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Dean Arnoldussen wins 400K in Green Bay
Six pros go into final day of Championship
Beginners luck brings $75 K to top co-angler
Paul Meleen moves into day 3 lead
Keenan weight tops 50 lbs at end of day 2
Day 2 dawns on Wal-Mart championship
Keenan Brothers take day 1 lead
Super bowl of walleye fishing begins in Green Bay
Green Bay To Host World's Richest Walleye Tournament
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Priority registration for Operation Walleye events to commence March 26
General RCL registration begins March 27
RCL 2001 Championship Schedule and information
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RCL Pro angler entry fee and purse
RCL Co-angler entry fee and purse
RCL 2001 RCL Championship Schedule of tournaments and information
by Jeff Schroeder - 5.Oct.2001
Jeanquart captures $75,000 RCL co-angler championship in first-ever tournament
GREEN BAY, Wis. – It sometimes happens this way in competitive fishing, particularly in the Co-angler Division. Young Chris Jeanquart, who was paired up with three hot pros in the 2001 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship, walked away with the most lucrative amateur fishing payout in history after competing in only his first tournament ever.
“I've never fished a walleye tournament in my life,” said Jeanquart (pronounced JEEN-KWART) following his $75,000 victory Friday. “I'm feeling … I don't know how to describe it right now.”
Ecstatic. Disbelief. Overwhelmed. Anyway you describe it, Jeanquart was drowning in good fortune this week. Just 10 days before the tournament began, the 29-year-old manufacturer's representative from nearby Sturgeon Bay, Wis., received a phone call from friend Dean Arnoldussen who told him he should sign up for the RCL championship. Jeanquart had never fished competitively before, but he signed up anyway and locked in to compete this week in Green Bay.
“We've been friends for years,” Jeanquart said of Arnoldussen, who made Saturday's pro finals in fifth place.
Next thing he knows, Jeanquart makes it through the opening round and is paired with the ultra-hot and supremely generous pro Paul Meleen of Onamia, Minn., for the co-angler final round. What happened today was that Jeanquart rode the Meleen express train all way to victory. In this tournament where pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight, the young co-angler was lucky that Meleen's fish were so hungry – and that the pro was willing to give up some big ones for him.
“There were fish flopping around all over the place,” a wide-eyed Jeanquart said of the fishing Friday.
“I was happy for him,” Meleen said. “I told him that, if he promised to spend some of the winnings on his wife, I'd get him five fish.”
The two anglers caught their 36-pound, 5-ounce stringer of five walleyes by 3 p.m. after making an arduous 40-mile, one-way run on the swells of Green Bay towards the eastern shore.
“The fish bit great when it was windy, but it lightened up after that,” Jeanquart said.
Jeanquart, who was cheered wildly by a hometown group of about 25 friends and family at the weigh-in, had plans for the winnings. While his wife will undoubtedly see at least a portion of it, he said, “I thought about investing in some Wal-Mart stock.”
And, after just one tournament, what does he plan to do after accomplishing what thousands of other longtime tournament anglers can only dream about?
“I think I'm going to announce my retirement from fishing,” he said. Then he added, “Just kidding.”
Rounding out the top six finishers in the Co-angler Division were opening-round leader Leo Schlauch (2nd place) of Suamico, Wis., with a weight of 28 pounds; Jerome Chwierut (3rd) of Glenview, Ill., with a weight of 25-11; Gerald Valleskey (4th) of Collins, Wis., with a weight of 22-13; Gordie Yewman (5th) of Green Bay with a weight of 20-0; and Brian Garrity (6th) with a weight of 17-9.
To register for competition or for more information about the Wal-Mart
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2625 Humboldt Rd.
Green Bay, WI 54311
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Green Bay, WI 54313
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