Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Championship Returns to Bismarck
Sep 21st, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 21st, 2009 at 12:00 AM
BISMARCK, N.D. (Sept. 21, 2009) -The Missouri River, one of the nation’s foremost walleye fisheries, will host the world’s top walleye anglers Sept. 30 – Oct. 3 for the Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Championship presented by Berkley – the sport’s most lucrative event – for a second consecutive year. The prestigious tournament featuring 108 competitors from 16 states and Canada will award as much as $105,000 cash to the winning professional and as much as $14,000 cash to the winning co-angler.
Team Chevy pro Tom Keenan, who finished seventh at the championship last year said it is a good thing to return to Bismarck for the championship. “I think it is an advantage because at least you will have a little idea of what to look for and you have been in some of the areas. Some of it won’t matter as I am hearing the water is up a lot higher than last year which brings a lot of change, and that is good. I like going to bodies of water for the first time or with a lot of changes. I still think it will be a little bit of an advantage having been there. I think I have a good idea of what colors work and it should be a great tournament.”
“I have had a great year of tournament fishing,” said Keenan. “I actually took third overall in the Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year race. I took second place at Leech Lake. I had a great year and I caught limits everywhere we went. I am really looking forward to the Championship. Last year was the first time I was ever there and I took seventh place. I learned a lot and I am very excited about going back and have a chance to very well in the tournament.”
Keenan thought it will take 20-30 pounds over the course of the first two days to make the top-10 cut using various methods. “I think there will be a combination of presentations used. Predominant patterns are going to be jigging and rigging, using that combination. Some others will do fairly well throwing crankbaits too.”
“It was pretty cool being there last year,” said Keenan. “All the locals said hi and tried to give you an idea of where the fish were and what they were doing to catch them. That is not common for most places we go. The atmosphere alone on just the last day of the tournament, you had thousands of people in the arena, it was pretty awesome. Any chance you get to walk up on that stage in the top 10 on the last day, it is a pretty cool deal and I would like to be there again.”
Hazelton Launch Ramp, located approximately 30 miles southeast of Bismarck on Highway 1804, will host daily takeoffs at 8:00 a.m. Daily weigh-ins will be held at the Bismarck Civic Center, located at 315 S. 5th Street, beginning at 4:30 p.m. The community is invited to attend takeoffs and weigh-ins as well as the Family Fun Zone, which opens at 2 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday. Saturday is free fishing rod and reel day at the Fun Zone, where the first 300 children 14 and under receive a free fishing rod and reel, courtesy of Cumulus Bismarck.
The winning pro at the FLW Walleye Tour Championship is guaranteed a cash award of $100,000. If the winner is Ranger Cup qualified, he will earn a $25,000 bonus, and could receive another $25,000 bonus if the boat is equipped with a qualifying Evinrude or Yamaha outboard, for a total cash award of $150,000.
The winning co-angler is guaranteed $10,000 cash and is eligible for a $5,000 bonus if Ranger Cup qualified. The winning co-angler will also receive a $5,000 bonus from Evinrude or Yamaha if his boat is equipped with a qualifying Evinrude or Yamaha outboard.
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 for two days and then is cut to the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers for day three. Anglers in both divisions start from zero on day three, and co-angler competition concludes with the winner determined by the day’s heaviest catch. Pros carry their weights over to day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
Coverage of the Walleye Tour Championship, hosted by the Bismarck-Mandan Convention & Visitors Bureau, 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 Nov. 15 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 also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports. Sign up for Player’s Advantage to get your edge and win.
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.