Riley Keeps Lead in Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Championship
Oct 1st, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Oct 1st, 2009 at 12:00 AM
BISMARCK, N.D. (Oct. 1, 2009) – Pro Todd Riley of Amery, Wis., caught five walleyes weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces to give him a two-day catch of 10 walleyes weighing 35 pounds, 9 ounces to lead the Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Championship presented by Berkley on the Missouri River in Bismarck, N.D. Riley caught five walleyes weighing 23 pounds, 4 ounces on day one. The nationally televised championship tournament featured 108 anglers from 16 states and Canada fishing for top awards of $105,000 in the Pro Division and $14,000 in the Co-angler Division.
Jimmy Cox of Bono, Ark., leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day catch of 10 walleyes weighing 34-3. Cox brought in five walleyes weighing 23-4 with his partner on the pro side, Riley, on the first day and five more walleyes weighing 10-15 today with his pro partner, Chad Schilling.
“I only caught six fish today,” said Riley. “I did not catch a lot of fish today. I was basically fishing to get enough weight to get my partner into the cut comfortably and then I was going to go pre-fishing. Unfortunately it just never happened. I think there are going to be new areas that are going to start popping. I would have loved to have taken half the day today, and of course I had the luxury being able to do that, [but I was fishing for my partner].”
Riley said it was difficult today, even with the large lead heading into today. “It is a real roller coaster and even with the mark that I had going out this morning, I liked having it but no way was I comfortable knowing I had this thing in the bag. You can go out there and drop in on any fish, or if you do, not get any bites.”
“The water was pushing two feet lower and the current was absolutely screaming,” said Riley. “The fish were in different places. One of the areas that I fished yesterday and started today, a lot of the guys fished it yesterday; we took a lot of fish out of there. Most of them got hauled in to town and with the current surging today, that spot was pretty dead. I think I pulled three fish out of there and then made a move.”
“The way I look at these is two two-day tournaments. Winning the first tournament is 10th place or better. Now tomorrow, the real tournament starts where we get to fish for big money.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros are Scott Steil of Richmond, Minn. (10 walleyes, 30-4); Ron Seelhoff of Burlington, Co. (10 walleyes, 29-7); Tony Renner of Hutchinson, Minn. (10 walleyes, 28-10); David Anderson of Amery, Wis. (10 walleyes, 28-8); Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn. (10 walleyes, 27-3); Nicolas Schertz of Tomahawk, Wis. (10 walleyes, 27-2); Robert Crow of Paterson, Wash. (10 walleyes, 26-15); Tommy Skarlis of Waukon, Iowa (10 walleyes, 26-4); and Carl Adams, Jr. of Blackduck, Minn. (10 walleyes, 26-4).
Cox, who held on to the lead on the co-angler side said, “I had a good partner today and yesterday. We pretty much fished the same areas today as I did yesterday, with a few minor changes. We threw back a couple keepers this morning and struggled the rest of the day. About noon, we caught our third fish. Then on our last pass, we caught two more fish. I am a bass fisherman, so I hope we do some vertical jigs tomorrow, but I will do whatever they say. This would be my first win on the Tour and the championship would be nice.”
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are Jerry Chwierut of Lake Villa, Ill. (10 walleyes, 30-13); Patrick Bertelsen of Jackson, Minn. (10 walleyes, 30-3); Lowell Joy of Bemidji, Minn. (10 walleyes, 30-0); William Drake of Horace, N.D. (10 walleyes, 27-12); Justin Steinke of Birnamwood, Wis. (10 walleyes, 27-3); Philip Zimpel of Plummer, Minn. (10 walleyes, 26-15); Troy Vanacek of Omaha, Neb. (10 walleyes, 26-14); Christopher Hanson of New Hope, Minn. (10 walleyes, 26-8); and Dave Smith of Bemidji, Minn. (10 walleyes, 26-2).
Overall there were 207 walleyes weighing 519 pounds, 10 ounces caught by 54 boats Thursday. The catch included 26 five-walleye limits.
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 competed the first two days and then was cut to the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers for day three. Anglers in both divisions start from zero on day three, and co-angler competition concludes with the winner determined by the day’s heaviest catch. Pros carry their weights over to day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
Fans are encouraged to attend the weigh-ins daily at the Bismarck Civic Center at 4:30 p.m. Fans can also visit the free Family Fun Zone at the Bismarck Civic Center on Friday, beginning at 2 p.m., and on Saturday, beginning at noon, to win free prizes, test their skills at the casting pond, visit various sponsor booths for giveaways and promotions and ride the Ranger boat simulator for free. The first 300 children ages 14 and under on Saturday will receive a free rod and reel courtesy of Cumulus Bismarck.
The community is invited to attend takeoffs daily from Hazelton Launch Ramp, located approximately 30 miles southeast of Bismarck on Highway 1804, at 8:00 a.m.
Coverage of the Walleye Tour Championship, hosted by the Bismarck-Mandan Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated “FLW Outdoors,” will air Nov. 15 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports. Sign up for Player’s Advantage to get your edge and win.
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.