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RCL Championship the biggest Walleye purse in history

Wal-Mart RCL tournament anglers eagerly await Saginaw Bay
RCL 2001 Bay City  Schedule and information
RCL Saginaw Bay Lodging
RCL Pro angler entry fee and purse
RCL Co-angler entry fee and purse
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 

  • Sponsors
    Mercury Outboard Motors The Water Calls
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    RCL 2001 Schedule of events Saginaw Bay
    Date:   June 13-16, 2001
    Location Saginaw Bay Bay City, Michigan
    Host Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
    901 Saginaw Street
    Bay City, MI 48708
    Phone: 888-229-8696
    Marina Hoyles Marina
    135 South Linwood Beach
    Linwood, MI 48634
     Phone: 517-697-4415
    Registration June 12, 2001 3:00-6:00 p.m.
    Pre -Tournament Meeting 6:30 p.m.
    Kawkawlin Township Hall
    1836 Parish Road
    Kawkawlin, MI 48631
    Phone: 517-662-0019
    Housing AmericInn & Suites
    3915 Three Mile Road
    Bay City, MI 48706
    Phone: 517-671-0071
    More information Results
    Lodging Information

    Bay Valley Resort Hotel / Full Service/Resort
    2470 Old Bridge Road
    Bay City, MI 48706

    Holiday Inn of Bay City
    501 Saginaw Street
    Bay City, MI 48708

    AmericInn Motel & Suites
    3915 Three Mile Road
    Bay City, MI 48706
    Located at the junction of I-75 and Wilder Road. 

    Best Western Creekside Inn
    6385 West Side Saginaw Road
    Bay City, MI 48706
    Located at the junction of I-75 and M-84. 

    Fairfield Inn
    4105 East Wilder Road
    Bay City, MI 48706
    Located off I-75 next to the Bay City Mall and 

    Bay Motel
    911 South Euclid Avenue
    Bay City, MI 48706

    Delta Motel
    1000 South Euclid Avenue
    Bay City, MI 48706

    Empire Motel
    1305 Washington Avenue
    Bay City, MI  48708

    Euclid Motel
    809 North Euclid Avenue
    Bay City, MI 48706

    Monnie Lynn Motel
    1710 South Euclid Avenue
    Bay City, MI 48706

    Paul's Motel of Bay City
    1904 South Euclid Avenue
    Bay City, MI 48706

    White Lake Motel
    1000 North Euclid Avenue
    Bay City, MI  48706

    Wal-Mart RCL tournament anglers eagerly await Saginaw Bay
    by David Rose - 1.Jun.2001  
    Like the little kid on the vintage television advertisement eagerly awaiting his slow-to-pour catsup to spread onto his hot dog, Wal-Mart RCL anglers are impatiently anticipating their next walleye challenge. Although the rescheduling of the May 9-12 Wal-Mart RCL tournament in Lacrosse, Wisc., has put some anglers in a holding pattern over the last month, on June 13-16 the shallow waters of Saginaw Bay will be inundated once again with some of the finest professional walleye anglers in the world. In short, walleye anglers will be back doing what they love to do best. And that’s fishing.

    The facts of Saginaw Bay, plain and simple

    Saginaw Bay is known by local anglers to offer prime walleye fishing conditions in July and August. This is the time of year when the giant walleyes of 6 to 11 pounds come into the bay to feed on the assorted shiners and perch found throughout shallow reefs and weedbeds. But according to Mark Martin, Michigan’s own Mr. Walleye who will be taking part in this tournament as a pro, the middle of June is not a bad time to fish Saginaw Bay at all.

    “There are so many aspects this time of year that wouldn’t be a factor later in the year,” said Martin. “Those walleye could be most anywhere in the cool water during the month of June.”

    It hasn’t been all that long since the walleyes have finished spawning in this area, and although most of the huge hens have left the area to recoup from the rigorous spawning period, there still could be a few scattered about the bay. However, a tournament angler who culls five males weighing a decent 5-pound average per fish could be the one taking the big money.

    Viable techniques for June angling

    Tournament anglers who excel in a number of techniques will have a good advantage here, as the walleye could be in a number of areas, utilizing a number of different structures. The weeds will play an important roll for Saginaw Bay walleyes. It is almos! t certain there will be a big number of weed-oriented walleyes, waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey. Jigs and minnows fished vertically over the many weedbeds will be a top producer, along with plastics skewered onto leadheads that are pitched into and ripped through the weeds. Hard-metal jigging spoons are also walleye catchers here, when a vertical jig presentation is needed.

    But Saginaw Bay is a huge body of water and anglers will need to cover a lot of area to find the fish. According to Martin, "Trolling will probably be the mainstay of most of the anglers. They may still be keying in on the weeds, but trolling spinners, cranks, and small-bodied baits like Hot-N-Tots along the weedbed edges will be a popular tactic."

    The deep-water spots on Saginaw Bay could hold fish too. However, it's important to remember that deep water in this huge bay is only about 30-feet deep. Some believe there will be a few giant females here, staging in this deeper water. Trolling deep-diving crankbaits a mere 30 feet behind plannerboards is a popular method when the walleye go deeper. There are also a good number of natural and manmade islands, and reefs thoughout the bay that are surrounded by deep water that are known walleye hot spots.

    The odd spots could be the winning ticket

    To the north is nearby Tawas Bay, which has a decent walleye population of its own. The same tactics and strategies used on Saginaw Bay could bring winning fish from this small, sheltered area. Another popular tactic on Tawas Bay is to hang big shiners under a slip bobber, and fish it throughout the weedy pockets. This is a very popular technique used by the local experts.

    Other areas that tournament anglers will have to consider are the Kern-Weadock Hot Ponds in the southwest corner and the Saginaw River. These areas have a year-round walleye population and can really fill up with fish. A good northeast wind also presents some fishing opportunities on the Saginaw River as the wind pushes the current upstream.

    A huge body of water and the ability to employ numerous fishing techniques are two of the main factors that make Saginaw Bay a unique fishery for walleye anglers. It’s a great place for a tournament as all anglers, no matter what their specialty, have a great chance to taking home first place.
    Pro Entry Fee $1,250
    1st  $50,000 + a fully rigged boat
    2nd $30,000
    3rd $25,000
    4th $20,000
    5th $15,00
    6th $10,000
    7th $9,000
    8th $8,000
    9th $7,000
    10th $6,000
    11th -15th $5,000
    16th- 20th $4000
    21st- 25th $3,000
    26th- 30th $2500
    31st- 40th $2,000
    41st- 60th $1500
    total payout $302,500
    Co-Angler  Entry Fee $500
    1st  $15,000
    2nd $10,000
    3rd $7,500
    4th $6,000
    5th $5,000
    6th $4,000
    7th $3,000
    8th $2,000
    9th $1500
    10th $1250
    11th -15th $1000
    16th- 20th $900
    21st- 25th $800
    26th- 30th $700
    31st- 40th $600
    41st- 60th $500
    total payout  $88,250

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