JEROWSKI WINS WAL-MART FLW WALLEYE LEAGUE FINALS ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
WINONA, Minn. (Sept. 10, 2005) - Pro Mitchell Jerowski of Winona went wire to wire catching 14 walleyes over the course of three days weighing 49 pounds, 6 ounces to win the $115,000 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League Finals tournament on the Mississippi River near Winona. Surviving a late charge by Tim Chick also of Winona, Jerowski won a fully rigged Ranger 621 equipped with a Yamaha or Evinrude outboard, EverStart Batteries, Garmin electronics and a Minn Kota trolling motor - a total package valued at $45,000.
"Every one of my fish came on a willow cat," Jerowski said. "I was anchoring on the upstream side of the wing dams and bouncing my live baits along the rocks where there was current."
Fishing wing dams was the key this week as most of the top finishers were doing the same thing. Jerowski targeted several different wing dams and would revisit the productive ones as many as three times throughout each day of the tournament.
"I've fished this stretch of the river all my life, but I found two new areas a week ago that I've never fished," he said. They produced for us during the tournament." Jerowski admitted it was tough fishing, as he went through more than 60 No.1 Gamakatsu Octopus hooks during the tournament. "I would just bounce the willow cats along in the areas I could find current. The baits got hung up a lot, but if they didn't, you could usually catch a good walleye."
Rounding out the top five boaters are Tim Chick of Winona (14 walleyes, 46 pounds, 6 ounces; $4,000); Leonard Jamison of Hager City, Wis. (14 walleyes, 45 pounds; $3,500); Luke Kersten of Boyceville,Wis. (12 walleyes, 31 pounds, 13 ounces; $2,000); and Alan Sholts of Alexandra (12 walleyes, 23 pounds, 4 ounces; $1,900).
David Palecek of Green Bay, Wis., won the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 15 walleyes weighing 45 pounds, 7 ounces. He earned a fully rigged Ranger 620 valued at $40,000. He fished with Jerowski on Saturday.
David Palecek of Green Bay, Wis., won the Co-angler Division and earned the first-place prize, a fully rigged Ranger 620 valued at $40,000. "It was extremely hot here today but we had a lot of fun," Palacek said. "I won another smaller tournament last week, but this is the biggest win in my career. I plan to fish the boater division next year in my new Ranger boat."
Palacek praised his boater partners for his win. "I wouldn't call these guys boaters," he said. "I would call them professionals because that's how they act."
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Todd Shirkman of Gibraltar, Mich. (15 walleyes, 42 pounds, 11 ounces; $2,000); Jeff Sass of Waupun, Wis. (13 walleyes, 41 pounds, 5 ounces; $2,100); Zachary Jerry of Deer River (10 walleyes, 37 pounds, 5 ounces; $1,000); and Marcus Berscheid of St. Joseph (13 walleyes, 31 pounds, 8 ounces; $600).
Boaters and co-anglers who finished in the top 35 in final points standings in each FLW Walleye League division advanced to this no-entry-fee tournament.
FLW Walleye League boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired and fish for a combined boat weight, with boaters competing against other boaters and co-anglers competing against other co-anglers. The full field competed Thursday and Friday and were cut to the top 15 boaters and co-anglers for Saturday's final round. Winners are determined by the heaviest three-day weight.
The Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League meets the needs of America's fishing masses by providing professionally administered, close-to-home, affordable events with lucrative cash purses. Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League and seven other national tournament circuits offering a combined $30 million in awards through 214 events in 2005. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America's largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, EverStart Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series.
For more information on FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events. For more information on Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.