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CARROLL LEADS PROS INTO SEMIFINAL ROUND OF
$1.4 MILLION WAL-MART RCL WALLEYE CHAMPIONSHIP
RED WING, Minn. (Oct. 2, 2003) – Pro Randy Carroll of Oswego, Ill.,
hauled in a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 31 pounds, 11 ounces
to lead the 12 pros who advanced to Friday’s semifinal round of the four-day,
$1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River.
The tournament kicked off Wednesday with 220 pros in the hunt for a top
pro award worth as much as $400,000 cash, the richest payout in walleye-tournament
history. Twelve co-anglers from the original field of 220 also advanced
to Friday’s competition, after which the co-angler winner will be crowned
and awarded as much as $150,000.
Thick fog delayed morning takeoff for two hours
Thursday, and anglers already off to a late start found the Mississippi
to be as challenging a playing field Thursday as it was Wednesday. Carroll,
along with his co-angler partner Darrell Archey of Great Falls, Mont.,
still managed to catch a limit of five walleyes weighing 17 pounds, 15
ounces Thursday to finish the opening round in first despite a potentially
crippling lack of current. Carroll and Archey caught their walleyes following
shad in the backwaters.
“The bite has been so bad lately that anything you
stumble upon is a blessing,” said Carroll, who finished fourth on opening
day. “Right now they’re all transition fish – fish moving in, fish moving
out. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you’ll catch some
Rounding out the top five pros are Scott Allar of
Welch (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 1 ounce); Sam Anderson of Inver Grove Heights
(five walleyes, 26 pounds, 15 ounces); Mike Lacher of Bismarck, N.D. (10
walleyes, 26 pounds, 3 ounces); and Jerry Hein of Stillwater (10 walleyes,
23 pounds, 10 ounces).
Richard Volkman of St. Paul leads the Co-angler
Division into their final day of competition thanks to a two-day catch
of seven walleyes weighing 31 pounds, 8 ounces. Volkman and Anderson, his
Thursday pro partner, landed three walleyes weighing 22 pounds, 2 ounces
to give Volkman the edge on the co-angler side.
“It’s very tough,” said Volkman, who finished opening
day in the 23rd position. “We fished four or five different spots and made
500 casts for three fish – there are a lot of lures in the rocks.”
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Archey
(10 walleyes, 27 pounds, 10 ounces); Luke Kersten of Boyceville, Wis. (five
walleyes, 25 pounds, 11 ounces); Glenn Rosenfeldt of Sabin (seven walleyes,
23 pounds, 10 ounces); and Jarrad Fluekiger of Alma, Wis. (four walleyes,
22 pounds, 6 ounces).
Two women advanced to Friday’s competition on the
co-angler side. Susan Hugill of Pine City, Minn., had a two-day total of
seven walleyes weighing 19 pounds, 15 ounces to finish the opening round
in the No. 7 spot. Audrey Robb of Dryden, Ontario, enters the co-angler
final round in the No. 8 position thanks to a two-day catch of seven walleyes
weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces. She finished in the top 12 despite ranking
105th after Wednesday’s competition.
Treasure Island Resort and Casino will host semifinal-
and final-round takeoffs at 7 a.m. each day. Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins
will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 1752 Frontage Road in Hastings
at 5 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. The community is encouraged to attend
daily takeoffs and weigh-ins. The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour Family Fun
Zone featuring boat and truck displays, sponsor giveaways and children’s
games will open at the Hastings Wal-Mart at 3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.
Admission is free.
The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship field is comprised
of anglers who qualified for the event via the $3.07 million Wal-Mart RCL
Walleye Tour or other sanctioned tournament organizations. Pros and co-anglers
are randomly paired each day and fish for a combined boat weight. Pros
supply the boat and tackle and control boat movement.
The top 12 anglers in both the pro and co-angler
divisions advanced to the semifinal round based on their two-day accumulated
weight. Weights are cleared for the semifinal round, and pros compete for
one of six final-round slots. Co-angler competition concludes Friday based
on their one-day weight.
The winning pro is guaranteed $150,000 cash. Qualified
Ranger, Crestliner and Lund owners are eligible for a $150,000 bonus, and
if the winner’s boat is equipped with an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard, he
will receive another $100,000 for a top pro award of $400,000 cash. The
winning co-angler is guaranteed $75,000 cash, and if he is a registered
owner of a Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat, he will receive a $45,000 bonus.
If his boat is equipped with an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard, he will receive
another $30,000 for a top co-angler award of $150,000.
The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship is administered
by FLW Outdoors and named after boat manufacturers Ranger, Crestliner and
Lund. FLW Outdoors, the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing,
is named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood.
Other FLW Outdoors tournament trails include the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League
for weekend anglers; the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world’s most lucrative
bass-tournament series; the EverStart Series, designed as a pathway to
the FLW Tour; the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League for weekend anglers; and
the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies
support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the
title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors
sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services
they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com.
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