Neuhaus, Cayamberg Lead Walmart FLW Walleye League Finals on Lake Wissota

Category: npaa

 Sep 17th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Sep 17th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis.  (Sept. 17, 2009) – Boater Bernie Neuhaus of Glencoe, Minn., and his co-angler partner, Craig Cayemberg of Valders, Wis., caught four walleyes weighing 7 pounds, 4 ounces Thursday to secure an opening-day lead of 1 pound, 5 ounces over their closest competitors in the Walmart FLW Walleye League Finals on Lake Wissota in Chippewa Falls, Wis. The field, representing the league’s Heartland, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin divisions, is competing for a $53,000 Ranger 621 powered by either an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard, while co-anglers are competing for a $22,000 Ranger Reata 1760 that includes a Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance electronics and Ranger Trailer.

“We had a great day – it was almost fantastic,” said Neuhaus, who, along with Cayemberg, caught one of the largest walleyes to cross the stage all day. The fish, a 25.5 incher, comprised the majority of their catch’s total weight. “We caught that big one early, and had one just like her on late in the day that we lost.

“We had set out with a game plan to catch our small fish and then move to some deeper water for bigger ones, but we caught the big fish in one of my small-fish spots,” Neuhaus continued. “So we ended up staying in that one area all day. It hurts not having that fifth fish in our limit, especially knowing we lost that other big one.”

Anglers found large numbers of walleyes eager to bite in Lake Wissota, but a protective slot limit that required them to release all walleyes measuring between 14 and 18 inches long kept catch weights on the low end. Anglers were allowed to keep five fish over 12 inches (excluding fish within the protected slot), but only two of those five fish could be longer than 18 inches. Those 18-inch-plus fish were rare, and as a consequence, large “kicker” fish proved to be the deciding factor for nearly everyone in the top five. Anglers were tight-lipped about the fishing techniques used the first day, but reports of live-bait rigging and crankbait trolling were mentioned.

Rounding out the top five are boater Jonathan Rohde of Kildeer, Ill., and co-angler Todd Rieder of Fond Du Lac, Wis. (four walleyes, 5 pounds, 15 ounces); boater Dusty Minke of Forest Lake, Minn., and co-angler Roy Hammond of New Berlin, Wis. (five walleyes, 5 pounds, 10 ounces); boater Jim Klein of Spring Valley, Ill., and co-angler Zach Afseth of Harmony, Minn. (five walleyes, 5 pounds, 6 ounces); and boater Terence Filkins of Lake City, Minn., and co-angler Brian J. Wolter of Fond Du Lac (five walleyes, 5 pounds, 1 ounce).

A total of 348 walleyes weighing 265 pounds, 12 ounces were caught Thursday, including 48 five-fish limits.

Boaters and co-anglers who finished in the top 30 in final points standings after three qualifying events in each FLW Walleye League division advanced to this no-entry-fee tournament.

Anglers will take off from Chippewa Rod & Gun Marina at 16160 74th Ave. in Chippewa Falls each morning. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at Chippewa Rod & Gun Marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in moves to the Walmart store located at 2786 Commercial Blvd. in Chippewa Falls beginning at 4 p.m. The community is invited to attend the free takeoff and weigh-in festivities each day.

Boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired each day of the event and fish for a combined boat weight that carries over from day to day. Boaters compete against other boaters, and co-anglers compete against other co-anglers. The winners are determined by the heaviest three-day accumulated weight, with only the top 10 boaters and top 10 co-anglers fishing on day three.

The Walmart Walleye League Finals is hosted by the Eau Claire Area Sports Commission and Chippewa Rod & Gun Marina. Ranger Cup bonuses are guaranteed and awards are based on a 100-boat field in each qualifying event.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world and is broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS each Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports. Sign up at FantasyFishing.com for the 2010 season.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.



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