August 8, 2002
Walleye Anglers & Fans Prepare
For Championship in Bismarck, ND
Brainerd, Minnesota.....Following a record-setting
season, the In-Fisherman
Professional Walleye Trail anglers head to the Mercury Championship
12-14. Only the top qualifiers after the April to August competitive
have been invited to the Bismarck, North Dakota.
Leading the elite 51-person field is Wisconsin’s
John Kolinski, the
Miller/In-Fisherman Angler of the Year. That honor paid $25,000,
it the coveted Number One ranking. He finished with a pair of
finishes, a record Angler of the Year weight, 361 pounds, and won $53,900
2002. Kolinski, who lives on the shores on Lake Winnebago in
qualified for four Mercury Championships in six seasons.
Wearing Number Two is Lindy Little Joe president
Ted Takasaki, a former
Championship winner in 1998. Perry Good, Eagan, Minn., ranks
third. He is
a 3-time PWT winner, including the 1994 Championship. Keith Kavajecz,
Kaukauna, Wis., is fourth, and a tournament winner. Qualifying
Bill St. Peter, Bay City, Mich., who won the final event of this season,
has made every Championship in the four years he fished, establishing
record as the only 3-time qualifier from the Dee Zee Divisions.
A total of 35 past winners will be in Bismarck, along
with 18 first-time
pros (six of them are Rookie pros). Mike Gwizdala, Kawkawlin,
the Raymarine Rookie of the Year honors and three entries for the 2003
tour. He placed 18th, 22nd and 24th, winning $11,725, and a $5,200
ATV as the Dee Zee East Division winner. Pros representing 14
record) and Canada will compete. For the first time, Montana,
Pennsylvania will send pros to the Championship.
The PWT Pro-Am tour features amateurs fishing three
day tournaments with a
different pro daily. Amateurs fish in the pro’s boat, use the
and gear, and learn fishing tactics, boat control and how to use
electronics. The fish they catch together count for both partners.
Mercury Top Amateur, Tom Gonya, Toledo, Ohio, will represent all amateurs
the Championship, competing against the top 50 pro anglers. He
first on Saginaw Bay and added a fourth and a ninth for a record division
score by any amateur in PWT history.
Championship fishing takes place on the Missouri
River below Bismarck.
Contestants trailer their fish to the Civic Center and weigh them to
cheers of thousands of walleye fans. The winner nets a $100,000
prize. Last year’s winner Mike Gofron, Antioch, Ill will be competing.
Sport and Boat show takes place in the adjacent Exhibit Hall.
youth activities are scheduled, including special handouts to the kids,
including 1,000 Pinnacle/Silstar rod and reel combinations on Saturday,
More information about the contestants, along with
photos, can be found on
the PWT web site, www.professionalwalleyetrail.com. The 2003
dates and sites is also posted.
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