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Day 1 Detroit River Results
Day 2 Detroit River Results
Day 3 Detroit River Result
Day 4 Final Results Detroit River Results
Final day showdown in Motown
Detroit River Press Release March 22, 2002
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RCL 2002 Schedule with lodging, dining, camping, bait shop launch and more information
RCL 2002 tournament Rules
RCL 2002 tournament Yamaha Cash bonus information
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2002 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit Championship format
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Final showdown in Mo-Town
Energizer pro Chris Bahl from Sidney, Neb. is making a long run today in search of monster walleye.
"With the wind being so calm today I am going to make my run into Lake Erie to try and catch a big bag of walleye," said Bahl. "I have had a real hard time getting out and fishing my spots on Erie. Yesterday my engine broke down and I only fished for 50 minutes and caught 2 fish for just over 14 pounds. If I can double my time on the water today I can produce a big bag of fish. I think 30-pounds or more is what it will take to win this thing."
Bahl's game plan is to pull Reef Runners behind planer boards. He is fishing an area known as the "cans".
RCL pro Todd Riley of Amery, Wis. agrees that it will take a big bag to win today, but he plans on staying close to the launch.
"I am guessing 35-40 pounds will take the tournament today," said Riley. "I think I can catch that much if I can keep all of my fish on today. I have lost some really nice fish this tournament that just came unbuttoned. I am going to stay here in the river and use a jig and minnow. Jigging is what got me here, so I am sticking with it."
Canadian waters may play a part in Plautz' success.
"I have several spots I am going to be jigging today," says Danny Plautz of Milwaukee, Wis. "I will stick around here early to try and get a limit, but if that is not working I won't give it much time. There are some real good areas on the Canadian side I will be fishing. I have caught walleye in a variety of areas on both sides of the river. Two of my better spots have been the "Hot Ponds" and Fighting Island. If I catch over 33 pounds today I think I w ill have a good chance of winning it all."
The first place prize for pro anglers is $50,000 cash and a fully-rigged Ranger, Crestliner or Lund Boat. The winning co-angler will take home $15,000 cash.
Today's weigh-in starts at 4 p.m. at the Wal-Mart located at 755 Telegraph Road in Taylor, Mich.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Russell Wins $2.9 Million 2002 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit Season Opener
Taylor, Mich. (April 6, 2002) — Pro angler Jeff Russell of Grand Haven, Mich., landed $50,000 cash and Ranger boat powered by Yamaha Saturday on the Detroit River after catching five walleyes that weighed 37 pounds, 1 ounce. His partner, co-angler Tom Nordyke of Newport, Mich., reeled in $15,000 cash for the catch.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will,” said Russell, whose biggest tournament payday prior to this win was $7,000. “I knew we could catch in the mid 30-pound range if the wind didn’t blow and the sun stayed out, but I never thought for sure we had it won. I knew there were guys out on the lake, and it’s hard to beat those fish.”
Russell won the first $346,000 tournament of the $2.9 million 2002 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit thanks in part to an 11-pound, 9-ounce walleye that ranks as the largest walleye of his life. That fish and the remainder of the pair’s impressive catch was the result of vertically jigging 3/8-ounce and 1/2-ounce chartreuse and orange jigs tipped with shiners. Russell and Nordyke fished a warm water discharge 13 miles upriver from the takeoff point at Lake Erie Metropark in Brownstown, Mich.
“I contributed a lot to my partners until [Saturday],” Nordyke said. “But Jeff was the man. I’d catch a 2-pounder, and he’d catch a 6-pounder. I’d catch a 3-pounder, and he’d catch an 11-pounder. It was great.”
Russell qualified for the final round of 10 pros in fourth place after landing five walleyes weighing 23 pounds, 11 ounces Friday with co-angler Ron Schropp of Omaha, Neb. Nordyke qualified for the final round of 10 co-anglers in first place after landing five walleyes weighing 31 pounds, 14 ounces Friday with pro Ron Gazvoda of Lakewood, Colo.
Pro Danny Plautz of Muskego, Wis., ($25,000) and co-angler Tom Harrison of Naperville, Ill., ($15,000) placed second with five walleyes weighing 35 pounds, 2 ounces. Pro John Hertensteiner of Victoria, Minn., ($20,000) and co-angler Ken Poole of Byron, Minn., ($6,000) placed third with five walleyes weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. Pro Rick Cole of Elwood, Ind., ($15,000) and co-angler James Jansen of Roseville, Mich., ($5,000) placed fourth with three walleyes weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces. Pro Todd Riley of Amery, Wis., ($12,500) and co-angler Denny Eldredge of Stanton, Mich., ($4,000) placed fifth with five walleyes weighing 20 pounds.
Overall, 38 walleyes weighing 185 pounds, 7 ounces were caught Saturday, including six five-walleye limits. All of the fish were released alive.
Competition began Wednesday with 300 anglers representing 19 states and Canada. The field was cut to the top 20 anglers in each division after Thursday’s weigh-in and trimmed to the top 10 anglers in each division after Friday’s weigh-in. Weights were cleared for all anglers Friday and Saturday.
Directed by FLW Outdoors and named after Wal-Mart and boat manufacturers Ranger, Crestliner and Lund, the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit is the world’s most lucrative walleye fishing series. The circuit features four regular season tournaments each with a $346,000 cash purse and a championship with a $1.4 million cash purse. Cash payments are presented through 50th place.
The second Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit tournament is May 1-4 on Lake Sharpe in Pierre, S.D., followed by events on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, Wis., May 29-June 1 and Saginaw Bay in Bay City, Mich., June 26-29.
After four regular season tournaments, 200 pros and 200 co-anglers from the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit and other sanctioned tournament organizations and events will compete in the $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship for a top pro award of up to $400,000 cash and a top co-angler award of up to $150,000 cash. The championship will be held on the Mississippi River near Red Wing, Minn., Oct. 2-5. Green Bay hosted the Wal-Mart RCL Championship last season when Dean Arnoldussen of Kaukauna, Wis., won $400,000 and instantly joined the sport’s top all-time money winners.
Entry fees for regular season tournaments are $1,250 for pros and $500
for co-anglers. A limited number of co-angler spots are still available
in each tournament. To enter, visit FLWOutdoors.com
or call 270-362-5259.
Final Round Results — April 6, 2002
To register for competition or for more information about the Wal-Mart RCL
Walleye Circuit, visit www.operationwalleye.com or call 270-362-5259. Entry
fees for the championship are $1,500 for pros and $750 for co-anglers.
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