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RCL Championship the biggest Walleye purse in history

Lake Erie Day 1 Results
Lake Erie Day 2 Results
Lake Erie Day 3 Results
Lake Erie Final Results
Special RCL mailing List
Contact Information

Contact Information
  • Operation Walleye
  • 88 Moors road
  • Gilbertsville Kentucky 42044
  • Phone 270-36205225
  • Fax 270-362-9856
  • website  www.operationwalleye.com
  • Tournament director Sonny Reynolds

  • E-mail Sonny Reynolds
    Special RCL Championship the biggest Walleye purse in history mailing List This list has been formed to share information on ridesharing, lodging info and press releases for the RCL tournaments 

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    Taege Leads Field Into Final Round of $390,750 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit Event on Lake Erie

    Port Clinton Ohio, (April 13, 2001) — Jeff Taege, 32, of Rhineland, Wis., will lead 12 Pro Division anglers into the final round of the first Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit tournament on Lake Erie after landing five walleyes weighing 38 pounds, 2 ounces Friday with co-angler Jerrald Ruffolo, 38, of Manitowoc, Wis. 
    The duo’s catch was the result of trolling crankbaits in clear water east of Bass Island, which is located about 10 miles from the tournament’s starting point at Catawba Island State Park. If Taege can duplicate the performance Saturday, he stands to win $50,000 and a Mercury- or Yamaha-powered Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat. Ruffolo will be fishing for a top award of $15,000. 
    “We’re extremely excited,” said Taege, whose biggest tournament payday to date is a third place finish worth $10,000. “We’re just going to go out (Saturday) and do exactly the same thing and fish as hard as we can for six to eight hours and see what happens.”
    Pro Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn., and co-angler Chip Porter of Lake Zurich, Ill., advanced to the final round in the No. 2 position with five walleyes weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces. Rounding out the top five qualifiers were pro Tim Herink of Plainfield, Ill., and co-angler Hal Cassidy of Archbold, Ohio, with four walleyes weighing 27 pounds, 9 ounces; pro James Myszkewicz of Burlington, Wis., and co-angler Karl Elsher Sr. of Cortland, N.Y., with three walleyes weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces; and pro Ronnie Rhodes of Lorain, Ohio, and co-angler Joe Struna of La Salle, Ill., with four walleyes weighing 25 pounds, 12 ounces.
    Competition resumes at 7 a.m. Saturday at Catawba Island State Park. Weights are cleared and the winners will be determined by the weight of Saturday’s catch alone. The final weigh-in will start at 3 p.m. at the Wal-Mart on East Harbor Road.

    Tournament officials were forced to cancel the second day of competition Thursday due to high winds. Due to the cancellation, the top 60 pros and co-anglers advanced to the semifinal round based on the strength of their opening day catch, which included 25 five-walleye limits over 40 pounds.

    “Lake Erie owns the records for tournament catches,” said Ohio fisheries chief Gary Isbell, noting that the best five-walleye catch on record for Lake Erie is 48 pounds, 8 ounces. “You just don’t see these kinds of catches anywhere else. The lake is definitely in a class by itself when it comes to walleye fishing.”

    Run by Operation Walleye and named after retail giant Wal-Mart and boat manufacturers Ranger, Crestliner and Lund, the $2.9 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit is the world’s most lucrative walleye fishing series. It features four regular season tournaments each with a $390,750 purse and a championship with a $1.4 million purse. The second tournament will be May 9-12 on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis., followed by events on Saginaw Bay in Bay City, Mich., June 13-16 and Devils Lake in Devils Lake, N.D., Sept. 5-8.

    After the four regular season tournaments, 200 pros and 200 co-anglers will compete in the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship for a top award of up to $400,000 in the Pro Division and $150,000 in the Co-Angler Division. The championship will be held on the Fox River and Green Bay in Green Bay, Wis., Oct. 2-6. Green Bay hosted the inaugural Wal-Mart RCL Championship last year when Scott Glorvigen of Grand Rapids, Minn., won $300,000 and instantly joined the sport’s top all-time money winners. 

    Entry fees for each regular season tournament are $1,250 for pros and $500 for co-anglers.

    Sponsors of the 2001 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit are Coleman, Conseco, Crestliner, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Garmin, Kellogg’s, Lund, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Poulan, Ranger Boats, Wal-Mart, Weed Eater and Yamaha Outboards.

    For more information, visit www.operationwalleye.com or call 270-362-5259.

    For more information, visit www.operationwalleye.com or call 270-362-5259.
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