Ryan Wins FLW Walleye Tour at Red Wing
May 6th, 2006 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified May 6th, 2006 at 12:00 AM
RED WING, Minn. (May 6, 2006) – Pro Jeff Ryan of Lake View, Iowa, caught a four-day total of 16 walleyes weighing 87 pounds, 4 ounces to win $100,000 at the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event presented by Yamaha on the Mississippi River near Red Wing, Minn. Ryan’s catch shattered the previous four-day weight record for an FLW Outdoors walleye event on the Mississippi River, which was 55 pounds, 5 ounces. Ryan, a G3 Boats and Yamaha pro, earned $60,000 plus a $25,000 boat bonus and a $15,000 engine bonus for a total of $100,000 out of a $503,300 purse. At the end of day two, Ryan had a lead of more than 14 pounds, enough for an entire quality limit. On day three, he increased his lead to nearly 24 pounds after catching his largest limit of the event – five walleyes weighing 28 pounds, 2 ounces. On the final day, Ryan caught one more walleye weighing 6 pounds, sealing the deal for perhaps one of the most dominating performances in FLW Outdoors walleye-fishing history. Ryan has been secretive about his pattern all week, but on Saturday, his secrets were revealed. He fished a small stretch in the Vermillion River, just downstream from a railroad track bridge. Big walleyes trickling down from spawning areas have been gathering in holes just below the bridge pilings. Ryan has been using three-way rigs and bottom bouncers to present night crawlers, leeches and willow cats to catch his walleyes. Other anglers in the area have been anchoring and trolling with some success, but Ryan has been using his trolling motor to ease over one of the holes and slip with the current, presenting his live bait with more of a vertical presentation. Snags were frequent, and Ryan said he went through 80 to 100 live-bait rigs during the tournament. “I credit staying patient and not giving up to my success,” Ryan said. “I kept fishing in my area despite constant headaches. “This is my second year as a pro on the FLW Walleye Tour. I actually had talked about giving it up a couple of years ago out of frustration, but I’m glad that I didn’t.” Ryan has one other top-10 finish to his credit in his two years on tour. That finish also came on the Mississippi River during the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship out of Moline, Ill., in 2005. Saturday’s win boosted his career earnings to $108,050. Rounding out the top five pros are Scott Allar of Welch, Minn. (20 walleyes, 73 pounds, 6 ounces, $42,000); Kevin McQuoid of Isle, Minn. (18 walleyes, 66 pounds, 2 ounces, $25,000); Todd Riley of Amery, Wis. (19 walleyes, 62 pounds, 4 ounces, $18,000); and Castrol pro Nick Johnson of Elmwood, Wis. (14 walleyes, 60 pounds, 9 ounces, $13,000). Kristine Szczech of St. Paul, Minn., won the Co-angler Division with a four-day total of 18 walleyes weighing 74 pounds, 12 ounces, becoming the first woman in FLW Outdoors history to win an FLW Walleye Tour event. Szczech earned $15,000 for her win. She fished in Pool 3 on the final day with second-place finisher Scott Allar, who is leading the Angler of the Year points race. “It’s been a roller coaster. Very exciting,” Szczech said after her win. “I was so down when I lost first place on day three, but Scott just said ‘don’t worry about it.’ My dad also told me not to worry about it, and my good friend, Karin Savik, who fishes the FLW Tour, was getting on to me for wanting to give up yesterday.” Szczech led the Co-angler Division on days one and two, but slipped to second place at the end of day three. Luckily, she and Allar were able to put together a quality limit weighing 15 pounds, 14 ounces for Szczech to win by more than 6 pounds. “My check will probably go to my fishing funds for the next tournament,” Szczech said. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Dave Dugall of Highland, Mich. (19 walleyes, 68 pounds, 6 ounces, $9,500); Gary Engberg of Mazomanie, Wis. (16 walleyes, 65 pounds, 7 ounces, $3,500); Jeff Sather of Montevideo, Minn. (20 walleyes, 62 pounds, 7 ounces, $2,500); and David Woyak of Hartland, Wis. (15 walleyes, 59 pounds, 3 ounces, $4,000). 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 three-day opening round for one of 10 final-round slots based on their three-day accumulated weight. Weights carry over to day four, with the winner determined by the heaviest four-day weight. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 150 points awarded to the winner, 149 to second, 148 for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings. The top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the 2006 FLW Walleye Tour Championship. The FLW Walleye Tour Championship is the most lucrative event in professional walleye angling, with guaranteed cash awards for the entire field. A guaranteed cash award of $100,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $50,000 will go to the FLW Walleye Tour Championship winner for a total pro award of $150,000. The champion co-angler will win a guaranteed cash award of $11,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $11,000 for a total co-angler award of $22,000. Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour event on the Mississippi River will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on June 11 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to more than 350 million households in such countries as 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. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network. The FLW Walleye Tour will next visit Devils Lake in Devils Lake, N.D., for the third regular-season event June 7-10, and the regular season will come to a close with an event presented by Evinrude July 12-15 on Green Bay in Green Bay, Wis. Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners’ 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. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.9 million through 241 events in 2006. FLW Outdoors also recently announced the addition of a striped bass circuit, which will debut in May. For more information about 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 an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.