Wisconsin Pro Wins PWT Squeaker at Bay de Noc
Aug 10th, 2007 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 10th, 2007 at 12:00 AM
The weather was perfect; the fish were big; the Bays de Noc were fairly calm; the Escanaba, Michigan crowds were huge; and the pros brought the fans to their feet with big catches. Leading the way was winning pro John Schneider, Shawano, Wis. He pocketed a Lund/Mercury 1900 walleye boat worth $41,000 and $24,716 cash and a special In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail watch from Escanaba’s Richardson Jewelers.Schneider trolled rock humps in 13 to 20 feet of water with number five Northland bluegill fish pattern blades with nine purple beads for his big fish, along with a chunky, well-conditioned night crawler. His best speeds were 1.2 to 1.5 mph. For his “slot” fish from 15 to 23 inches (each boat could only bring two walleyes over 23 inches to the scales daily), he ran the same combination, but with a size four blade and only five beads and a crawler that was pinched off. He continuously varied speeds on his Minn Kota engine mounted trolling motor. “Without my Lowrance Electronics on the dash, I would not be on this stage,” he said.The second place pro was Steve Bohn, Unionville, Mich. He missed winning by one-tenth of a pound, but collected $17,638. Schneider weighed 60.22 pounds while Bohn had 60.11 pounds in the Outdoor Channel/Optima Batteries Pro-Am, part of the MotorGuide Regional series. Pros fished with a different amateur daily, and the winning amateur was Warren Kuhl, Sr., Frankenmuth, Mich. He won a $19,000 Lund/Mercury walleye boat.Pro Tom Gatzke, Merrill, Wis., finished third with 58.73 pounds to win $12,738. He also earned the Dow Chemical Company Heavyweight $1,000 award, with a 25.94 pound limit on the final day. Greg Yarbrough, day two leader, Port Clinton, Ohio, was fourth with 57.30 pounds to win $9,799. Hometown favorite Kim “Chief” Papineau, Escanaba, was fifth with 55.65 pounds and won $9,309.Pro Mark Martin, Twin Lake, Mich. and amateur Don Alimenti, Escanaba, won Coleman Big Fish honors with a 10.59-pounder. Martin netted $1,500 and Alimenti got $500. Pro Doug Coley, McHenry, Ill., won the Coleman Cool under Pressure award, and amateur Ken Bundy, Pulaski, NY advanced 100 places to win on the amateur side. The second thru sixth place amateurs received rebate gift certificates from Mercury in addition to their PWT merchandise and prizes. Under great weather and mild conditions, pros were able to fish both Big and Little Bay de Noc, and the Michigan waters of Green Bay. Interesting statistics of the tournament: three 10 pound walleyes came to the scales; nine pros caught limits all three days; water temperatures were in the mid-70’s; anglers actually were searching for “smaller” walleyes to round-out their limits, and had better luck with those over 23 inches. The average fish to the scales was 3.41 pounds. A record 810 youngsters climbed the Outdoor Channel rock wall and kids also had fun at the catfish pond.Complete scores are listed on the PWT website, www.professionalwalleyetrail.com. Check this site for photos, news, rankings, Regional series standings, and more.The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications Network headquartered in Baxter, Minnesota, and InterMedia, America’s leading producer of targeted media. PWT promotional partners include: Mercury Marine, Lund Boats, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, Optima Batteries, Minn Kota, Realtree, Motor Guide, Johnsonville Brats, Outdoor Channel, Coleman, Northland Fishing Tackle, The Dow Chemical Company, StowMaster, Reef Runner, Yo-Zuri Quality Lures, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, Kwik Pfyt Mud Flaps, Yellow Bird Planer Boards, Allstar Graphics, Ram Mounts, Element Edge, Pflueger, Plano Tackle Systems, Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge, E-Cell, Cannon, Fin-Tech Tackle, Do-It Molds, Delta Chamber of Commerce, 888.335.8264 and Bays de Noc Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800.533.4386.