Jim Kalkofen Chat 1/23/02

Jim K - Hello, I will take any PWT or walleye questions. 

Cranker - Jim, what's new with the PWT?

Jim K - Thanks for asking. The top 10 pros in each division will now qualify for the Championship.

Jim K - And, the Championship, as Walleye Central users know, is once again in Bismarck North Dakota.

Cranker - How many anglers does that put in the field now Jim?

Ristorapper - Jim, I would like to hear any facts you have on one Pete Harsh, regarding Warrior boats and his next venture. If you know any details.

Jim K - OK, Bismarck, where the Missouri River slot size will be taken off this season.

Jim K - Pete is a great competitor. He told me he will fish hard and spend this season on the tournament trail. 

Cranker - Even with 160 or so entries, how deep are the paybacks?

Ristorapper - Any idea what boat Pete is going to run, if indeed he is changing?

Jim K - Lots of entries. There is more interest than ever from the pros. We have many PWT veterans coming back as well as many qualified rookie pros. I don't know the exact levels yet, but will finish evaluations this week.

Jim K - And, as last year, with more entries, the payout goes deeper and stronger.

Cranker - I see $52,000 is that $20,000.00 and a boat?

mapguy - Does the PWT feel you have to compete with the likes of BASS and FLW?

Jim K - Regarding the boat for first place, yes a new boat and $20,000.00. And, no Mapguy, we do not feel as if we have to compete with the RCL or FLW. They are both great circuits, but with a totally different format.

Cranker - Ok, thanks.

Cranker - How high will you go in each field?

waterbug - What will first place be then?

Jim K - The PWT started in 1989 with an event, then expanded to 4 events in 1990 (pro to pro). We went pro-am in 1992, eventually setting the stage for all the great things out there today. We are proud of where we are and what we learned.

Cranker - $52,000?

Jim K - Regarding payouts, that depends on the actual number of anglersfishing. But, last year, we paid 10 spots deeper. We will determine that based on the fields size.

Cranker - Jim, how many are in a full field?

Ristorapper - Why Bismarck for the Championship again????

Jim K - By the way, with more pros, that means there are great opportunities for amateurs. Enter now, and bring a buddy. gooch - I like the pro-am events, that way people like myself have a chance to learn more from pros and eventually turn pro ourselves.

Jim K - Why Bismarck? The city and state are great. The governor and his family attend the weigh-in, the river is full of fish.

Todd_NE - I do love the fact amateurs get to fish all three days at the PWT.

Jim K - Also the volunteers like Dave Kraft, touring pro, heads the committee. The tourism people, CVB and Chamber people all participate. 

Ristorapper - Any new rules for the PWT this year? 

Jim K - That's a fact Todd. Pay the fee, fish 3 days, and do what the pro-am format is intended to do, teach.

Cranker - How many anglers make up a full field?

Jim K - For a full field, the payout is listed at 135, and the caps in SD and Minnesota limit the fields to 155 and 160.

gooch - I have fished the PWT as an Amateur for five years and have no negative remarks about any of the pros. I learn something new every day.

Cranker - What about the others, Jim? Like Lake Winnebago?

Jim K - We adjust the rules based on conversations with, and input from, the Advisory Council. Then we massage the rules for the times.

Jim K - So far, there are no boat limits on Winnebago. If that was the question?

Cranker - Does that mean if you get 200 boats, they will allFish?

waterbug - Please clarify, is 1st place 52,000 plus a boat? Or, is the boat included in the 52,000?

Ristorapper - Jim, which two PWT tourneys are full? (pro field)

Cranker - 52,000.00, boat included waterbug.

Jim K - Cranker, I don't expect more than 145 to 155 in the east, at the maximum. We have the pro applications, and will seed only the qualified anglers, in our imitation, with the credentials committee.

Jim K - All PWT tournaments have applications from more than 155 to 166 pros.

Jim K - What about the boat?

Cranker - The suggested retail is $32,000.

Jim K - The first place prize for PWT events is a Lund 2025 with a Mercury Optima 200 (or is it a 225, I should know) on a tandem Eagle trailer, the best in the business!

Jim K - The pro also receives cash for a $52,000 total prize.

Cranker - What about the Championship?

Todd_NE - Let's not get too carried away on that Lund deal.... (humor)

Ristorapper - $100,000 again?

Jim K - Thanks.

gooch - Jim are there any changes for the Amateurs this year?

Cranker - Yes but, $32,000 boat and will the rest be cash.

Ristorapper - Cash prizes would be nice gooch!!!!!

gooch - Talk to Jim, not me.

Cranker - You get prizes.

Ristorapper - Well, he's listening...

Jim K - If a pro fishes well on PWT, he (or now she, because a lady is fishing all 6), that person gets Walleye In-Sider coverage, TV coverage, radio interviews, press releases, featured on PWT web site and more.

Ristorapper - School was a good thing, I learned more, there than on the water at Sakakawea this year!

gooch - I've attended every one of them Jim, both Big John and me.

Jim K - The schools will be elevated a notch or two again this season.

Chatman - That is a great idea, it really must eliminate many of the repeated questions and stop a lot of the confusion from the Amateurs.

Jim K - Nice thing, because they are followed by a meal function.

Ristorapper - Great idea!

Jim K - Not many confused amateurs anymore. They are there to learn, and they do a great job.

Ristorapper - The female pro in all 6 is not Juls. Right?

Cranker - Who is the lady that is fishing the circuit?

gooch - Jim, did you fish with Jonnie Candle, at Devils Lake, when you were here?

Jim K - The Female Angler is Emily Jenniges from South Dakota who has fished for 4 years, as an amateur and spends lots of her other days on the water. She is, or has been, a college student. Sort of like the Scott Fairbairn. 

Cranker - Oh yeah, that girl can fish.

Jim K - No, I fished with Randy Myers, gunsmith and Clint DeVier, both good friends from Devils Lake.

Jim K - Also, and my Wyoming buddies out, and we had fun together.

Jim K - I should have said like Scott Fairbairn! Who graduated with fisheries degree(s) and went directly in to fishing.

gooch - Is anybody from In-Fisherman coming to Fargo for the sport show?

Jim K - Johnnie, the perch never touched a foot, but an 11 1/2 incher weighed 15 ounces. Tasted great last night, too.

Ristorapper - Any chance prizes will be paid in cash to amateurs some day down the road.

Jim K - One thing about Lake Erie this year, those fall and winter anglers won't touch the population. Should be a great start to the season.

ericak - I want to hear that Lake Erie is going to be great this year, what's the story?

big fish - Perch don't have to be big to taste good.

mapguy - Erie's moving from west to central...and the fishing's great!

ericak - Glad to hear it, now, can anyone catch them?

Ristorapper - Will there be cash prizes instead of prize prizes some day in near future for the amateurs??

Jim K - The Winnebago tourney will be my favorite, especially with all the bigger fish in there. It took a 4# average to win most events last year. We'll see if PWT troops find the big ones.

mapguy - The PWT pioneered the jigging out there. It's still a hot presentation!

Jim K - Jigs in any tactic are my favorite. I even learned to grit my teeth and drag them from time to time!

Chatman - LOL!

ericak - Winnebago will be fun this year, especially if it takes a 4# average to win. what did it take last time to win?

Jim K - On tourney days, I get to watch the boys like Gofron, Gray, Christensen and a host of others pitching and doing things with jigs that continue to amaze me. Parsons isn't bad either.

mapguy - There is lots of new structure on Winnebago too! Look for those.

ericak - What kind of new structure on Winnebago?

Chatman - Those what mapguy?

mapguy - Walleyes For Tomorrow has been placing artificial reefs all over the Lake. 

Jim K - Winnebago has every kind of walleye structure. Shoreline rocks, reefs, weeds, transitions, humps and open water trolling (a favorite pattern of local anglers) 

Chatman - Ah, with this weather, I thought you might have meant snowmobiles.....LOL!

Ristorapper - Goood one Ralph! LOL!

ericak - Jim, what will be your tactic on Winnebago this summer? 

mapguy - Work the reeds.

Ristorapper - Snowmobile trailers too!!

Jim K - On Devils Lake, if you've never been there, enter as an amateur and be amazed that a lake of such magnitude could be alive and well in North Dakota.

Jim K - There's over a million trees, both under water and sticking above the surface. 

gooch - What a difference from last time the PWT was there!

big fish - Devils Lake will be phenomenal this summer. You could see 100 pounds to win if all goes well.

Jim K - For an amateur wanting to learn jigging, the best tournament would be Chamberlain, May 8-10.

ericak - 100 pounds, big fish, what are you on?

Jim K - I might've known, my favorite daughter gets on a tangent during my chat!! big fish - BIG FISH!!!

gooch - And hopefully no snow this year!

ericak - I'm sorry, that was a joke. However, guys are flapping their mouths about all the weight they say they're going to catch. We have yet to see them produce.

Ristorapper - Does Devils Lake have room for amateurs Jim?

ericak - Jim, what is going to be the hot technique this summer?

gooch - It was slow going on the way to Chamberlain last year.

Jim K - Snow or not, Chamberlain is impressive. They are still open water fishing, and I will know more next week when I get there.

ericak - Jim, will you be open water fishing, then?

Jim K - Expect lead core to be a winner at Chamberlain and maybe another tournament site or two.

ericak - Jim, how are you sitting for entries, across the board?

Ristorapper - Amateur entries? 

Jim K - Went over the huge number of pros applying, and the need for more amateurs to match that number. About 160 pros want to fish or more on the West and nearly 150 in the East

ericak - Way to go!!! Did you expect any ill effects from 911?

Chatman - Quite a lot of interest across the country.

Jim K - Amateurs are coming in strong for Winnebago, 

Leech and Erie. Could use a few more in the other three.

Ristorapper - Hang on, mines comin'!

Dan - What tournaments are you talking about?

Jim K - The interest via the phone is intense. That's why I'm looking forward to Chamberlain, Pierre and Bismarck next week.

ericak - Are there any seminars for us lackeys to attend?

Chatman - Do you typically find it harder to sign amateurs in a new location Jim? Or is it about the same across the board?

gooch - The last two times I was on Leech Lake I got hailed on!!

Chatman - Or do you feel the popularity of a location makes a difference?

Jim K - The amateurs have lots of opportunities to go fishing, and they look at the PWT as a way to learn about a spot or tactics that might be employed locally. They also want to catch big fish, that's the attraction of the Great Lakes.

Jim K - New sites are tougher to field amateurs. But the next time in the area is a winner.

ericw - Yeah.

Ristorapper - Bring me an application , see you at 

Bismarck Sports Show

Dan - Is Erie full on the amateur side yet?

Chatman - Past history has shown that, I was just curious if it was a factor this year alone with needing a few more. But then, we are still a little ways out on the tourney dates.

Jim K - The popular sites attract amateurs who also fish many tournaments on that lake. For instance, those who fish Winnebago every weekend, fish with the PWT pros, and learn new spots, new ways to think about their system.

ericak - Jim, what advice might you have for a rookie fishing a division this year? I know several southern types who are considering it.

Jim K - For a rookie, select the system close to home, then go.

Lundman - How much does it cost to fish one event, for an amateur?

Dan - Is Lake Erie full yet on the amateur side?

Chatman - It is still a great way too not only spend time learning from the pros, it is a great way to learn on your favorite body of water, and compete in a National tourney.

Jim K - If the amateur wants to learn and get to know the pros, help out, and learn presentations, take a notebook and ask questions that apply to back home. Like, what if....and let the pro explain options.

Ristorapper - Hit any rocks lately as you pull up? 

Jim K - The amateur fee is $575 for 3 days with a different pro each day!

Jim K - I hit more rocks, just to prove that those Merc's can take it. When they can't, I still drive!!

ericak - Or, he makes me get out an push the boat!

Backwater Eddy (ND) - LOL!

Ristorapper - LOL!

Jim K - Here is a tip, if you hit a rock, try for neutral, then slam it in forward and get to the launch. I drove 30 miles down the Rainy, right up to the trailer with half the lower unit gone. Ugly. And, Erica has the photo somewhere!

Chatman - My prop guy loves when I use the speed method to find rocks....

Chatman - Of course that is provided you don't clear the whole thing off in the first place!!!! LOL!

Ristorapper - Those rocks came up in the middle of nowhere, 74 feet to six inches! LOL!

Jim K - Yes, and the Lund 2025 doesn't travel well in 6 inches of water.

ericak - I hate that when that happens!

Ristorapper - Two of three humps produced fish Though! 

ericak - The average depth here is six feet, with spots getting to 10 to 12 feet, talk about lower unit problems!

big fish - So, any pre season picks for angler of the year?

ericak - For angler of the year, I pick Gofron, he wants it bad!!

gooch - Jim, you think more jigging at Devils Lake than cranking?

big fish - Don't all of the pros want it bad?

Jim K - PWT will launch at either the state park of the West Harbor (county) ramp, depending on water levels.

Chatman - Mike has a lot to defend, there is a lot of talent gunning for his seat, and Gary Grays for that matter.

Jim K - On Devils Lake, if I had only one tactic, it would be tossing Husky Jerks, finding walleyes, then jigging those areas, usually hard old roads in trees.

Jim K - One of the nice things that Rapala likes about walleye fishing with jerk baits on Devils Lake is that the pike eat a dozen of 'em a day!

Ristorapper - If I had to pick one tourney, would it be Devils Lake or Chamberlain Jim?

Chatman - A nice profit generator, those Northern pike....

Jim K - Were working with NPAA at Chamberlain for a major youth deal, thanks to the NPAA. They'll use the PWT trailer. 

gooch - You're not kidding Jim! I loose at least seven each time!!

Jim K - If an amateur had one choice, I would say Chamberlain, because by July, you could also fish Devils Lake.

Backwater Eddy (ND) - Just use 7 strand steel leaders, and you'll save a lot of cash at Devils Lake.

FRANK C - Hi Jim! What happened to Dan Sura?

Jim K - Yes, I use titanium leaders, and the walleyes don't care. Normark does not sponsor this tip.

Chatman - LOL! Good point though Jim. If pike are a problem, a fine, tough wire leader is the ticket.

Ristorapper - How long Eddy so as not to interfere with the action of a crank bait?

Jim K - Dan Sura was my boss when I first worked for In-Fish, way back in the early 1990's. He is fishing more, and working with the Glorvigens, and traveling and reading Harry Potter books.

Backwater Eddy (ND) - 16-20"

Backwater Eddy (ND) - LOL!

Jim K - Actually, when talking about other fish, expect lots more bass in Winnebago this year.

Ristorapper - # T

ericak - Can Lake Winnebago support a bass tourney?

Chatman - This year? While pre-fishing the Merc. National last year, I caught bass in places I never have before, they were everywhere, both large and smallmouth.

Jim K - Winnebago has as many bass tournaments as walleye tournaments, only they pay so little money, not much is made of them. Most fishing is on the up-river lakes.

Chatman - The Winnebago system has several bass tourneys already Erica..

ericak - Cool, I didn't know.

Jim K - Al is doing fine, and a few prayers will be welcome as his wife goes in for heart valve repair surgery in a week.

Chatman - You can count on it Jim.

Ristorapper - Are the big fish payouts going to be the same, based on a full field, Jim?

FRANK C - Do you think the PWT will come to Ontario Lakes? 

Chatman - Has Jim missed any questions so far?

ericak - Jim, other than walleye, or perch via ice, what is your favorite fish to chase?

Jim K - Probably bluegills under the ice with 1/80 ounce jigs and plastic and 1 # line.

Jim K - I saw a question about the big fish payout. I will know more as the fields are set.

Jim K - If all can spread the word and let amateurs know space is available in PWT tournaments, it will be appreciated.

Chatman - I'm sure it will hit the message boards here soon as well Jim.

Jim K - If any anglers have specific questions, e-mail me at work, Jimalkofen@cowles.com

eric - How does the amateur format work on the PWT?

FRANK C - What does it cost to fish the PWT as an Amateur?

gooch - Jim, I tell a lot of people about it and they express interest.

ericak - Jim, what new things for the website this year?

FRANK C - As an amateur, do we need our own rods, tackle and such?

Jim K - The amateur fee is $575 for 3 days with some of the great names in the walleye world. They provide the gear the tackle and take you to their best spots and want you to catch fish! It is a boat-weight format. The fish count for both anglers.

Chatman - You enter, show up and fish basically. Is there anything an amateur should bring though?

ericak - Jim what about the cool fantasy game for this year?

eric - Cool, I was on a waiting list a couple of times for the pro am's, never did get to go.

Jim K - There will be more on the sites, with advance news stories that won't be printed in Walleye In-Sider for months. Check it out. www.in-fisherman.com. Then go to the tournament link.

Jim K - The PWT fans can follow and play a free fantasy game with great prizes on the ESPN fantasy site. Coming soon

ericak - Very cool. Glad to see it return.

Chatman - And like our fantasy game, yours is now free?

Jim K - Now is the time to enter as an amateur. Space is available at all sites. Some more than others.

Jim K - Hey Chatman, other questions??

Jim K - What did I miss??

Chatman - Any more questions for Jim as we wind down? Now is your chance....

Bigfoot - Payout for Championship?

gooch - Chatman, I fished as an amateur for five years, just bring your lunch box, and a sense of humor!

eric - Have you ever fished the Kinzua Jim?

Jim K - Championship payout is $100,000 to Bigfoot!!

big fish - I never got your pick for Angler of the Year, Jim.

Bigfoot - $32,000 for the boat plus how much in cash?

FRANK C - Hey Jim, any Canadians fish the PWT as Pros?

Jim K - I have never fished walleyes in PA, but Iwill one of these years. Invitations are welcome. Also, if you have info, send it to me at In-Fish with a photo for the In-Sider.

Chatman - Well folks, the hour has come and gone........... last questions for Jim Kalkofen?

ericak - Frank, there have been many Canadians in the past, Horoky, Mellon to name a few.

eric - Good luck this year Jim!

Jim K - Quite a few Canucks in the fields again.

Jim K - The complete list of pros will be posted on the PWT site within two weeks. Check it out.

ericak - Thanks Jim, I look forward to seeing you on the trail and the TV show!!!

Chatman - Ladies and Gentlemen, a warm round of applause for Jim Kalkofen of the PWT!!!!

Jim K - See you on tour!

ericak - Thanks, clap, clap, clap, clap!

Backwater Eddy (ND) - Thanks Jim, good luck in 2002.

Chatman - Clap, clap, clap, clap!!!!

big fish - Clap, clap, clap!

gooch - Keep the line tight Jim, see you on the trail!

Jim K - Thanks all!