Shimota, Eiden lead FLW Walleye League Finals at Moline
Sep 13th, 2007 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 13th, 2007 at 12:00 AM
MOLINE, Ill. (Sept. 13, 2007) – Boater Bill Shimota of Lonsdale, Minn., and his co-angler partner, Mike Eiden of New Haven, Ind., caught one walleye and four saugers weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces Thursday to secure an opening day lead of 1 pound, 6 ounces over their closest competitors in the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League Finals on the Mississippi River in Moline. A field of 105 boaters representing the league’s Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin divisions is competing for a $47,500 Ranger 621 powered by either an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard, while 105 co-anglers are competing for a $27,000 G3 V185F powered by Yamaha.”I thought I had a pretty good chance of catching five fish today, but I thought they’d be closer to 15 or 16 inches – just barely legal,” Shimota said. (Legal walleyes must be 15-20 inches and anglers can keep two over 27 inches. Sauger have only a 15-inch minimum). “We ran into some bigger saugers and I had one over 20 inches and a couple of 17’s. I would have been happy with just a few of those fish today.”Shimota and Eiden picked up most of their fish over sandy humps in an outside river bend close to a side channel. The leaders trolled artificial lures designed to imitate gizzard shad – the indigenous forage. With an abundance of baitfish providing ample food sources, Shimota determined that trolling would trigger reaction strikes among disinterested fish.Eiden credited Shimota’s practice effort for their day one success. “Bill did his homework. He got out there, tried some different things and got a game plan together. He was able to find fish that would bite and he stuck to his plan.”In his first year of Walleye League competition, Shimota won the last qualifying event in the league’s Minnesota Division and finished second in the division’s points race.Rounding out the top five are boater Jonathan Shoemaker of Elyria, Ohio, and co-angler Eldon Olson of Mason City, Iowa (4 walleyes, 7 pounds, 14 ounces); boater Eric Olson of Red Wing, Minn., and co-angler Jamie Revermann of St. Joseph, Minn. (4 walleyes, 7 pounds, 12 ounces); boater Chad Wertepny of Green Bay, Wis., and co-angler Jamie Nieland of Albany, Minn. (5 walleyes, 7 pounds, 8 ounces); and boater Dan Krukow of Rochester, Minn., and co-angler Aaron Mestad of Deerwood, Minn. (5 walleyes, 7 pounds, 2 ounces).A total of 79 walleyes weighing 137 pounds, 5 ounces were caught Thursday, including a trio of five-fish limits.Boaters and co-anglers who finished in the top 35 in final points standings after three qualifying events in each FLW Walleye League division advanced to this no-entry-fee tournament. Anglers will take off from Sunset Park at 7 each morning. Friday’s weigh-ins will also be held at the park, which is located at Route 92 and 31st St. in Rock Island, Ill., beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in moves to the Wal-Mart store located at 3930 44th Ave. in Moline beginning at 4 p.m. The community is invited to attend the free takeoff and weigh-in festivities. Boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired each day of the event and fish for a combined boat weight that carries over from day to day. Boaters compete against other boaters, and co-anglers compete against other co-anglers. The winners are determined by the heaviest three-day accumulated weight, with only the top 10 boaters and top 10 co-anglers fishing on day three.Coverage of the FLW Walleye League Finals on the Mississippi River will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on Nov. 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 429 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 Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting the FLW Walleye League Finals. For more information, call (563) 322-3911.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 presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007. 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 Walmart.com.For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.