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September 14, 2003
Dan Plautz, Veteran Pro, Wins Mercury PWT Championship in Houghton,
Houghton, Michigan....To the cheers of more than
5,000 walleye fans,
veteran In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) pro angler Dan
won the $113,000 Mercury Championship first prize. His 49.86
beat 51 of the world¹s best walleye anglers on the Keweenaw Waterway
Plautz, Muskego, Wis., has now won more than $250,000
on tour with three
victories. He accepted the first place prize which included a
with a Mercury outboard on an Eagle trailer, and $75,000 cash.
received a $3,000 diamond and gold ring from Richardson¹s Jewelers
Escanaba, Mich. Plautz landed a PWT limit of four walleyes daily.
one of the best fisheries I¹ve seen, but the walleyes just didn¹t
bite like they did back in August,² he said. His trolling
pattern in 16 to
20 feet of water with Storm Hot Ćn Tots and small Reef Runners just
under the surface proved to be the trick. His best area was on
side of Portage Lake.
Rookie of the Year pro Kevin Schweder, Janesville,
Wis. said, ³Fishing
against my heroes was the greatest thrill of my life. This season
tournament will remain in my memory banks forever.² He landed
and a prize of $40,000. Scoring his highest finish ever, Rich
Nisswa, Minn., collected the $30,000 third prize. Schweder trolled
spinners within a foot of the bottom in 35 to 45 feet of water.
preferred tiny Rapala Shad Raps.
Fourth place and $10,000 went to ³The Jigmeister²
Montello, Wis., who placed highest while pitching jigs and jigging
shallow water. Keith Kavajecz, Kaukauna, Wis., failed to catch
a fish on
day three, but maintained a fifth place finish for $7,000. Every
entry fee required) won at least $2,000.
PWT Angler of the Year Bill Ortiz, Dodgeville, Wis.,
was in position to
win an extra $250,000 from Mercury if he also won the Championship.
moved up to 9th position after two days, but was unable to climb higher.
However, as Angler of the Year, he netted $35,000 ($10,000 as a Mercury
bonus). Likewise, the Quantum $1,000,000 prize for any pro breaking
Michigan state record walleye went unclaimed. The largest walleye,
pounds, was recorded by Andy Kuffer, Fair Haven, Mich., He won $3,000.
Kavajecz won $1,000 for an 8.21-pounder. Schweder also won $1,000
7.95 pound walleye.
The Optima Batteries Top Gun award of $5,000 went
to Kavajecz, who had
the highest rating of all PWT pros throughout the season. Top
computed on overall finish (2nd), average place finish (2nd) and
Championship finish (5th). The Realtree Sportsman of the Year
$500, voted by the Championship contestants, went to Bismarck, ND pro
Sheldon Meidinger, for his heroic efforts when he rescued two capsized
boaters on Lake Erie.
Plautz won the $1,000 Gander Mountain Heavy Weight
award of $1,000 for a
second day 19.77 pound catch. ³Actually, judging from the
fishing I did in
August, this represented only about half what I expected,² he
Naig, Cylinder, Iowa, moved up 28 places to win the $1,000 Coleman
Under Pressure award. The Norb Wallock Memorial Education award
went to pro
Brad Davis, Jackson, Wis. He won $500 based on nominations from
partners on the quality of what he taught them this season. Julie
Norb¹s widow made the presentation.
During the awards banquet, PWT officials recognized
volunteers, including event chairman Gary Lubinski. Ted Takasaki,
of Lindy Little Joe fishing tackle in Brainerd, Minn., said, ³This
great community with tremendous support, and I want to come back.²
opinion was shared by all contestants.
The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman
Network headquartered in Brainerd, Minnesota, and PRIMEDIA, America's
leading producer of targeted media. PWT sponsors include: Mercury Marine,
Lund, Berkley Gulp!, Trilene, PowerBait, Realtree, Frenzy, Lowrance,
MinnKota, Optima Batteries, Gander Mountain, Nissan, Blue Fox, Northland
Fishing Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, Coleman, Storm, Eagle
Trailers, Raymarine, Rapala, Matzuo, Pflueger, Ram rod holders, Drift
Control, DeeZee, Cotton Cordell, Seal Skinz, Aqua-Vu, IMCO, Plano,
KeepAlive, Stowmaster.net, Quantum Performance Tuned rods & reels
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