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Meravy Leads Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Event on Detroit River

April 12, 2007

TRENTON, Mich. – Pro Mark Meravy of Shorewood, Ill., caught a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 44 pounds, 5 ounces to lead day two of the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event presented by Yamaha on the Detroit River in Trenton, Mich., the first regular-season event of the 2007 FLW Walleye Tour.

The 2007 FLW Walleye Tour features a $2.71 million total purse, including the no-entry-fee $675,850 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship on Lake Erie at Cleveland, Ohio, Sept. 27-30, and television coverage on FSN (Fox Sports Net). With a full field of 150 pros and 150 co-anglers, anglers are competing for their share of a $509,300 purse, including as much as $100,000 for the winning pro and $18,000 for the winning co-angler.

“I've been lucky and caught a good kicker fish the past two days, but I can't count on that every day,” said Meravy, who was in second place after the first day of competition. “I'm just going to go out and do exactly the same thing I've been doing and hope my luck continues.”

Meravy fished the same pattern most of the field did on day two — jigging on the river for a limit of walleyes.

“The water is getting dirtier,” Meravy said. “If it keeps getting dirtier, it's going to hurt me.

“Right now, I'm confident I can weigh 15 pounds a day if the water stays down, but I'm also going to need it to stay clear,” Meravy added.

Rounding out the top five pros are Dustin Kjelden of Brookings, S.D. (10 walleyes, 38 pounds, 9 ounces); Scott Banks of Cannon Falls, Minn. (eight walleyes, 38 pounds, 8 ounces); Scott Fairbairn of Hager City, Wis. (seven walleyes, 29 pounds, 9 ounces); and Dan Herd of Hutchinson, Minn. (10 walleyes, 28 pounds, 13 ounces).

Michael Eichbrecht of Washington, Mich., leads the co-angler division.

“I came into this just trying to make the top 50,” said Eichbrecht, who also led on day one. “Right now, I'm on top of the world.”

Eichbrecht maintained his lead despite fishing in rough, dirty water. He said his pro, Jonathan Shoemaker of Elyria, Ohio, marked fish all day, but they couldn't get them to bite.

“We tried everything,” Eichbrecht said. “We tried different colors, different baits, live bait and plastics. They just didn't want to hit because of the dirty water.”

Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Chris Kinzler of Trenton, Mich. (10 walleyes, 30 pounds, 15 ounces); Scott Collinsworth of Anaconda, Mont. (10 walleyes, 30 pounds, 7 ounces); Keith Strauss of Syracuse, Ind. (10 walleyes, 30 pounds, 7 ounces); and Keith Hahn of Johnsburg, Ill. (10 walleyes, 29 pounds, 12 ounces).

Elizabeth Park/Wayne County Parks is hosting the event. Anglers launch daily at 7 a.m. from Elizabeth Park Marina located at 202 Grosse Isle Parkway in Trenton, Mich. Friday's weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 23800 Allen Road in Woodhaven, Mich., beginning at 4 p.m. The community is invited to attend daily takeoffs and weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public.

Pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day and fish for a combined boat weight. Pros compete against other pros, and co-anglers compete against other co-anglers. The full field competes during the three-day opening round for one of 10 final-round slots based on their three-day accumulated weight.

Weights carry over to day four, with the winner determined by the heaviest four-day weight.

Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 150 points awarded to the winner, 149 to second, 148 for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings. The top 50 pros and 50 co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the 2007 FLW Walleye Tour Championship.

The FLW Walleye Tour Championship is the most lucrative event in professional walleye angling, with guaranteed cash awards for the entire field. A guaranteed cash award of $100,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $50,000 will go to the FLW Walleye Tour Championship winner for a total pro award of $150,000. The champion co-angler will win a guaranteed cash award of $11,000 plus potential sponsor bonuses totaling $11,000 for a total co-angler award of $22,000.

Coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour event on the Detroit River will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on May 13 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. Eastern. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to more than 350 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.

Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.

Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com .

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.

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