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Bay day 1 results
Riley Wins Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit Tournament
bay city, Mich. (June 29, 2002) — Pro angler Todd Riley of Amery, Wis., landed more than $90,000 in cash and prizes, including a Ranger boat powered by Evinrude or Yamaha, Saturday on Saginaw Bay after catching five walleye weighing 38 pounds, 1 ounce. His partner, co-angler Thomas Nordyke of Newport, Mich., reeled in $15,000 cash.
“When I came here years ago, I looked at this system and though that it took a 6-pound average to win,” said Riley. “Now it takes well over a 7-pound average to win. There were so many 30-pound sacks this week that it was absolutely incredible.”
Riley and Nordyke caught their fish while trolling with crawler harnesses about 40 miles from the launch ramp at Hoyles Marina in Linwood, Mich. The pair targeted migrating walleye in 24 to 28 feet of water.
Riley, who finished fifth at the RCL season opener on the Detroit River in April, qualified for the final round of 10 pros in sixth place after landing five walleye weighing 29 pounds Friday with co-angler Greg Darsow of Billings, Mont. Nordyke, who won the Detroit River tournament, qualified for the final round of 10 co-anglers in 10th place after landing five walleye weighing 24 pounds, 9 ounces Friday with pro Patrick Neu of Forestville, Wis.
“This was my first time fishing Saginaw Bay and it was absolutely incredible,” Nordyke said. “I feel pretty fortunate. I ordered a new Lund boat before the Detroit River tournament, so these wins are certainly going to help pay for it.”
This event was the fourth and final regular-season tournament of the $2.9 million 2002 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit season. It began Wednesday with 270 anglers taking off from Hoyles Marina. 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.
Pro Mark Martin of Twin Lake, Mich. ($25,000) and co-angler Rodney Nutt of Greenville, Mich. ($7,500) placed second with five walleye weighing 36 pounds, 5 ounces. Pro John Gillman of Freeland, Mich., ($20,000) and co-angler Kelly Klemm of Wheaton, Minn., ($6,000) placed third with five walleye weighing 31 pounds, 13 ounces. Pro Terry Wilson of Powell, Wyo., ($15,000) and co-angler Art Madajski of Au Gres, Mich., ($5,000) placed fourth with five walleye weighing 31 pounds, 8 ounces. Pro John Campbell of Walker, Minn. ($12,500) and co-angler Mark Hull of Youngstown, Ohio, ($4,000) placed fifth with five walleye weighing 29 pounds, 6 ounces.
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. Each regular season tournament features a $346,000 purse with cash payments presented through 50th place.
The $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship will be held on the Mississippi River near Red Wing, Minn., Oct. 2-5. Two hundred pros and 200 co-anglers from the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit and other sanctioned tournament organizations and events will compete in the championship for a top pro award of up to $400,000 cash and a top co-angler award of up to $150,000 cash.
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.
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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