FLW Walleye Tour-Escanaba, MI July 23rd-26th
Day 2 PM
Story and Photo by Julia Davis
Pat Byle Takes Over the Lead on Day 2 of the FLW 'Eye Tour at Bay De Noc
It was another tough day for 50 competitors who fished hard, but came up empty when their boats were due back in this afternoon. 125 anglers left the docks this morning in hopes of finding two big walleye over 23 inches and three 'eyes just under the 23 inch mark. Only 5 Pros and 5 Co Anglers would manage to fulfill that goal today. Only 5 limits were brought in to the scales, however, many pros were able to find one or two "over" fish to stay in the hunt for a championship berth, while many others brought in 1-4 slot fish to weigh in.
If you noticed, there was one more angler on the roster today. FLW Pro, Jeff Edwards, rejoined the tournament today, after a day one absence due to a funeral he needed to attend to yesterday.
Starting out with 52 other anglers who zeroed yesterday, Edwards managed to separate himself from them by weighing in three fish today for 16.10 pounds, landing him in 30th place.
Taking over the first place position on the Pro side is Ranger/Evinrude Pro, Pat Byle of Colgate, WI. Pat and his Co Angler, Pete Stasney of New Prague, MN brought in a 5 fish limit weighing in at 19-13 pounds to add to Pat's day one total of 20-1 pounds for a total of 39.14 pounds.
"It's a great fishery", said Pat. "There are many ways to catch fish here...jigs, jigging spoons, spinners, trolling crank baits...anything you want to do to catch fish. There are rivers you can go into too. But, really, I just love the country up here. Even in the middle of summer it's always cool, and at night it's just beautiful."
"I got fortunate", he continues. "My fish from yesterday moved and when I realized they were gone, we just went looking. we marked a school of fish and just sat up on them, and we got two right away. That just takes a lot of pressure off. Then we were able to just go look around and we found another little school and pulled three more off it. Then we just went hog hunting the rest of the day. I just couldn't get the BIG fish. We didn't get anything over 25 inches today. I was getting them pre-fishing... fish that were 27-28 inches, but I just can't seem to get them during the tournament. There are two days left, and hopefully I'll get on them and make the top ten, but I'll take what I can. I'm real happy with 20 pounds a day."
Dropping to second place is the G3/Yamaha Pro, Chad Schilling. Chad only had 4 fish for 15.1 pounds today, for a total of 37.5 pounds.
The rest of the best on the Pro side are:
3rd Place: Joshua Vanderweide with 37.1 pounds
4th Place: Kim Papineau with 34.13 pounds
5th Place: Tom Keenan with 33.6 pounds
6th Place: Pete Harsh with 32.13 pounds
7th Place: Nick Heelein with 28.13 pounds
8th Place: Lynn Hanisko with 28.9 pounds
9th Place: Jesse Buechel with 27.9 pounds
10th Place: Mark Courts with 25.4 pounds
In the first place position on the Co Angler side is Jerry Miller of Lowell, IN with 39.15 pounds. Co Anglers share their pros weight each day, so it's not uncommon to see a Co's weight higher than the first place pro's weight, as is the case in this instance. Jerry fished with Tom Vanderweide today, and helped bring in just over 19 pounds...adding to the 20 plus pounds he caught with Nick Heelien yesterday.
The rest of the best on the Co Angler side are:
2nd Place: Kim Knudson with 36.6 pounds
3rd Place: Heath Fremstad with 32.7 pounds
4th Place: Pete Stasney with 31.5 pounds
5th Place: Fred Gordon with 31.2 pounds
6th Place: Jimmy Cox with 29.9 pounds
7th Place: Jason Sullivan with 28.15 pounds
8th Place: Shannon Larson with 24.9 pounds
9th Place: John Kopcok with 24.8 pounds
10th Place: Justin Steinke with 24.2 pounds
One more day of competition will determine who will be fishing in the top ten on the fourth and final day, Saturday.
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Southwest wind between 8 and 13 mph.
The weigh in will be held at the Escanaba Municipal Marina again tomorrow, but the FLW will move the weigh in site to the Wal*Mart on Saturday morning.
Tomorrow's weigh in will begin once again at 3PM ET. Please join us here on Walleye Central for continued coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour at Escanaba!
The live webcast is dependant upon good weather....electronics and water is not a good thing dont'cha know!