Neu Takes Early Lead in Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Event Lake Winnebago

Category: press release

 Jul 15th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jul 15th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

OSHKOSH, Wis. (July 15, 2009) – Pro Pat Neu of Forestville, Wis., and co-angler James Muntean of Maplewood, Minn., brought in five walleyes weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces to lead the Walmart FLW Walleye Tour presented by Berkley on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, Wis. The pair holds a lead of 1 pound, 8 ounces over their closest rivals in the nationally televised tournament that features anglers from 20 states and one Canadian province fishing for top awards of $35,333 in the Pro Division and $7,067 in the Co-angler Division-not including sponsor contingencies.

“Today was awesome,” said Neu. “It couldn’t have gone any better.” While he declined to elaborate much further on his go-to pattern, Neu admitted his strategy was wind-dependent and hinged on the water not clearing too much, too soon. “The conditions are set up for some pretty good fishing the next few days, but we’ll see,” he said. “The water on this shore is going to clear, and the fish may not be here tomorrow.”

Water clarity was also likely an issue for anglers plying the 137,708-acre lake’s massive and relatively featureless main basin-although with the opposite effect. “The mud bite isn’t going,” Neu noted. Berkley’s Cody Roswick, on hand to support the company’s extensive lineup of pro staffers at the event, relayed speculations that the main lake was too muddied for walleyes to find competitors’ trolling presentations.

Kendall Kamke, local fisheries biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, explained that Winnebago’s main basin consists mainly of mud “so soft that divers report having trouble telling where the water column ends and bottom begins.” Such sediments are easily riled when strong winds develop in the shallow lake, which has just a 15-foot average depth.

Rounding out the top 10 pros and co-anglers are Brian Deffner of Eland, Wis. and Del Ringling of Valley, Neb. (five walleyes, 16-1); Rick Olson of Mina, S.D., and Robert Brunz of Madison Lake, Minn. (five walleyes, 15-13); Tom Hoinacki of Waupun, Wis. and Bill Buboltz of Ham Lake, Minn. (five walleyes, 13-3); Scott Steil of Richmond, Minn. and Donald Doran of Sun Prairie, Wis. (five walleyes, 13-0); Matthew Jacobson of Weyauwega, Wis. and Korey Sprengel of Beaver Dam, Wis. (five walleyes, 12-11); Brad Davis of Jackson, Wis. and Karl Sprengel of Beaver Dam, Wis. (five walleyes, 12-7); Jeff Nuechterlein of Fremont, Wis. and Craig Cayemberg of Valders, Wis. (five walleyes, 11-9); Jimmy Hughes of Oshkosh, Wis. and David Anderson of Sauk Rapids, Minn. (four walleyes, 11-8); and Robert Crow of Paterson, Wash. and William Drake of Horace, N.D. (five walleyes, 11-5).

Overall there were 348 walleyes weighing 665 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 106 boats Wednesday. The catch included 40 five-walleye limits.

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.

Fans are encouraged to attend the weigh-ins to win free prizes, visit the Cabela’s booth for various promotions and ride the FLW Fantasy Fishing boat simulator for free. Pioneer Resort Marina located at 1000 Pioneer Drive in Oshkosh will host daily takeoffs each morning at 7 a.m. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at Pioneer Resort Marina beginning at 3 p.m.

Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Pioneer Resort beginning at 4 p.m. Prior to the final weigh-in, there will be a free Family Fishing Clinic where anglers will answer questions and provide tips, as well as hand out free rod and reels to kids 14 and under, while supplies last. 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 Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau, 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. Sign up for Player’s Advantage to get your edge and win.

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