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Dan Plautz wins Saginaw Bay RCL event
Mark Martin leads the way into final round of RCL at Saginaw Bay
John Campbell leads anglers into semi final round of Saginaw Bay Event
Rick Olson takes lead day 1 Saginaw Bay Event
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
RCL 2001 Schedule of events Saginaw Bay
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Brian G. Sayner, Vice President, Communications, (270) 362-5212
Dave Washburn, Communications Specialist, (270) 362-5213
Bay City, Mich., (June 16, 2001) - Pro angler Dan Plautz of Muskego, Wis., landed $50,000 and a Yamaha-powered Crestliner boat Saturday on Saginaw Bay after weighing in five walleyes that registered 29 pounds, 3 ounces. His partner, co-angler Steve Campbell of Fife Lake, Mich., reeled in $15,000 for the catch in the second $390,750 tournament of the new $2.9 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Circuit-the world's most lucrative walleye fishing series.
The pair's impressive catch was the result of trolling five miles north of the Charity Islands with offshore snap weights and crawler harnesses with No. 5 and No. 6 hammered gold blades. Plautz said the fish were suspended at 11 feet over 30 feet of water and his trolling speed was a precise 1.3 mph. Plautz and Campbell only caught five walleyes before heading back to the launch ramp at 12:30 p.m. to preserve their catch from the pounding waves.
"Saginaw Bay is one of the meanest bodies of water there is," said Plautz, a two-time Professional Walleye Trail winner whose best tournament payday prior to this win was $50,000. "It's real hard to run more than 15 miles per hour here. When the wind blows, it doesn't take long to start seeing 5-to 6-foot waves."
Plautz and Campbell qualified for the final round of 12 pros and co-anglers in eighth place after landing four walleyes weighing 20 pounds, 6 ounces Friday.
Competition began Wednesday with 192 anglers from 15 states and Canada taking off from Hoyles Marina in Linwood, Mich. The field was cut Thursday to the top 60 anglers in each division and trimmed again to the top 12 anglers in each division after Friday's weigh-in. Weights were cleared for all anglers on Friday and Saturday.
Pro Mark Keenan of Appleton, Wis., ($30,000) and co-angler Joe Stenz of Muskego, Wis., ($10,000) placed second with five walleyes weighing 27 pounds, 15 ounces. Pro Dave Kraft of Bismark, N.D., ($25,000) and co-angler Dave Dugall of Highland, Mich., ($7,500) placed third with five walleyes weighing 27 pounds, 8 ounces. Pro Tim Minnema of Markesan, Wis., ($20,000) and co-angler Dennis Skurulsky of Waukesha, Wis., ($6,000) placed fourth with five walleyes weighing 27 pounds, 4 ounces. Pro Rick LaCourse of Oregon, Ohio, ($15,000) and co-angler Tim Williams of Oregon, Ohio ($5,000) placed fifth with five walleyes weighing 26 pounds, 5 ounces.
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 features four regular season tournaments each with a $390,750 purse and a championship with a $1.4 million purse. The third tournament will be July 25-28 on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis., followed by a tournament on 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.
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