NPAA Pro Anglers Win Top Honors at FLW Leech Lake Tournament
Jun 16th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 16th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
The recently concluded FLW Walleye Tour event on Leech Lake followed a familiar story-line. Once again, like the previous FLW tournaments this season, National Professional Anglers Association members captured top honors. On Leech Lake – out of Walker, MN, Dan Stier rigged his way to victory, something he has done three times in the big leagues of walleye fishing. Professional Angler, Tom Keenan finished second.
Stier, from Clearwater, Minnesota netted more than 56 pounds of walleyes to win $62,000. This follows a stellar 2008 season when he captured the Ranger Cup title, winning a Ranger/Yamaha walleye boat, the PWT tournament at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (rigging of course), and never finished lower than 15th all season to win a Starcraft boat and Mercury outboard for that tour’s final Angler of the Year title. He also won on Lake of the Woods in 2003. He has 20 top-10 PWT finishes, and eight FLW top 10’s. His sponsors include: Ranger Boats, Yamaha, Optima Batteries, Lowrance Electronics, Vicious Fishing Line, and Millennium Home Design.
Stier fished Leech Lake’s Walker Bay by rigging within site of the launch area all week, and burned less than half a tank of gas. He rigged redtail minnows exclusively, and fished from 13 to 40 feet deep. When overcast skies with wind occurred, he fished the shallower, gradual slopes. When sunshine and calm conditions prevailed, he went deeper and concentrated on the steep breaks where the depth dropped from 13 feet to 24 feet in a distance of about 10 feet. Stier caught the big ones everyday, to take the victory. He urges anglers to support the local, state, and national fishing tournaments and remain actively involved in the sport.
The redtails coerced walleyes on 6-pound green co-polymer Vicious leaders and a Vicious mainline of 8-pound test. He used one-half ounce egg sinkers and a 7-foot Loomis 8400 spinning rod. His rigging program is based on three Optima batteries that have stood the test of time. Stier fishes nine months each year and has used the same batteries since 2006. They power his MinnKota 101 Maxxum trolling motor.
Keenan, from Hatley, Wisconsin has several FLW second place finishes and a Championship victory, with more than $500,000 in FLW winnings. Also a veteran to the big leagues, Keenan has won several Masters Walleye Circuit titles and a PWT winner on Lake Winnebago in 1999. Keenan too was rigging large creek chubs and redtails on 8-pound test Stren Original main line, and 6-pound Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon leaders. His sponsors include: Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Chevy, Gander Mountain, FLW Outdoors, Stren, Offshore Tackle, Humminbird Electronics, Minnkota, Big-Bite Baits, SPro, Frabill, and Gamakatsu.
Other top 10 finishers include NPAA members Brian Bjorkman, Fargo, ND, in fifth. He now has two fifth-place finishes in his last two tournaments. Chris Gilman, Chisago City, Minnesota, finished sixth, Rick Olson, Mina, SD, was ninth, and Scott Steil, Richmond, Minnesota was 10th. NPAA members scored the next five spots. Dave A. Andersen, Amery, Wisconsin, was 11th. Kevin McQuoid, Isle, Minnesota was 12th.
Ted Takasaki, East Gull Lake, Minnesota, was 13th. He leads the LandOLakes Angler of the Year standings by 10 points, after placing first and second in the first two tournaments of the season. Brett King, Claremont, Minnesota was 14th and Ross Grothe, Northfield, Minnesota was 15th.
The FLW partnered with NPAA to deliver two youth-oriented youth and family fishing clinics in the Walker, Minnesota area. Sonny Reynolds, FLW Director of Walleye Operations said, “The week was a great success for the kids, with two of the largest youth and family fishing clinics in the history of the FLW. By teaming with the NPAA, we are able to give back to the communities in a big way. If one youngster goes fishing after an event like this, it is a great success.” A special thanks is in order for NPAA Members Rick Zachowski, Paul Meleen, Eric Olson, Jason Przekurat, Dustin Kjelden, Scott Allar, and Julia Davis for there efforts with the youth events and a special thanks to the US Forest Service and all the FLW sponsors for donating some goodies each child can use on the water!
The NPAA is a non-profit organization focused on growing the sport of fishing and increasing the professionalism of its members. All anglers who want to become involved are encouraged to join. NPAA supporting partners are also dedicated to helping grow the sport of fishing. They include Northland Fishing Tackle, Navionics, Mercury Marine, Evinrude Outboards, Lund Boats, Ranger Boats, Off-Shore Tackle, Bartness Fishing Tackle, Fin-Tech Tackle, Berkley, Walleye’s Inc., Greater Insurance Services, Anglers Insight Marketing, Masters Walleye Circuit and FLW Outdoors.
For more NPAA news and membership information, log onto: www.npaa.net