STOIA WINS WAL-MART FLW WALLEYE LEAGUE MICHIGAN DIVISION EVENT ON SAGINAW RIVER
TRENTON, Mich. (May 15, 2006) - Boater Gregory Stoia of Fenton, Mich., earned $1,645 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League Michigan Division event on the Saginaw River. Stoia, along with co-angler Edward King of Perrysburg, Ohio, caught a five-walleye limit weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces to win by a mere 12 ounces.
Stoia and King trolled chartreuse Walleye Unlimited crawler harnesses in 16 to 18 feet of water to catch about 35 walleyes over the course of the day.
"We had three good fish on the first pass," said Stoia, who is ranked fourth in the Michigan Division. "After that we were culling all day. It took a while to get the little ones out of the box, but due to the sheer numbers of fish we caught, we were able to get a good weight."
Despite rain, heavy winds and 3- to 4-foot waves, the tournament was very competitive with the top five separated by less than two pounds.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Carl Velte of Wetmore, Mich. (five walleyes, 15 pounds, 13 ounces, $846); David Pinkowski of Westland, Mich. (five walleyes, 15 pounds, 3 ounces, $705 plus $300 contingency bonus); Kal Ustishen of New Lothrop, Mich. (five walleyes, 15 pounds, 1 ounces, $611); and Alan Szoke of Grosse Ile, Mich. (five walleyes, 14 pounds, 13 ounces, $423).
King earned $823 as winner of the Co-angler Division. Co-angler competitors share weight with their boater partner. Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Marc McCalebb of Saginaw, Mich. ($423); Larry Rhodes Sr. of Burlington, Ky. ($353); Don Ransom of Sault Sainte Marie, Mich. ($211); and William Mobley of Port Charlotte, Fla. ($153)
Three FLW Walleye League divisions - Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin - each feature three one-day events and one two-day Super Tournament during the regular season. Every angler who receives weight credit earns points, with 200 points awarded to the winner, 199 for second, 198 for third, and so on, except for Super Tournaments, which award 300 points to the winner, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings.
The top 35 boaters and 35 co-anglers from each FLW Walleye League division advance to the $141,950 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League Finals, set for Sept. 7-9 on Lake Michigan in Escanaba, Mich. Anglers finishing in the top 10 in each division also receive priority entry into the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour for 2007.
The Michigan Division's third stop will be held on Lake Erie June 17, followed by the Super Tournament presented by Evinrude Aug. 12-13 in Saginaw Bay.
The Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League was created to provide the grassroots walleye angler a chance to compete in professionally administered, close-to-home tournaments with lucrative cash awards.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League and nine other national tournament circuits offering a combined $36.9 million in awards through 241 events in 2006. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America's largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series 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.