Johnson Leads Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Event on Mississippi River
May 03, 2007
RED WING, Minn. – Castrol pro Nick Johnson of Elmwood, Wis., along with his partner, Phil Milliser Jr. of Plymouth, Ind., caught five walleyes weighing 22 pounds, 15 ounces to lead day two of the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event presented by Evinrude on the Mississippi River in Red Wing, Minn. Johnson has a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 39-3.
With 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), the FLW Walleye Tour is bigger and better than ever.
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.
“Things went really well today,” said Johnson, who has amassed more than $450,000 in career earnings with FLW Outdoors. “I've got a few spots where the bite is starting to turn around and get better. I jumped around and covered a lot of water today and it took me all day to fill my limit. I am trying to target shallow, more aggressive fish. They are sitting in predictable places just waiting to bite. You just have to get your bait in front of one.”
“I've been doing a number of different patterns. I have done everything from live baiting to jigging. I am going to go back out and do the same thing again tomorrow and hopefully I can get five in the boat.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Richard Franklin of Bemidji, Minn. (seven walleyes, 39 pounds); Nate Provost of Green Bay, Wis. (10 walleyes, 37 pounds, 8 ounces); Larry Snow of Kenora, Ontario (10 walleyes, 35 pounds, 12 ounces); and Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn. (10 walleyes, 34 pounds, 9 ounces).
Milliser leads the co-angler division with a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 38-12.
Pros and co-anglers fish for a combined boat weight. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jack Ellenbecker of Pierre, S.D. (eight walleyes, 35-8), Patrick Bertelsen of Jackson, Minn. (10 walleyes, 33-6), Erik Carlson of Somerset, Wis. (10 walleyes, 32-13) and Dennis Bennett of Kingston, Ill. (10 walleyes, 32-5).
The Red Wing Visitors and Convention Bureau is hosting the event. Anglers launch daily at 7 a.m. from Bay Point Marina located at 1429 Levee road in Red Wing. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 295 Tyler Road South in Red Wing 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 Mississippi River will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on June 24 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 tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
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