We Love Winneconne PWT Anglers Proclaim
Apr 6th, 2006 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Apr 6th, 2006 at 12:00 AM
The In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail touring pros and their amateur/co-angler partners are finalizing details for the season-opening tournament at Winneconne, Wis. Based on the mild winter and past experience there, the pros are anxious to return.Winner of the 2004 event, Tommy Skarlis, with three April wins, said on stage, “We love Winneconne.” He said the volunteers were very helpfuland the downtown park was a great site. Returning to defend his victory,Skarlis said he might chase some of the larger walleyes a bit earlier this year.Winneconne boasts hundreds of thousands of walleyes that pass through, swimming upstream to spawn in the Wolf River. They will have completed this cycle when the PWT arrives, and some will be moving downstream. Resident fish in the Wolf and Fox Rivers will be targeted, as will those in the Winneconne-area lakes: Poygan, Winneconne and Butte des Morts. Lake Winnebago, long known as Wisconsin’s Walleye Factory, is also within tournament boundaries.The PWT competition takes place April 19-21, with weigh-in festivities at Winneconne’s Waterfront Park, just downstream from the Main Street bridge. A Festival with a rock-climbing wall, Dock Dog competition and other events will also take place all three days, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The family-oriented Festival begins at 11 a.m., and the weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. This event, the Mercury Pro-Am, is part of the Regional Series presented by MotorGuide. In the Regionals, the PWT doors are open to all pro anglers including those fishing all four Regional tournaments — and about 80 anglers are doing just that. They fish to win and to qualify for the year-end no-entry fee Mercury Championship. Anglers with less time may compete in one, two or three Regionals.At Winneconne, in addition to the top touring pros, many of the best tournament anglers with local roots have already applied. They will cross the stage with their daily amateur partners and talk about their experiences, which is why the weigh-in festivities are so popular. The winning pro tows home a 19-foot Lund boat with a Mercury outboard valued at $25,000, plus a check for $25,000. The top amateur wins a Mercury-powered Lund boat valued at $15,000. More than $200,000 will be paid out in cash and merchandise prizes after the final day at Winneconne.Additional Regional events will take place on Devils Lake, May 24-26, Lake Oahe, July 26-28, and Bay de Noc, Aug. 23-25. The world’s top 60 pro anglers fishing the PWT Super Pro series presented by Minn Kota start in May in South Dakota. They fish twice in Minnesota, then face an intriguing challenge at Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Keweenaw Waterway in Houghton.For entry information, site details, Mercury Real-Time scoring at tournaments and photos, check the PWT web:www.professionalwalleyetrail.,com. Call 218-829-0620 to enter.2006 PWT Special AwardsColeman Big Fish: $2,000 per tournamentE-Cell Heavyweight: $1,000 per tournamentJohnsonville Brats Angler of the Year: $25,000Tommy Docks Regional Champion: $5,000Optima Top Gun: $5,000Mercury Top Amateur: $4,000Realtree Sportsman of the Year: $500Norb Wallock Memorial Teaching Award: $500Coleman Cool Under Pressure: $100 per tournament, pro & amThe PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications Network headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, and PRIMEDIA, America’s leading producer of targeted media. PWT promotional partners include: Mercury Marine, Lund, The Outdoor Channel, Berkley, Optima Batteries, Realtree, MotorGuide, Lowrance, MinnKota, Trilene, Blue Fox, PowerBait, Johnsonville Brats, Northland Fishing Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, GULP!, Coleman, Storm, Tommy Docks, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, E-Village, Kwik Pfyt, Mack’s Lure, Raymarine, Rapala, Pflueger, RAM, Gerbing’s Heated Clothing, Aqua-Vu, Plano, Stowmaster.net, Navionics, Yellow Bird, Beckman, Drift Control, Gemini Sport Marketing, Yo-Zuri, Reef Runner and the Village of Winneconne.