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RCL Championship the biggest Walleye purse in history
Scott Glorvigen nails down Walleye fishing's Richest tournament
Championship field cut to six Illinois's John Campbell leads the way
Sonny Reynolds Ranger 619 DVS RCL staff boat for sale
Top 30 Pro-Anglers
Top 30 Co-Anglers
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Big Fish Winners Co-Angler side
The RCL What a show by Randy Tyler
Press Release June 20,2000
Contact Information
The RCL What a Show 
by Randy Tyler

Over the past few years I have fished many tournaments both as a pro and co-angler.  I have been to all the Championships the PWT, Team Walleye and MWC and to say the least the RCL proved to be the most exciting and best one of them all.  From the start I knew  this was going to be something special and I would like to give some insight into the story from behind the scenes.  This being my first time in Green Bay I rolled into town Friday afternoon never before having the opportunity to see the water.  I roomed with two of the best pro's on the circuit Gary Roach and Mark Martin of whom I had also had the opportunity to room with during the PWT season.  I hooked up with Gary and Mark after they had spent there first day on the Fox River system.  Earlier in the week they had fished areas in the bay up to 80 miles from the boat launch and had determined that with the unstable weather conditions there primary focus would have to be the river system. 

Al and Jim Linder , Gary Roach , Mark Martin and myself lock through to the Rockington locks
(Picture  Al + Jim Linder, Gary Roach Mark Martin and myself utilize one of the small locks on the Fox river)  Saturday morning we hooked up with two other great fisherman Al and Jim Linder for breakfast and discussed the plan of attack for the day.  We trailered the boats to a non descript launch site approximately 20 miles upstream and two locks and dams above the DePere dam where the majority of fisherman were working.  Hoping to find a stretch where we could pull decent size limits and avoid a crowd down in DePere.  Over the next four days we worked every stretch of the river between the two boats using many different techniques and fishing many types of water all the time relaying information of the previous days fishing either at dinner or breakfast the next morning.  Although we caught good fish in all sections of the river with myself banging at least a four pounder everyday and one six and one seven pounder we could not find the real numbers we needed in any stretch of the river besides the one directly below the Dam at DePere.  There were many reasons that factored into this first off being that on the first day one of the locks would be closed all day and on all tournament days the locks would not open until 10:00 a.m. and it took approximately 20 minutes to lock in one way.  A couple of other factors were that the launch site at Metro Park at the mouth of Green Bay to the first lock and dam at DePere was only about 8 miles but most of it was no-wake and it took about forty minutes to get to the first fishing hole.  By the time of the rules meeting everyone figured that with the weather conditions that were coming the primary focus would have to be on the lower end of the Fox River.
Mark and I decided before the rules meeting to go and check out the stage at Wal Mart West. To our amazement we found a crew of finely trained FLW boys setting up not only a tent but full lighted stage with heat, seating, lighting and six cameras along with a communications set-up and four big screen T.V's.  In the center of the stage area was 6 fully rigged tournament edition RCL boats 2 Lunds, 2 Rangers and 2 Crestliners.  In the parking lot were twelve more of each type identically rigged with the finest in electronics from Garmin, Motors from Evinrude and all mounted with special RCL logoed RAM products.  Mark and I both thought to ourselves I hope we are fishing out of those come Friday.  A couple of the RCL boys being from Arkansas and not being familiar with the ways and reasons of the rigging of the boats which were quite different from the typical bass boats they have seen .probed Mark and I on some questions. These questions ranged from why three sets of electronics supplied by Garmin, two trolling motors front and rear along with a kicker motor to why the RAM rod holders and trolling motor stabilizer. Mark and I explained the reasons for these and then explained to them some of the different fishing techniques and equipment used in walleye fishing.  All were eager to learn such methods as bottom bouncing,  three way rigging with a jig and a floating Rapala and using thumper jigs and planer boards. 
As we checked in at Browns Arena in Green Bay across from Lambeau field we were greeted Sonny Reynolds and his fine staff who immediately got us logged into the computer then by our respective sponsors who passed out special RCL hats and shirts and then finally had our pictures taken digitally.  we were then treated to a dinner of Brats and Hamburgers while waiting for the rules meeting to start.  At the rules meeting we were paired with our respective day 1 partners made plans to meet them in the morning and were off to a good nights sleep within an hour and a half
Some of the more important rules in this tournament  which factored in to the outcome were
  • No Culling and a 15" size limit.  Days 1,2 and 3 five fish total boat limit day 4 3 fish only
  • Any contestant that puts out an anchor has a fifty yard radius that cannot be entered by another angler
  • No-Wake zone from mouth of Green Bay for almost 8 miles upstream
  • Partners may not leave site from one another during the course of the tournament day until the weight in.
  • No boundary limits for course of the tournament anything accessible by water is fine but not within 50 yards of gas pumps, marinas or posted restricted fishing areas.  (note on day three and four due to extreme weather conditions the tournament was limited to the river.
Day 1
Time to go fishing..
I met my partner Ken Carpenter at 5:30 a.m. and in no time with help from the FLW crew  we had the boat launched , inspected and were waiting for the opening day ceremonies.  The weather was windy but proved to be a decent day and many boaters including Mark Brumbaugh decided to brave the winds and waves and make a 60 to 80 mile one way trip into the bay in search of some big fish.  My partner elected to stay in the river and hack it out with the majority of the boaters .  The weight in was done in four flights , we checked in with the timekeeper then went and put the boat on the trailer brought the the fish to the tent where they had many tanks and separate aerators to make sure the fish stayed alive.  We gave them our boat number they weighted and deemed the fish alive.  As we went up on stage and were interviewed by Charlie Evans our pictures and bio's were broadcast over two big screen T.V's that were set up in another large tent situated at the Metro Launch.
Day 2
I fished with the number four guy going out Bucky Mueller.  Bucky had made the 65 mile trek up to Cedar River the day before and had weighted in a whopping 23 pounds 11 ounces.  As we launched the Ranger 620 expectations were high Bucky had worried that I didn't have a Michigan license and I quickly reassured him that I had.  The weather appeared better than the day before and the winds seemed to be five to 7 miles an hour less coming out of the northwest.  we were going to make the run and was number 118 out of the gate approximately 50 other boats decided to make the trip also.  The race was on Bucky figured we just needed about an hour to an hour and a half of good fishing time to get our limit and run back with a gas stop in Menominee Falls and we would have our limit and put both of us in the money.  The run started out fine for the first five miles we were able to maintain an average speed of about 46 mph. the next five miles it went down to 25 mph and then further down the line we were only able to maintain a speed of about 12 to 15 mph  Waves became 4 to six foot high and then we lost the kicker motor cover. Then about five miles more and the big motor cover latches busted.  First we tried to duct tape it down to no avail.  Then we fabricated a bungee cord around it and kept on running, by now we were only about 4 miles above the lighthouse at Pikipsee the waves were getting bigger and many boats had already turned around and it was about 9:30 a.m. and we still had about 32 more miles to run.  Bucky made the decision to turn around and try to make it back to the river and salvage out a few fish to keep him in the money.  As we turned around we both felt the disappointment as the largest tournament in history started to slip away.  It took us two and a half hours to get back to the Fox River on the way the waves got so bad that we had to tack them just to make any progress and even in the Ranger 620 we ended up spearing four or five waves which came crashing over the bow filling the boat with a wall of water and causing us to manually bail once as the water rose to knee level and Bucky wisely kept the boat under power.  As I could see the bridge off in the distance we both thought we were almost there but it seemed to take forever to make it back to the river.  As we idled up the river to our first fishing hole we both thought that Rangers next option should be heated seats and cockpit.   We actually did not wet a line until 12:30 p.m. and were unable to weight any keepers that day .  Though we considered ourselves one of the lucky ones.  Ken Carpenter my partner from the day before swamped his boat and ended up being towed in by the Coast Guard, Rich Mellon took on to much water and had to be towed in also along with Todd Riley who blew a power head and had to beach up in Escanaba.  The weight in went smooth and the final 12 contestants waited for there pre tournament meeting of the next day.  The big show was now moving to the Wal Mart West area .
Tommy Sanders and Jerry McKinnis talk with anglers via cell phone on day  4
(Above Tommy Sanders and Jerry McKinnis talk by cell phone with contenders)
Days three and four the show really turned on.  Six  fully rigged Ranger, Crestliner and Lund boats were set around a lighted stage as the contestants were brought in one at a time on day three to weight in there catches.  The temperatures had dropped and the winds picked up as the RCL staff wisely  decided to keep everyone in the river system. The 12 pro and co-anglers left at 6:00 a.m. for the boat launch in full rigged Ranger, Crestliner and Lunds all outfitted the same and supplied by the manufacturers with a police escort to and from the launch site.   On day three there was a special kick as the co-angler with the highest weight had to stay on stage and deal  with Charlie  Evans until another co-angler came in with a higher weight. Gary Hettenhaus of Fond du Lac, Wi who fished with  John Campbell of West Dundee, Ill., had to wait through nine other teams weighting in while the pressure kept building  before being crowned top co-angler with a total weight of  17 pounds, 5 ounces he was able to net himself   $120,000    Day four tension mounted as only the top six pro-anglers hit the water going after more prize money that had ever been offered in Walleye fishing history.  They were only allowed three fish over 15" no cull and could only fish until 2:30 p.m.  All had a camera crew in the boat along with constant communication back at tournament headquarters with Tommy Sanders and Jerry McKinnis. Mike Gofron of Antioch Illinois anxiously awaits the outcome  Contestants were called into the weight in area one at a time while bios and pictures were played on the big screen T.V.s .  Each weighted a fish and the next contestant had to keep weighting fish until they exceeded the previous contestants weight.  Then there was only two people left standing John Campbell of Antioch Illinois and Scott Glorvigen of Grand Rapids Minnesota.  Scott was able to beat John by almost two full pounds to capture a $300,000 purse and bragging rights over his twin  brother who will have to settle for being the better looking instead of the better fisherman atleast for this year.Scott Glorvigen Hoists the $300,00 check after his RCL victory
(Scott Glorvigen hoists the $300,00 check after winning the RCL 2000 Championship)

Contact Information

  • Operation Walleye
  • 88 Moors road
  • Gilbertsville Kentucky 42044
  • Phone 270-36205225
  • Fax 270-362-9856
  • web site  www.operationwalleye.com
  • Tournament director Sonny Reynolds
  • E-mail Sonny Reynolds 

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