular-season events. One hundred-fifty points are awarded for a win, 149 for second, 148 for third, and so on.
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