Steffens Leading at National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Event
Pro Danny Steffens of Oxford, Wisconsin, and co-angler Brandon Finck of Jackson, Minnesota, brought in five walleyes weighing 42 pounds, 15 ounces Thursday to lead day one of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour tournament on Lake Erie. The pair now holds a 1-pound, 10-ounce lead over their closest rivals in the event featuring 131 pros and 131 co-anglers fishing for top awards of $63,000 in the Pro Division and $10,500 in the Co-angler Division.
"This morning we were going out to some places where I was running some harnesses and things just weren't picking up," Steffens said. "We got some small fish right away. And I said to Brandon, 'I came here to win. I know where there are some big fish. Let's go see if we can (catch) them.'"
Steffens said he relocated to a spot where the water was clearer and the pair got into the walleyes. Steffens didn't want to tip his hand to his methods but was quick to share his excitement about his catch.
"It was an amazing bag," Steffens said. "I couldn't believe it was happening. I hope I can stay right in this thing here and really come through for tomorrow.
"I'm really pumped," Steffens added. "I'm so pumped up right now I could just cry."
Rounding out the remainder of the top 10 pros and co-anglers after day one on Lake Erie are:
- 2nd: Gary Parsons, Glidden, Wis., Dave Barrett, Mosinee, Wis., five walleyes, 41-5
- 3rd: Jeff Graves, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, John Spiegel, Appleton, Wis., five walleyes, 40-2
- 4th: AMP Energy and Diet Mountain Dew pro John Balla, Bartlett, Ill., Mirko Canji, Belle River, Ont., five walleyes, 38-15
- 5th: Keith Kavajecz, Kaukauna, Wis., Dale Janota, Gillette, Wyo., five walleyes, 38-8
- 6th: Charles Robinson, Perrysburg, Ohio, Todd Rairigh, Sheffield Lake, Ohio, five walleyes, 36-8
- 7th: Shawn Ritchie, Spencer, Ohio, Tim Depooter, Rock Island, Ill., five walleyes, 36-7
- 8th: Tom Keenan, Hatley, Wis., Don Bell, Fritch, Texas, five walleyes, 35-7
- 9th: David Kolb, Rockford, Mich., David Lukjanovs, Springfield, Ohio, five walleyes, 35-6
- 10th: Chase Parsons, Brillion, Wis., Daniel Leach, Linwood, Mich., five walleyes, 35-2
Overall there were 292 walleyes weighing 1,727 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 113 boats Thursday. The catch included 20 five-walleye limits.
In Walleye Tour competition, pro and co-anglers are also competing for valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the 2011 National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship held on the Missouri River in Bismarck, N.D., Sept. 22-25.Anglers are also vying for the coveted Angler of the Year title, which earns them a place in the 2012 Walleye Tour Championship, as well as $10,000 for the pro and $2,500 for the co-angler.
Anglers will take off from Nor' Easter Club located at 2801 Nor' Easter Cove Rd. in Port Clinton at 7 each morning. Friday's weigh-in will also be held at WaterWorks Park in Port Clinton beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 2826 East Harbor Rd. in Port Clinton beginning at 4:30 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, ride Ranger boat simulators, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing. All activities are free and open to the public. Prior to the final weigh-in, there will be a free Family Fishing Clinic where children can get free rod and reels while supplies last, plus other great giveaways.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com/LakeErie. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Walleye Tour on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWWalleyeTour and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWOutdoors.