Drift Sock Harness Buoy
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Walleye Planer Board
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Lodging food and more
$1.4 MILLION WAL-MART RCL WALLEYE CHAMPIONSHIP
COMING TO THE QUAD CITIES SEPT. 29-OCT. 2
MOLINE, Ill. (July 22, 2004) – The $1.4 Million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye
Championship will celebrate its fifth anniversary Sept.29-Oct. 2 on the
Mississippi River in the Quad Cities with the nation’s best pros vying
for a top award of as much as $400,000. Top co-anglers will also compete
for as much as $150,000.
Two hundred anglers will compete in each division
after qualifying for the championship through the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye
Tour, Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League and other sanctioned tournament organizations
nationwide. Fishing fans from across the region will also descend upon
the Quad Cities to see which of their fishing heroes takes home the sport’s
As host of the prestigious tournament, the Quad
Cities will benefit from nationwide exposure when the region is featured
on “FLW Outdoors,” which is broadcast to 65 million Outdoor Life Network
subscribers. The program will air Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern time and will
be rebroadcast Oct. 21 at 5 p.m. Eastern time. FLW Outdoors Magazine will
also provide in-depth coverage of the event in its Winter issue that hits
newsstands in November.
“Thanks to the awareness created by the RCL Championship,
anglers from across the nation will look to the Quad Cities as a prime
walleye-fishing destination,” said Joe Taylor, president and chief executive
officer of the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The championship
will firmly establish the region as a vacation destination for fishing
enthusiasts, and the windfall to our local economy will be felt for years
Sunset Park in Rock Island will host daily 7 a.m.
takeoffs throughout the event. Wednesday and Thursday’s weigh-ins, Sept.
29 and 30, will also be held at the park beginning at 3 p.m. Weigh-ins
Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1 and 2, will be held at the Wal-Mart store located
at 3930 44th Ave. in Moline beginning at 4 p.m. The community is invited
to attend takeoffs and weigh-ins as well as the Family Fun Zone, which
opens at 3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday outside the weigh-in tent in
the Wal-Mart parking lot. The Family Fun Zone features interactive displays,
product samples and games for the entire family.
“Fishing is a huge and often overlooked economic
driver,” said Moline Mayor Stanley Leach. “Hosting the RCL Walleye Championship
is a terrific opportunity to showcase our city and the entire region to
the nation’s 53 million anglers.”
One angler who already knows what the Quad Cities
stretch of the Mississippi River has to offer is RCL tournament winner
Tom Giachetto of Ladd. He’s hoping to turn his years of experience on the
river into a championship title, and he feels that the winning tactics
employed by top finishers will hinge entirely on the shape of the river
when tournament time rolls around.
“If the water is normal or low, there are going
to be some big weights, and it could take a 3-pound average to make the
first cut,” said Giachetto, who won the 2004 RCL Tour season opener and
$90,000 in cash and prizes on the Illinois River in April. “If the water
is up, weights are going to drop dramatically.”
Normal or low river flows could make it tough on
jig fishermen and others who rely on handlining tactics.
“It’s going to be tough to beat the trollers in
those types of conditions, mainly because they can cover so much more water,”
Giachetto said. “If the water is normal or low, it’s going to be won on
lead core and crankbaits. You can cover 10 times the water in the same
amount of time doing that as opposed to drift-fishing.”
High water, on the other hand, could hamper trolling
because of all the debris that could be drifting in the water.
“High water will kill the lead-core bite and the
jig bite will turn on – it always does,” Giachetto said. “If the river
is up, a 5/16- to 1/2-ounce jig tipped with a minnow will likely be the
Other notable pros who will be fishing the RCL Walleye
Championship are Dr. Bruce Samson of Minnetrista, Minn., who conquered
the mighty Mississippi in Red Wing, Minn., to claim a $300,000 winner’s
check at the 2002 championship, and Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis., who won
the 2003 title and $300,000 on the Mississippi River out of Red Wing.
The winning pro at the RCL Championship is guaranteed
a cash award of $150,000. If the winner is a registered owner of a Ranger,
Crestliner or Lund boat, he will earn a $150,000 bonus, and if his boat
is equipped with an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard, he will receive another
$100,000 for a total cash award of $400,000.
The winning co-angler is guaranteed $75,000 cash
and is eligible for a $45,000 bonus from Ranger, Crestliner or Lund if
he is a registered owner. The winning co-angler will also receive a $30,000
bonus if his boat is equipped with an Evinrude or Yamaha for a total cash
award of $150,000.
The full field will compete on days one and two
for one of 12 semifinal-round spots in their respective division. Weights
are cleared for the semifinal round, and anglers compete for one day to
determine the top six pros who will compete in the final round. The co-angler
winner is determined after day-three competition. Final-round pros start
at zero and compete for one day for position and prize money.
With a $3.19 million purse, the RCL Tour is the
world’s most lucrative walleye-tournament series.
The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship is administered
by FLW Outdoors, the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing. FLW
Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails include the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye
Tour, the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League, the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the EverStart
Series, the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League and the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament
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 events 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.
For more information about the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye
Championship, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.