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

April 14, 2007

TRENTON, Mich. – Pro Mark Meravy of Shorewood, Ill., caught a four-day total of 18 walleyes weighing 76 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event presented by Yamaha on the Detroit River in Trenton, Mich., and earned a check for $60,000.

“We were surprised to see the water clear up so much overnight,” said Meravy, an eight-year FLW Walleye Tour veteran who notched his first win today. “I went back to my program I used for the first three days — jigging.”

Meravy, a fine-art photographer, jigged a 3 ½-inch Skinny Bear Shad Eye in 12 to 16 feet of water to catch the majority of his fish. Meravy said he caught a total of 10 keepers during the final day of competition.

“I fished in the Trenton Channel of the river and caught my smaller fish early and the larger fish later in the day,” Meravy said. “I had two feet of visibility or so and I knew the jig bite would be good.”

Meravy said the wait for a win on the FLW Walleye Tour was a long one, but the feeling of winning made his journey worthwhile.

“It means a lot because I've worked so hard over the years,” Meravy said. “It's very rewarding. Fishing is a tough game — all of the effort doesn't pay off all of the time.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Dustin Kjelden of Brookings, S.D. (20 walleyes, 74 pounds, 11 ounces, $40,000); Scott Fairbairn of Hager City, Wis. (17 walleyes, 68 pounds, 6 ounces, $18,000); Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn. (20 walleyes, 59 pounds, 13 ounces, $13,000); and Gerrick McComsey of Fort Pierre, S.D. (20 walleyes, 57 pounds, 2 ounces, $9,000).

Don Cozzie of Orland Park, Ill., won the co-angler division with 20 walleyes weighing 69 pounds, 2 ounces and earned $10,000.

“All of my pros were phenomenal,” Cozzie said. “They taught me a lot — and I've been fishing for 40 years. All I can say to anyone who thinks they might want to try fishing one of these events is you have got to fish with these guys. They are absolutely phenomenal.”

Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Paul Doute of Southgate, Mich. (20 walleyes, 67 pounds, 12 ounces, $7,000); Michael Eichbrecht of Washington, Mich. (14 walleyes, 66 pounds, 8 ounces, $3,500); Brent Brophy of Milford Township, Mich. (20 walleyes, 57 pounds, 15 ounces, $2,500); and Shannon Larson of Rice Lake, Wis. (19 walleyes, 57 pounds, 6 ounces, $2,200).

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).

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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