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DANIELS, THIMMIG WIN WAL-MART RCL WALLEYE LEAGUE FINALS
ESCANABA, Mich. (Sept. 4, 2004) – Boater Keith Daniels of Fond du Lac,
Wis., landed two walleyes weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win
the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League Finals on Bays de Noc by 10 pounds, 5 ounces
over runner up Glenn Chenier of Gladstone, Mich. Daniels earned the victory
and an Evinrude- or Yamaha-powered Ranger boat, complete with trailer and
equipped with a Minn Kota trolling motor, Garmin electronics and EverStart
batteries, with a three-day total of seven walleyes weighing 53 pounds,
Daniels caught two walleyes weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces
while fishing with co-angler Roger Wright of Prior Lake, Minn., Thursday
to open the tournament in fourth place. On day two he added three walleyes
weighing 17 pounds, 2 ounces to his total while fishing with co-angler
Jason Howell of Dimondale, Mich., to move into second place. Then, on Saturday,
he and co-angler Scott Thimmig of Chilton, Wis., sealed victory with the
third heaviest catch of the entire tournament.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this win,” said Daniels,
who qualified through the Wisconsin Division as the No. 7 seed. “As soon
as I saw the schedule this year, I started working to get here. I’m just
ecstatic. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
Daniels is well versed on how to catch walleyes on Bays
de Noc, as he regularly fishes the area during August and September, but
he struggled to figure out how to catch the smaller fished needed to fill
out his daily limits this week. Fortunately, he prevailed on the strength
of a big-fish bite that produced a steady stream of walleyes over 26 inches.
A 15- to 23-inch slot limit restricted teams to two fish over 23 inches
per day. All week Daniel and his co-anglers trolled with spinners and crawler
harnesses at a depth of 18 feet over 23 to 35 feet of water in the area
of Chambers Island.
“The bite was really hot and heavy in the mornings between
7 and 11,” Daniels said. “After that we went looking for small fish each
Rounding out the top five boaters are Glenn Chenier of
Gladstone, Mich. (eight walleyes, 43 pounds, 9 ounces); Robert Winkler
of Neenah, Wis. (six walleyes, 39 pounds, 10 ounces); Peter Werner of Kimball,
Minn. (six walleyes, 37 pounds, 5 ounces) and Tom Hoinacki of Waupun, Wis.
(15 walleyes, 37 pounds).
Thimmig won the Co-angler Division and a Lund boat and
trailer Saturday with a three-day total of six walleyes weighing 46 pounds,
He caught two walleyes weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces while
fishing with boater Perry Dreyer of Elk River, Minn., Thursday to open
the tournament in ninth place. On day two he added two walleyes weighing
12 pounds, 10 ounces to his total while fishing with boater Shawn Hettinga
of Schofield, Wis., to move into second place.
“This is just unbelievable,” said Thimmig, who qualified
through the Wisconsin Division as the No. 12 seed. “I told everyone when
I left to come up here that I would be coming home with a boat, and they
laughed at me. I guess I’ll be the one laughing now.”
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Todd Springer
of Luck, Wis. (six walleyes, 38 pounds, 10 ounces); Erik Furseth of Okemos,
Mich. (10 walleyes, 34 pounds, 12 ounces); William Wieczorek of Little
Falls, Minn. (nine walleyes, 32 pounds, 10 ounces) and Dennis Springer
of Luck, Wis. (five walleyes, 32 pounds, 6 ounces).
Boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired each day and
fish for a combined boat weight. Boaters compete against other boaters
and co-anglers compete against other co-anglers. Winners are determined
by the heaviest three-day catch weight.
Overall, 12 of the 15 boats that advanced to the final
round caught 35 walleyes Saturday, including four five-walleye limits.
The day’s total catch weighed 127 pounds, 6 ounces.
Anglers took off from Escanaba Municipal Marina at 7 a.m.
Saturday followed by the final weigh-in held at the Wal-Mart store located
at 601 N. Lincoln in Escanaba at 4 p.m.
Evinrude and Ranger Boats hosted a Children’s Fishing
Clinic Saturday at Escanaba Municipal Marina, giving children the opportunity
to visit with several Evinrude and Ranger pros. The pros signed autographs,
demonstrated different fishing techniques, and talked about the types of
lures and bait they use when fishing the Bays.
The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League provides grassroots walleye
anglers a chance to compete in professionally administered, close-to-home
tournaments with lucrative cash awards. FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart
RCL Walleye League as well as the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour, the world’s
most lucrative walleye-fishing circuit. FLW Outdoors also administers the
Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the EverStart Series, the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League,
the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, the new Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour,
and the new Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. To enter a tournament, visit FLWOutdoors.com
or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies
support FLW Outdoors and its 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.
FLW Outdoors is named after the legendary founder of Ranger
Boats, Forrest L. Wood. The RCL Walleye League is named after boat manufacturers
Ranger, Crestliner and Lund.