FLW Walleye Tour-Escanaba, MI July 23rd-26th
Day 3 AM
Story and Photos by Julia Davis
Join us on our LIVE WEBCAST once again today at http://mfile.akamai.com/48983/live/reflector:36237.asx?bkup=49476 (Predicted bad weather during the weigh-in today may affect the webcast)
Day 3 AM of the FLW Walleye Tour/Escanaba, MI
Day 3 of the FLW Walleye Tour at Escanaba started with a warm wind from the South and temperatures in the mid to high 60's. Cloud cover will make for a more comfortable day on the water for the 125 competitors as they search for a limit of Walleye today.
Today's forecast is:
A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 79. Southwest wind between 9 and 13 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Going out in first place today is Pat Byle of Colgate, WI. Pat has 39.14 pounds.
Juls: Are you confident in your bite, Pat? Do you think you can hang on to the lead after the day is done today?
Pat: I think I can get 5 fish. My fish are not as big as some of the hogs being brought in by some of the other guys, but so far 20 pounds a day is what it's taking, so I'm going to go out and try to get another 20 pounds today. I'm pretty confident I can do that.
Tomorrow I may have to roll the dice, if I want to go for the win. We'll see what happens...we'll see what shakes out. If by some miracle I could end up with another pound or two ahead today, then I might not have to roll those dice tomorrow.
It's a great feeling to know that you're fishing tomorrow.
Juls: Are you a little nervous going out today?
Pat: I'm actually a little bit nervous...yes. There's more and more boats showing up where I've been fishing, so that may have a negative impact.
Going out in second place today is Chad Schilling of Akaska, SD. Chad is only 1.64 pounds behind Pat Byle with 37.50 pounds
Juls: "Chad, It looks like you're looking at the backside of someone once again. What's up with that?", I tease.
Chad: Yeah...I'm looking at the back end of a guy today, and that obviously wasn't the plan! I can't say I had a tough day yesterday. I had a lot of bites, and there's a lot of guys that wish they could say they had the bites, so I'm not going to down grade it. But, things didn't work right yesterday. You have those days where you're not feeling it, and you're not doing things right, and I missed most of my waypoints yesterday, like I was talking about the day before, but I just kept smiling and said, "there's enough of them there and we'll stumble into one sooner or later".
We caught two quick. The camera boat had pulled in, and his wake hit me, and the board went back, and we caught one for the camera boat, so I thought, "hey...here we go!" But, it was four hours before we had another bite.
We picked away at it, and we got one when we needed them, and the last hour was good to us, but it was just....I don't know...it was just a fun day. I'm just glad we got through it. For some reason, on these Great Lakes on day 2, I always seem to trip a little, and I knew it was coming (he says laughing), but we managed to get through it while still being in contention, so that's a great thing.
Juls: What were the conditions out there yesterday? Was it windy? Was it calm? What?
Chad: It was miserably flat...and, that's not good. You and I were talking about how no winds (direction) really hurt me on the spot I'm fishing...well, "no" wind really hurt me! You don't want it calm. I mean, definitely, when the winds blowing here, the fish are biting a lot better.
Juls: Well, you're still in very good contention for winning this event...(he chimes in before I can get the rest of the question out)
Chad: That's the plan! No other spots is what we're looking for...first is where we’re headed. I got through yesterday, so now I should have two monster days ahead of me! (He's laughing again). So, it's going to be fun! Confidence and "BS", I have both of those going for me, so we're laughing.
"Mr. Tiller", Pete Harsh, is making a run at the win here too, and is sitting in 6th place going out today. Pete, who hails from Sauk Centre, MN has 32.13 pounds right now, and if he bags another big weight today, and the leaders fail to get on their fish, he could win it. Not only is he after the tournament win, he's trying to secure the AOY title too!
Juls: Pete, you're doing very well in this event this week. I'm guessing that you've probably already secured the title of AOY. How do you feel going out today?
Pete: I feel good. I hope I can just catch some more fish today. It's been a long time between bites...it's pretty nerve wracking, but it sure is exciting when you get one of those big ones on, and you finally get it in the net and in the bottom of the boat! I'm just going to go out and do my best today. I've had some of the best co anglers working with me, so that's always a big help.
Ted Takasaki is sitting in 64th place after yesterday, but that isn't going to stop him from trying to retain his number one spot on the AOY roster. After a zero on day one, Ted managed to find some fish yesterday. He and his co angler brought 3 fish to the scales yesterday for a total weight of 9.6 pounds. If he manages to catch a limit of big fish today, and Pete flops, then he could very well be within reach of winning the AOY title too.
Juls: Ted, you're in the running for the AOY race too. In fact, before the start of this tournament, you were tied with Ron Seelhoff for first place with 421 points. Are you worried that you won't make enough points in this event to win the title?
Ted: The only thing that I'm worried about is, the day that everybody catches fish. I mean, Pete needs to catch a couple big fish, and I need to have a big weight today...(he laughs and corrects himself).... Or, maybe Pete DOESN'T need to catch any fish, and I need to catch a big weight!
Please join us again this afternoon as the coverage of the FLW Walleye Tour at Escanaba, MI continues.
If you can't make it down to the marina at Ludington Park, tune into Walleye Central's Live Leader Board and watch as the weights are loaded just seconds after they are announced on the FLW stage!
See you there!