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

April 13, 2007

TRENTON, Mich. – Pro Mark Meravy of Shorewood, Ill., caught a three-day total of 13 walleyes weighing 51 pounds, 14 ounces to lead day three 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 jigged all day long and caught two of my fish on the jig and caught the third fish with 10 minutes left to go on crankbaits on a three-way rig,” said Meravy, who led after the second day of competition. “As tough as the bite was, I'm happy with what I got.”

Meravy used a three-ounce bell sinker and No. 9 Rapala stickbaits on the three-way rig to catch his final fish of the day.

“I had three bites and I got all three of the fish in,” Meravy said. “Saturday I'm going to look at the water, and if it's dirty, I'm going to be pole-lining. If it's not as dirty, I'll be jigging. I need at least a foot of visibility to jig.

“I'd have a lot more confidence if the water was clear and I could jig,” Meravy added. “Especially under these conditions when boat control is critical.”

The field will cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers for the final day of competition.

Rounding out the top five pros are Dustin Kjelden of Brookings, S.D. (15 walleyes, 50 pounds, 14 ounces); Joshua Vanderweide of Jenison, Mich. (15 walleyes, 46 pounds, 1 ounce); Ken Shoenecker of West Bend, Wis. (14 walleyes, 42 pounds, 15 ounces); and Scott Fairbairn of Hager City, Wis. (12 walleyes, 42 pounds, 8 ounces).

Rounding out the top 10 pros are Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn., Dean Kaminski of Columbia High, Minn., Brian Warner of Charlevoix, Mich., Gerrick McComsey of Fort Pierre, S.D., and Erik Furseth of East Lansing, Mich.

Don Cozzie of Orland Park, Ill., leads the co-angler division with 15 walleyes weighing 44 pounds, 10 ounces.

“My pro, Joshua Vanderweide, had five or six spots ready, and we hit four of them,” Cozzie said. “We did a little bit of jigging and hand-lining. We caught the two big ones hand-lining and had one small one we tried to get rid of all day, but we couldn't.

“My pro for Saturday, Mark Meravy, lives just 10 miles from me, and we both know what we're doing out here, so I hope everything goes all right for us,” Cozzie added.

Cozzie originally had planned to leave Michigan on the fourth day of competition to see his daughter play softball for the University of Dubuque.

“I wasn't even supposed to be here for the final day, but I guess my plans have changed,” Cozzie said.

Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Paul Doute of Southgate, Mich. (15 walleyes, 43 pounds, 15 ounces); Chris Kinzler of Trenton, Mich. (15 walleyes, 43 pounds, 8 ounces); Mike Zawistowski of Wonder Lake, Ill. (15 walleyes, 41 pounds, 9 ounces); and Michael Eichbrecht of Washington, Mich. (nine walleyes, 40 pounds, 10 ounces).

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are Brent Brophy of Milford Town, Mich., Keith Strauss of Syracuse, Ind., Keith Hahn of Johnsburg, Ill., Shannon Larson of Rice Lake, Wis., and Heath Fremstad of Mondovi, Wis.

Elizabeth Park/Wayne County Parks is hosting the event. Anglers will launch at 7 a.m. Saturday from Elizabeth Park Marina located at 202 Grosse Isle Parkway in Trenton, Mich. 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 .

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

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