Takasaki Takes Crown of Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Event on Mississippi River

Category: press release

 May 9th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified May 9th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

RED WING, Minn. (May 9, 2009) – Pro Ted Takasaki of East Gull Lake, Minn., and co-angler Gary Speicher of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, caught five walleyes weighing 20 pounds, 11 ounces to win the Walmart FLW Walleye Tour presented by Berkley on the Mississippi River in Red Wing, Minn. Takasaki had a four-day catch of 20 walleyes weighing 93-5. He won by more than 14 pounds winning the nationally televised tournament that features anglers from 19 states and Canada. Takasaki took home $33,333 for his efforts.

Ted Takasaki moments after his first FLW win (Photo Courtesy of WalleyeFIRST)

“I am so grateful,” said Takasaki. “It has been a long time since the last big victory. I have been right there many times and this is such a great feeling. If you could bottle it and sell it, you would be a millionaire.”

Takasaki said he started the day in the river and spent time on six spots pulling in his winning catch. “I felt it was going to be a tough bite with the cold front, so I started in the river because most of the time river fish don’t seem to be affected as much with the cold. I got four decent fish trolling and thought I should go after my big fish from yesterday and right away I caught about a 27-incher and came back around and caught about a 23-incher and I knew I had about 20 pounds. That is what I was shooting for.”

“This river has always been tough for me over the years. The real key for me doing well the last four days was being versatile. I trolled crankbaits with leadcore and caught a lot of my saugers in the 20- to 21-inch range to make sure I had a limit. Then I went looking for the big fish.”

Rounding out the top 10 pros were Nick Johnson of Elmwood, Wis. (19 walleyes, 78-12); Randy Stevens of Hager City, Wis. (16 walleyes, 75-9); Pat Byle of Colgate, Wis. (20 walleyes, 74-10); Brian Bjorkman of Fargo, N.D. (17 walleyes, 74-2); Scott Fairbairn of Hager City, Wis. (20 walleyes, 73-4); Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn. (20 walleyes, 69-10); Barry Walker of Big Springs, Neb. (18 walleyes, 69-5); Rich Zachowski of Milwaukee, Wis. (17 walleyes, 68-14); and Perry Good of Brainerd, Minn. (17 walleyes, 65-2).

Speicher, a veteran co-angler, earned his first victory on the FLW Walleye Tour, and took home $6,667. His four day weight totaled 81 pounds even. He fished with pros Tommy Skarlis, Gilman, Johnson and Takasaki during the course of the tournament.

“This is great,” said Speicher. “The only disappointment over the four days was having the big fish on today that came unbuttoned. Had we not caught the fish that we caught later, it would have been a tougher day.”

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are Chad Niemann of Rochester, Minn. (20 walleyes, 72-11); David Hosek of White Bear Lake, Minn. (20 walleyes, 70-13); Steve Berg of Hudson, Wis. (16 walleyes, 69-8); Robert Brunz of Madison Lake, Minn. (20 walleyes, 67-9); Del Ringling of Valley, Neb. (20 walleyes, 66-1); Larry Oleson of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. (18 walleyes, 63-2); Darrell Martin of Forest Lake, Minn. (19 walleyes, 61-9); Todd Dankert of Anoka, Minn. (18 walleyes, 61-6); and Jerry Miller of Lowell, Ind. (17 walleyes, 58-7).

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.

Overall there were 41 walleyes weighing 130 pounds, 10 ounces caught by 10 boats Saturday. The catch included six five-walleye limits.

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 Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year standings. The top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers in the standings will advance to the FLW Walleye Tour Championship in Bismarck, N.D., Sept. 30-Oct. 3 for a shot at top awards of $150,000 and $20,000, respectively. The prestigious championship, hosted by the Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau, will also feature boater and co-angler points champions from each of four Walmart FLW Walleye League divisions. The no-entry-fee FLW Walleye Tour Championship is the most lucrative event in professional walleye angling, with cash awards for the entire field.

Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour, hosted by the Red Wing Business Community, 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 Aug. 9 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 taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.

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