PWT Tour Returns to Michigan’s UP With Walleye Action at Sault Ste. Marie

Category: Tournament

 Aug 18th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Aug 18th, 2005 at 12:00 AM

They’re heading to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from all corners of the Walleye World. The pros with their $40,000 boats and thousands of fishing lures, will be driven to Sault Ste. Marie by visions of giant walleyes flopping in their nets. These are the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail touring pro anglers who will fish the Lund/Outdoor Channel Pro-Am on the St. Mary’s River for more than $300,000 in cash and merchandise prizes. The top 40 win a share of the purse with the first-place pro prize set at $64,000. The PWT Pro-Am format means the winning amateur/co-angler will tow home a Mercury-powered Lund walleye boat on an E-Z Loader trailer (a $17,000 prize). Forty amateurs also win prizes.The partners fish in the pro’s boat with the pro’s gear and at the pro’s spots. Each amateur/co-angler draws a different partner each tournament day, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Aug. 24-26. Not only are they gunning to win the big prizes, but this is also the final qualifier prior to the prestigious Mercury Championship, which caps the 2005 season.Only a limited field will be invited, and the new champion will win $119,000, at Milford Lake in Kansas.At Sault Ste. Marie, the contestants will fish the St. Mary’s River and all it’s connecting waters. This scenic waterway flows from Lake Superior to Lake Huron. The most popular PWT pro boat is a 20-foot Lund walleye boat, which will be shadowed by freighters exceeding 1,000 feet in length, and towering hundreds of feet in height. The anglers in the Lund will be searching for one more walleye, while the ship will be on course for it’s next port. All eyes will be on Johnsonville Brats Angler of the Year leader Mark Brumbaugh. This Ohio angler has cashed a check at every PWT tournament this season, and is the only angler to have done so. He is a past PWT Champion and a tournament winner, but does not own an Angler title. With341 points, Brumbaugh is only two points ahead of Illinois pro Mike Gofron.New York pro Todd Frank is seven points back. The Angler of the Year race is the tightest it’s ever been. The Angler title would be worth $35,000 to any of these Mercury pros ($25,000 from Johnsonville and $10,000 from Mercury Marine).Local pro Mike McMaken, Cedarville, Mich., reports there are morewalleyes from 15 to 22 inches in the St. Mary’s River than ever before. He said, “They’re healthy and in all the traditional places. Boat control will be critical (as usual), and I expect some really big fish to show themselves.”The Aug. 24-26 event will occur about a mile below the Soo Locks in Aune Osborn Park. Walleye fans are welcome to the free stage spectacle beginning at 3 p.m. daily. Contestants weigh their catches, which are then released. On Friday, the pros “tell all.” They reveal where they fished, how they fished, and any tricks they learned on the river. The fishing action will be captured by the award-winning In-Fisherman TV crews, and aired from October 2005 through March 2006 on the Outdoor Channel. Updated results the instant the pros weigh their catches are available on the PWT website www.professionalwalleyetrail.com. Tune in and follow the Mercury Real-time scoring action. Quality Inn & Suites (906-635-6918), Sault Convention Bureau (800-647-2858), Kewadin Casino (906-632-0530)

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