PWT Pros Discover Bull Shoals Walleyes Shallow and Deep; Bill Ortiz Wins $64,000
May 13th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified May 13th, 2005 at 12:00 AM
Bill Ortiz overcame a huge deficit on the final day to claim the $64,000 title at the Lowrance/Berkley Pro-Am on Bull Shoals Lake. This was the second year for the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail pro anglers on this massive Arkansas reservoir. Ortiz, from Richland Center, Wis. figured out a pattern that prevailed all three days. This was his second PWT victory. He was Angler of the Year in 2003, and boosted his earnings to nearly $250,000. Trolling Shad Raps in 6-feet to 10-feet of water proved the top tactic for Ortiz. PWT pros discovered walleyes chasing shad in the 70-degree shallows, and capitalized on them. Some trolled to success in 150 feet of water (and deeper) by targeting walleyes in the tops of submerged trees about 40 to 60 feet down. Todd Frank, Pulaski, NY held a commanding 10-pound lead until he netted only two fish on a cloudy day three. He also lost one walleye, and ended up six-tenths of a pound behind Ortiz. Frank won $20,000.Gary Parsons, Glidden, Wis. trolled shallow crankbaits for third place with 43.12 pounds. He won $13,000. Mark Martin, Twin Lake, Mich. cast Shad Raps at shorelines for fourth place and $11,000. Pierre, SD pro Dan Stier won $10,000 for fifth.PWT pros talked on stage at Bull Shoals Boat Dock about all the walleyes that must be in the system. They saw walleyes following their lures. They saw thousands of them on underwater Aqua-Vu cameras. They saw walleye schools swimming in the shallows. They also admitted they had to compete with billions of shad.
On the amateur side, Bill Prust and Mark Schuyler of Bull Shoals finished first and second. Prust won the Lund walleye boat with a Mercury on an E-Z Loader trailer (made right in the area at Midway, AR), valued at $17,000. Schuyler won $4,500 worth of fishing tackle. The top 40 pros and 40 amateurs/co-anglers won $300,000.Special awards went to 41st place pro Rick Franklin, Park Rapids, Minn. He won $500 for the Dave’s Ka-Boom Close Call award. The Gerbing’s Hot Pro award of $1,000 went to Parsons. He won $500 and a Gerbing’s heated suit for moving from 63rd on the Angler of the Year list to 14th. He has three PWT wins and two Angler of the Year titles. Frank won the Navionics “Spot on the Spot” $500 award for precisely fishing a tiny stretch of trees with exact depth control.The Coleman Big Fish awards of $500 went to pros Marty Glorvigen, Grand Rapids, Minn. (6.32 pounds), Marc St. Martin, Maplewood, Minn. (7.36 pounds), and Frank (7.46 pounds). Their respective amateur partners also won $500 from Coleman. They were Dennis Grimm, Oconomowoc, Wis., Dale Weeks, St. Francis, KS, and Larry Devors, Bull Shoals. Pro Bill Hall, Algona, Iowa won the Coleman Cool Under Pressure award for advancing 65 places. Rick Buxcel, Blair, Neb., advanced 59 places to win on the amateur/co-angler side.PWT Special Achievement awards went to Hank Hudson, owner of Bel’Arco Resort and John Eastwold, owner of Bull Shoals Boat Dock for theirsupport and organizational efforts. The Resort Association and Chamber of Commerce were very helpful, and the contestants became unofficial ambassadors for the sights and walleyes of Bull Shoals Lake.The 2005 Angler of the Year leader is pro Todd Frank, with Ortiz second and last season’s winner, Tommy Skarlis, Dorchester, Iowa, in third. The MotorGuide West Division leader is John Butts, Dryden, Ontario, winner of the tournament last month in Illinois. The tour continues in Kentucky June 1-3, with events in Michigan and South Dakota setting the stage for the Mercury Championship in Kansas. Bulls Shoals Boat Dock(870-445-4424), Bel’Arco Resort (870-44504242), and Bull Shoals Chamber of Commerce (800-447-1290) and these business partners: Mercury Marine, Lund, The Outdoor Channel, Berkley, Optima Batteries, Realtree, MotorGuide, Lowrance, MinnKota, Trilene, Frenzy, Blue Fox, Powerbait, Northland Fishing Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, GULP!, Coleman, Storm, Boat Buckle, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, Kwik Pfyt, E-Z Loader, Raymarine, Rapala, Matzuo, Pflueger, Ram rod holders, Gerbing’s Heated Clothing, Aqua-Vu, Save Phace, Plano, Stowmaster.net, Navionics, Access Roll-up Cover, Yellow Bird, DOW Chemical, Dave’s Lures, The State Bank Group, Yo-Zuri and Reef Runner. The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications Network headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, and PRIMEDIA, America’s leading producer of targeted media.