Vanderweide Wins FLW at Bay de Noc
Jul 26th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jul 26th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
ESCANABA, Mich. (July 26, 2008) -Joshua Vanderweide of Jenison, Mich., along with his partner, Jerry Miller of Lowell, Ind., caught five walleyes weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces to win the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour presented by Berkley event on Bays de Noc in Escanaba, Mich. Vanderweide had a four-day total of 14 walleyes weighing 78-14 to net him the win and $100,000.
"This win really hasn't set in yet," said Vanderweide, who now has one win and three top-10 finishes in two seasons of FLW Walleye Tour competition. "It's amazing. It's everybody's goal to come out and do it, and now I can say that I've won. It's going to take a few days to sink in."
The 27-year-old angler said his key spot was located at the beginning of Big Bay – roughly 7 miles east of Peninsula Point and 20 miles east of Escanaba Harbor. The depth in the area varied anywhere from 16-30 feet and Vanderweide presented his baits in the middle of the water column.
"The morning started out fast, but I knew things had changed," Vanderweide said. "The wind switched from southwest to northwest.
"We got fish on our second, third and fourth pass. Our last fish went in the box at 9:50 this morning. After that, the water cooled down and the fish left. It was cold when we got there and it continued to plummet throughout the day. We were fortunate to get the fish when we did."
Rounding out the top five pros are Chevy pro Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis. (18 walleyes, 74 pounds, 4 ounces, $30,860); Kim Papineau of Escanaba (10 walleyes, 60 pounds, 13 ounces, $8,832); G3 pro Chad Shilling of Akaska, S.D. (14 walleyes, 58 pounds, 1 ounce, $13,227); and Lynn Hanisko of Escanaba (nine walleyes, 54 pounds, 7 ounces, $8,386).
Miller wins the co-angler division and $10,000 with a four-day total catch of 17 walleyes weighing 74-12 beating the closest competitor by more than 7 pounds.
"It's a new experience to be up here (on stage)," said Miller, who is fishing in only his second season of FLW Walleye Tour competition. "I've never made the cut. All I was hoping for was enough points to make the Walleye Tour Championship. I never expected to win."
Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Heath Fremstad of Mondovi, Wis. (15 walleyes, 66-10, $4,449), David Kerzee of Westerville, Ohio (12 walleyes, 54-09, $2,669), Chuck Jones of Michigan City, Ind. (nine walleyes, 51-03, $2,224) and Kim Knudson of Glendive, Mont. (nine walleyes, 51-00, $2,002).
Overall there were 17 walleyes weighing 96 pounds, 14 ounces caught by 10 boats Saturday. The catch included zero 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.
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.
Tournament pros aren't the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® offers anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player's Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that could guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour® stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player's Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player's Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
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.