Aller Leads Six Anglers at Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship
Archey wins $120,000 as Co-angler Division champ
RED WING, Minn. (Oct. 3, 2003) Pro Scott Allar of Welch inched one step closer to claiming the richest prize in walleye-tournament history Friday by leading the semifinal round of the $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River. Allar leads six pros who qualified for Saturdays final round to compete for as much as $400,000 cash.
Pro Scott Allar (left) of Welch, Minn., and his co-angler partner Darrell Archey (holding lunker) of Great Falls, Mont., caught a limit of five walleyes weighing 15 pounds to give Allar the pro lead and Archey the co-angler win by a 4-pound, 12-ounce margin. (Photo by Jeff Schroeder) (Photo by Jeff Schroeder)
After enduring two days of frigid weather conditions that left Mississippi River walleyes reluctant to bite, the weather warmed up Friday to the mid-50s but the bite remained stingy. Three of the 12 angler pairs caught five-walleye limits, and Allar and his co-angler partner Darrell Archey of Great Falls, Mont., caught a limit of five walleyes weighing 15 pounds to give Allar the pro lead and Archey the co-angler win by a 4-pound, 12-ounce margin.
We got a really good start; the big fish came within 10 minutes of starting, so it took a lot of pressure off, said Allar, who is ranked fourth on the 2003 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour. It really helps when youre shooting for 10 pounds and you get 6 pounds to start with and seven hours left (to fish). Its a pretty good feeling. I dont think Ill sleep too well tonight.
Allar and Archey found their motherlode after slightly changing their original game plan to target smaller fish at the start of the day. I think the bigger fish spots are just starting to turn on, Allar said. Originally we were trying to find some smaller fish first, but we hit a big-fish spot first and caught one good one and got hit a couple of times, so those spots might be turning on a little bit.
Rounding out the top six pros are Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis. (five walleyes, 10 pounds, 4 ounces); Jerry Hein of Stillwater (four walleyes, 9 pounds, 10 ounces); Jim Schulta of Hazelhurst, Wis. (five walleyes, 9 pounds); Steve Lamb of Nashville, Tenn. (four walleyes, 4 pounds, 11 ounces); and Douglas Vandersteen of Lundar, Manitoba (three walleyes, 4 pounds, 3 ounces).
Archey won $120,000 as the Co-angler Division champion thanks in no small part to his own efforts. I popped the biggest fish of the day right off the bat, said Archey, who finished second in the opening round to advance to Fridays competition. I tell you what, the monkey went flying out of the boat with that one. You always worry about putting fish in the boat, but after that, we really relaxed.
Rounding out the top six co-anglers are Lawrence Hoff of Flasher, N.D. (five walleyes, 10 pounds, 4 ounces, $25,000); Jarrad Fluekiger of Alma, Wis. (four walleyes, 9 pounds, 10 ounces, $16,000); Audrey Robb of Dryden, Ontario (five walleyes, 9 pounds, $8,600); Rob Jiminez of Missoula, Mont. (four walleyes, 4 pounds, 11 ounces, $5,400); and Chad Carroll of Machesney Park, Ill. (three walleyes, 4 pounds, 3 ounces, $6,300)
Treasure Island Resort and Casino will host the final takeoff at 7 a.m. Saturday, and the final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 1752 Frontage Road in Hastings beginning at 4 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend daily the takeoff and weigh-in. The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour Family Fun Zone featuring boat and truck displays, sponsor giveaways and childrens games will open at the Hastings Wal-Mart at 11 a.m. Saturday. Admission is free.
The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship field is comprised of anglers who qualified for the event via the $3.07 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour or other sanctioned tournament organizations. Pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day and fish for a combined boat weight. Pros supply the boat and tackle and control boat movement.
The top 12 anglers in both the pro and co-angler divisions advanced to the semifinal round based on their two-day accumulated weight during the opening round. Weights were cleared for the semifinal round, and pros competed for one of six final-round slots. Weights are also cleared for the final round.
The winning pro is guaranteed $150,000 cash. Qualified Ranger, Crestliner and Lund owners are eligible for a $150,000 bonus, and if the winners boat is equipped with an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard, he will receive another $100,000 for a top pro award of $400,000 cash. The winning co-angler is guaranteed $75,000 cash, and if he is a registered owner of a Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat, he will receive a $45,000 bonus.
The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship is administered by FLW Outdoors and named after boat manufacturers Ranger, Crestliner and Lund. FLW Outdoors, the worlds leading marketer of competitive fishing, is named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood. Other FLW Outdoors tournament trails include the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League for weekend anglers; the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the worlds most lucrative bass-tournament series; the EverStart Series, designed as a pathway to the FLW Tour; the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League for weekend anglers; and the Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail.
Wal-Mart and many of Americas most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com.
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