Shimota Wins FLW Walleye League Finals
Sep 15th, 2007 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 15th, 2007 at 12:00 AM
MOLINE, Ill. (Sept. 15, 2007) – Boater Bill Shimota of Lonsdale, Minn., caught 11 saugers and one walleye weighing 22 pounds, 7 ounces during three days of competition in the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League Finals on the Mississippi River in Moline to secure a $47,500 victory Saturday by 2 pounds, 3 ounces over his closest competitor. Shimota earned a Ranger 621 powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard.Following the same pattern he fished on days one and two, Shimota spent most of his time fishing over “washboard” bottom – sandy humps – in about 8-14 feet of water in an outside bend of the river. Hand-lining with crank baits proved to be an effective strategy for keeping his lures near the bottom and drawing reaction strikes.Shimota said day three provided a welcome break from the congestion with which he contended a day earlier. After posting his day-one lead, he found several competitors fishing near him on the second day. “My spot got pretty crowded on day two, but today I had plenty of room and that allowed me to work my spot better. I was able to zig zag across the area and that created a better presentation than going in a straight line.”Anglers were allowed to enter walleyes and saugers in any combination up to five fish. Legal walleyes must measure 15-20 inches and anglers can keep two over 27 inches. Saugers have only a 15-inch minimum. With saugers presenting a more active bite, along with the ability to keep more of what he caught, Shimota decided to forego walleyes.”On day one, I was catching a lot of small walleyes, but I ran into some larger saugers, so that kind of told me what to target,” he said. “I caught some walleye along the way, too, but I had more weight with the saugers.” On Thursday, Shimota caught four saugers and one walleye weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces. He added another 3 saugers weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces to his total Friday, then he capped off his win Saturday with another 4 saugers weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces.Rounding out the top five boaters are Don Marx of Rockford, Minn. (12 fish, 20 pounds, 4 ounces, $5,000); Dan Krukow of Rochester, Minn. (10 fish, 17 pounds, 4 ounces, $4,500); Dusty Minke of New Brighton, Minn. (6 fish, 13 pounds, 4 ounces, $2,500); and Jonathan Shoemaker of Elyria, Ohio (7 fish, 13 pounds, 1 ounce, $2,000). Mike Eiden of New Haven, Ind. won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 11 sauger and one walleye weighing 22 pounds, 4 ounces. His effort earned him a $27,000 G3 V185F powered by Yamaha.On Thursday, Eiden caught four saugers and one walleye weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces while fishing with Shimota. He added another three saugers weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce to his total Friday while fishing with Marx, then he capped off his win Saturday with another four saugers weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces while fishing with Shimota.After topping the co-angler division on day one and then defending his lead on day two, Eiden found himself returning to Shimota’s boat with a heightened sense of optimism going into the final round. “I was happy to be paired with (Shimota) again. We already had good energy between us from day one. When we got out there on our first spot and we popped the first big fish, it was bigger than anything else (Shimota) had caught all week. It just felt right, like we might have a chance here today.”Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Eldon Olson of Mason City, Iowa (10 fish, 17 pounds, 15 ounces, $2,500); Steve Keller of Beloit, Wis. (9 fish, 16 pounds, 1 ounce, $1,750); Jamie Revermann of St. Joseph, Minn. (6 fish, 11 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,000); and Todd Wiedmann of Audubon, Minn. (6 fish, 11 pounds, 9 ounces, $750).A total of 18 walleyes weighing 34 pounds, 3 ounces were caught Saturday by the 10 teams who made the final-round cut. Only Marx and Olson caught a five-fish limit.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. 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.