QUAD CITIES GEARING UP FOR WAL-MART FLW WALLEYE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Aug 16th, 2005 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 16th, 2005 at 12:00 AM
MOLINE, Ill. (Aug. 18, 2005) – The Quad Cities will host the world’s most lucrative walleye tournament Sept. 28-Oct. 1, as the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship hits the Mississippi River. The tournament will feature the top 50 professional walleye anglers in the world paired with the top 50 co-anglers for four days of competition. As much as $125,000 cash will go to the winning pro, and as much as $22,000 cash will go to the winning co-angler in this $650,000 championship. FLW Walleye Tour 2005 Angler of the Year Nick Johnson of Elmwood, Wis., winner of the 2004 championship on the Mississippi River, predicts anglers will bring in catches of up to 15 pounds per day and possibly a few bags over 20 pounds. “With low water, wing dams could play a big part in the patterns,” Johnson said. “There will also be a lot of trolling with leadcore line.” Patrick Neu of Forestville, Wis., winner of the 2005 FLW Walleye Tour stop in Green Bay, Wis., also said water levels will be a big factor in how large the catches in the Quad Cities will be. “Last year wasn’t a good indicator of the potential of that river,” Neu said of the 2004 championship. “When the water is falling as it was last year, walleyes don’t bite as well. But the odds of getting a high-water situation at that time of year are low. “Trolling is the preferred method for catching them,” he continued. “Numerous anglers will use leadcore and Fireline and cover a lot of water. But I’m guessing the biggest catches will come from the guys who target two or three wing dams with live-bait rigs and crankbaits.” Sunset Park on 18th Ave. in Rock Island will host daily 7 a.m. takeoffs throughout the event. Daily weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 3930 44th Ave. in Moline beginning at 5 p.m. The community is invited to attend takeoffs and weigh-ins as well as the Family Fun Zone, which opens at 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday outside the weigh-in tent at Wal-Mart. The Family Fun Zone features interactive displays, product samples and games for the entire family. All activities are absolutely free. The winning pro at the FLW Walleye Tour Championship is guaranteed a cash award of $75,000. If the winner is a registered owner of a Ranger boat, he will earn a $25,000 bonus, and if his boat is equipped with a qualifying Evinrude or Yamaha outboard, he will receive another $25,000 for a total cash award of $125,000. The winning co-angler is guaranteed $11,000 cash and is eligible for a $6,000 bonus from Ranger if he is a registered owner. The winning co-angler will also receive a $5,000 bonus if his boat is equipped with a qualifying Evinrude or Yamaha outboard for a total cash award of $22,000. 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 two-day opening round for one of 10 final-round slots based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for the final round, with the winning pro determined by the heaviest two-day total weight from days three and four. The co-angler winner is determined on day three based on the weight of that day’s catch. Television coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour Championship will be provided by FSN (Fox Sports Net). Check local listings for times and availability. Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour and eight other national tournament circuits offering more than $30 million in purses through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America’s largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. For more information on Wal-Mart FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com. For more information about the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship hosted by the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about the Quad Cities, go to Visitquadcities.com.