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John Peterson Takes Slim PWT Lead With Consistent Catches
Chamberlain, SD.......Veteran pro John Peterson, Bemidji, Minn., leads the $280,000 Trilene/PowerBait Pro-Am Artificial Challenge in Chamberlain, SD. Fishing the Missouri River proved “interesting” in the steady 20 mph north winds, with temperatures barely edging out of the 30-degree range all day, Thursday, May 13.
Peterson, a past PWT winner and owner of Northland Tackle, fished near the dam, about 20 miles upstream from Chamberlain. On day one, he fished heavy bottom bouncers and floating Rapalas. Today, that pattern didn’t work for him, and he switched tactics to 1/4th ounce FireBall jigs, casting them slightly upstream and across current. As they swept down, they fell into small eddies, where the waiting walleyes grabbed the jig and minnow combination.
His total two-day weight of 21.98 pounds is slightly ahead of pro Mike Kulm, Rapid City, SD, with 21.96 pounds. Day one leader Leon Houle, Lino Lakes, Minn., missed a limit, and holds third place with 21.39 pounds. Dale Gilbert, Ulm, Mont., and Mike Gofron, Antioch, IL, are tied for fourth with 19.21 pounds. Winner of the PWT Wisconsin tournament last month, Tommy Skarlis, Walker, Minn., is in sixth place with 19.05 pounds.
Amateur Paul Kampfe, Sidney, Neb., still leads all amateurs, with Jeff Quist, Blair, Neb., close behind. Amateurs fish with different pro anglers each day, for the maximum boat weight, which counts for both. The top 40 amateurs win merchandise prizes, starting with the first place Lund/Mercury/Eagle 17-foot walleye boat worth $17,000. On the pro side, the winner takes home $64,000, with second netting $20,000. The top 40 pros win cash prizes. A total of $280,000 will be distributed immediately following the final day weigh-in, Friday, at Cedar Shore Resort.
The weigh-in begins at 3 p.m., with awards ceremonies starting about 5:30 p.m. Additionally, if the winning pro used Berkley Gulp!, PowerBait or Frenzy crankbaits to catch at least half of the fish weighed, it’s an extra $10,000. Skarlis cashed this bonus check last month.
Big fish went to pro John Bergsma, Walker, Mich., and amateur partner Cody Bohl, Gering, Neb. Their 6.35 pound walleye helped anchor the heaviest day two catch, 12.14 pounds, which vaulted him from 107th place to 53rd place. He has never won the Coleman Cool Under Pressure award, but said he wanted to move even higher in the standings.
The weather remained cold and windy following a severe cold front. Anglers and walleye fans are anxious for day three. The forecast calls for take-off temperatures in the 27-degree range, but with winds blowing themselves out at 10 mph. Afternoon temperatures on Friday will be in the 60’s, with plenty of sun. “From long-johns and Gore-Tex to sun-screen, this must be South Dakota,” said leader Peterson. “No matter what we wake-up to, I love this river.”
The 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 sponsors include: Mercury Marine, Lund, Berkley
Gulp!, The Outdoor Channel, Trilene, Optima Batteries, Realtree, MotorGuide,
Mr. Clean, PowerBait, Lowrance, MinnKota, Frenzy, Gander Mountain, Blue
Fox, Northland Fishing Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, Coleman,
Storm, Boat Buckle, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, Kwik Pfyt, Beckman, Rejuvenade,
Eagle Trailers, Raymarine, Rapala, Matzuo, Pflueger, Ram rod holders, Drift
Control, Aqua-Vu, Plano, Stowmaster.net. and Chamberlain/Oacoma Chamber