Schilling Takes FLW Lead at Bay de Noc

Category: Tournament

 Jul 23rd, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jul 23rd, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Schilling on Day One

ESCANABA, Mich. (July 23, 2008) – Pro Chad Schilling of Akaska, S.D., and co-angler Kim Knudson of Glendive, Mont., caught five walleyes weighing 22 pounds, 4 ounces to lead day one of the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour presented by Berkley tournament on Bays de Noc in Escanaba, Mich. The pair now holds a 1-pound, 9-ounce lead over their closest rivals in the nationally televised tournament that features 248 competitors fishing for top awards of $100,000 in the Pro Division and $20,000 in the Co-angler Division.

"It was a good day," said Schilling, who is fishing his first season of FLW Walleye Tour competition. "We didn't get the big bites that we wanted- they just weren't there. Today, I felt like we ran around a lot looking at different key areas that I found in practice and one of those key areas was the one. I had no idea it would produce this quality of fish."

Schilling found his key area last year in a PWT tournament on Bays de Noc and placed 38th.
"We only caught a total of seven fish today," Shilling said. "I was getting worried because in the afternoon the fishing gets tough."

On a day when fish were few and far between, Schilling's big fish measured more than 27 inches and anchored the team's bag.

"This tournament is dependant on the wind," Schilling said. "I got lucky enough that it worked today and it was just right. I will pray for some wind tomorrow and go fishing."

"If there is half that many fish in that area tomorrow then it will be a good day."

Rounding out the top five pros and co-anglers are Nick Heelein of Genoa City, Wis., and Jerry Miller Lowell, Ind. (four walleyes, 20-11); Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis., and John Hammond of Ixonia, Wis. (five walleyes, 20-08); Pat Byle of Colgate, Wis., and Kenneth Bundy of Pulaski, N.Y. (five walleyes, 20-01); Mark Courts of Harris, Minn., and David Kerzee of Westerville, Ohio (four walleyes, 17-15).

Overall there were 151 walleyes weighing 657 pounds caught by 72 boats Wednesday. The catch included six 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 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 winners determined by the heaviest four-day weight.

Escanaba Harbor in Escanaba will host daily takeoffs each morning at 7. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will be held at Escanaba Harbor beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's takeoff will be at Escanaba Harbor at 6:30 a.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 601 N. Lincoln Road in Escanaba beginning at 4 p.m. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public.

In addition to cash awards, anglers are competing for valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the $650,000 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship – the sport's richest event – in Bismarck, N.D., Sept. 24-27. The top 50 pros and top 50 co-anglers in the Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year points standings will advance to the Championship, where they will compete for top awards of $150,000 and $20,000, respectively.

Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour stop on Bays de Noc will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on Oct. 10 as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. The program airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time in most markets. Check local listings for times in your area.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.

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.

Awards are based on a full field of 150 boats in every tournament.

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