North American Fishing Guides

Gillman Wins RCL Walleye Tournament on Saginaw Bay

LINWOOD, Mich. (Aug. 4, 2003) – Boater John Gillman of Freeland claimed $2,847 plus a $750 bonus as winner of the two-day Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League Super Tournament held this weekend on Saginaw Bay. Gillman caught 10 walleyes over two days that weighed 49 pounds, 1 ounce to claim his first RCL League victory at the Michigan Division event.

Gillman also earned a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for using a fixed-mount Garmin Fishfinder or combination GPS/sounder. He caught five walleyes that weighed 26 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to finish second and followed that up Sunday with another five walleyes that weighed 22 pounds, 6 ounces to win the tournament by a 1-pound, 13-ounce margin.

Rounding out the top five boaters were Thomas Vanderweide of Jenison (nine walleyes, 47 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,627 plus $500 bonus); Albert Kukla of Bay City (10 walleyes, 45 pounds, 10 ounces, $1,220 plus $400 bonus); Steve Vandemark of Linwood (10 walleyes, 41 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,017 plus $300 bonus); and Nate Provost of Gulliver (10 walleyes, 41 pounds, 5 ounces, $813 plus $250 bonus).

John Chapo of Grass Lake won the Co-angler Division and $1,220 plus a $375 bonus thanks to a two-day catch of 10 walleyes weighing 50 pounds, 3 ounces. Chapo caught five walleyes Saturday that weighed 24 pounds, 7 ounces to finish fourth and followed that up Sunday with another five walleyes that weighed 25 pounds, 12 ounces.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Paul Curmi of Belleville (10 walleyes, 49 pounds, 11 ounces, $813); Keith Eiden of Auburn, Ind. (10 walleyes, 45 pounds, 7 ounces, $610); Bob Horvath of Mokena, Ill. (nine walleyes, 45 pounds, 5 ounces, $508); and Brandon Curler of Bay City (10 walleyes, 42 pounds, 11 ounces, $407).

Bonuses are awarded to boaters who are the registered owner of a Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat and fish out of that boat during the tournament. Co-anglers earn bonuses if they are a registered owner of a Ranger, Crestliner or Lund.

Boaters and co-anglers who finish in the top 25 in final points standings in each RCL Walleye League division will advance to the $88,000 RCL League Finals Sept. 6-7 on Lake Okoboji in Spirit Lake, Iowa. The winning boater at the finals will receive an Evinrude-or Yamaha-powered Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points awarded to the winner, 199 points for second, and so on, except for Super Tournaments, which award 300 points to the winner, 298 to second, and so on.

Don Curler of Bay City ranks first in 2003 Michigan Division points standings with 642 for the season, and John Lott of Southgate earned No. 1 co-angler status with 673 points for the year.

Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League boaters and co-anglers fish together for a combined boat weight, with boaters competing against other boaters and co-anglers fishing against other co-anglers. The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League meets the needs of America’s fishing masses by providing professionally administered, close-to-home, affordable events with lucrative cash purses.

The Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League is administered by FLW Outdoors, the world’s leading marketer of competitive fishing. Other FLW Outdoors-sanctioned tournament trails include the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour, the world’s most lucrative walleye-fishing series; the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, the world’s most lucrative bass-fishing 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 America’s 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

For more information about the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye League or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or visit

FLW Outdoors

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