Riley Takes Early Lead in Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Championship
Sep 30th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 30th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
BISMARCK, N.D. (Sept. 30, 2009) – Pro Todd Riley of Amery, Wis., and co-angler Jimmy Cox of Bono, Ark., brought in five walleyes weighing 23 pounds, 4 ounces to lead the Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Championship presented by Berkley on the Missouri River in Bismarck, N.D. The pair holds a lead of 7 pounds, 7 ounces over their closest rivals in the nationally televised tournament that features 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.
“My plan today was not letting anything go and I ended up letting some fish go,” said Riley. “We were very fortunate catching a couple of good fish in the right order. I was concerned of catching a limit of fish as I am sure most of the guys were. We were fortunate and had a couple of good bites and were able to get them in the boat.
“There are a lot more places that I would like to get to as well, but we are all forced to play the wind and the conditions right now. Tomorrow is going to be completely different. Today we had south winds stacking the water up and slowing the current down. Tomorrow that current will be flying probably and sounds like a lot of rain.”
Riely’s largest fish was 29″ long and he estimated it over nine pounds. “To get the weight we had [it had to be over nine]. If it weren’t for the weather, the weights would a lot higher this year, but the weather has the fish all screwed up. The fish are heavier and I believe there are more of them.”
Riley, quiet on the techniques and patterns used today, mentioned that the conditions were ever-changing. “It was tough. It was pretty intimidating going out there today with the weather. The water was two foot higher at the landing this afternoon then it was this morning when we launched. It has pushed water out of the lake and back up the river. These poor fish, they just don’t know what to do. With mother’s nature element thrown in on top of everything, we have to work 10 times harder than we would have otherwise.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros and co-anglers are Tom Brunz of Madison Lake, Minn. and Jerry Chwiert of Lake Villa, Ill. (five walleyes, 15-13); Tony Renner of Hutchinson, Minn. and Philip Zimpel of Plummer, Minn. (five walleyes, 15-5); Toby Kvalevog of Brainerd, Minn. and Jason Anderson of West Fargo, N.D. (five walleyes, 14-7); Ron Seelhoff of Burlington, Co. and Paul Doute, Jr. of Southgate, Mich. (five walleyes, 14-7); Scott Stiel of Richmond, Minn. and William Drake of Horace, N.D. (five walleyes, 14-7); Tom Kemos of Oconomowoc, Wis. and Scott Perez of Crystal Lake, Ill. (five walleyes, 14-5); Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn. and Lowell Joy of Bemidji, Minn. (five walleyes, 13-14); Chad Schilling of Akaska, S.D. and Dave Smith of Bemidji, Minn. (five walleyes, 13-13); and Mark Courts of Harris, Minn. and Troy Vanacek of Omaha, Neb. (five walleyes, 13-9).
Overall there were 214 walleyes weighing 516 pounds, 1 ounce caught by 54 boats Wednesday. The catch included 31 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 competes for two days and then is 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.