PWT Hudson, WI
St. Croix & Mississippi
Oct. 15th-17th, 2008
Day 3AM Story and Photos by
The Last Day is a Sad
It's been 19 years since the very first In-Fisherman Professional
Walleye Trail tournament was held on Lake Mille Lacs in Minnesota back in 1989.
Today, we are witnessing the end of an era as the 79 Pros and Co Anglers fish
the final day of the last regular season event in the history of the PWT.
While many great anglers have come and gone over the years, there are still
several anglers that have fished the PWT since its inception, and some of those
anglers are here this week.
For a little change of pace, and some trivia fun, I've added the PWT
Tournament Records and Statistics below:
Big Fish Pro -
Dave Frey, Avon Lake, Ohio
2001 Detroit River,
Big Fish Amateur - 14.64 lbs.
John Solek, Indianapolis,
2000 Lake Erie, Port Clinton, Ohio
Smallest Legal Fish - .52 lbs. (15" walleye 2002)
LaCourse, Port Clinton, OH
2002 Missouri River, Chamberlain, SD
Oldest Angler to Win
Bruce "Doc" Samson, 57
Tail Lake, Ottertail, Minnesota
Will Lage, 57
1995 Lake Erie, Put-in-Bay,
Youngest Angler to Win
Chad Hall, 22
1990 Mille Lacs
Most 10-pound+ walleyes in one tournament
346 Lake Erie,
Port Clinton, OH 2002
16 walleyes @ 10 + lbs
13 walleyes @ 11+ lbs
walleyes @ 12+ lbs (Port Clinton, OH, 2002)
1 walleye @ 14+ lbs
Multiple PWT Tournament Winners
Ron Seelhoff (6)
Pete Harsh (4)
Bruce Samson (4)
Tommy Skarlis (4)
Chad Hall (3)
Chris Gilman (3)
Steve Fellegy (3)
Mike Gofron (3)
Mark Martin (3)
Gary Roach (2)
Scott Fairbairn (2)
Ron Anlauf (2)
Gary Gray (2)
Daryl Christensen (2)
Keith Kavajecz (2)
Shannon Kehl (2)
Dave Van Oss (2)
Bob Propst, Jr. (2)
St. Peter (2)
Dan Stier (2)
PWT Top Ten Money Winners
1 Ron Seelhoff,
Burlington, CO $676,642
2 Mike Gofron, Antioch, IL
3 Gary Parsons, Glidden, WI $580,591
Tommy Skarlis, Waukon, IA $465,950
5 Perry Good, Brainerd,
6 Keith Kavajecz, Kaukauna, WI $432,358
Pete Harsh, Sauk Centre, MN $398,345
8 Bill Ortiz, Richland
Center, WI $382,466
9 Mark Martin, Twin Lake, MI
10 Scott Fairbairn, Hager City, WI $331,266
Angler of the Year
PWT RECORDS BROKEN ; LAKE ERIE 2002
New Record 53.20 lbs. Ted Takasaki, Brainerd, MN
Old Record 48.48
lbs. Norb Wallock, Conover, WI (2002)
HEAVIEST 3- DAY CATCH
New Record 138.28 lbs. Tommy Skarlis, Walker,
Old Record 132.56 lbs. Steve Bissett, Garrison, MN (1992)
MOST WALLEYES OVER 10 Lbs.
New Record 346
Old Record 35 (2000)
MOST DAILY CATCHES OVER 40 Lbs.
New Record 150
Old Record 55 (1992)
MOST 12 Lbs. WALLEYE IN A TOURNAMENT
New Record 21
Old Record 6
(Detroit River, 2001)
MOST 10 Lbs. WALLEYE IN A SEASON
New Record 346 (and counting)
Record 52 (2000)
HEAVIEST TOURNAMENT AVERAGE WEIGHT
New Record 7.90 lbs.
Old Record 7.26
lbs. (Lake Erie, 1993)
CALMEST TOURNAMENT CONDITIONS
Tie: Lake Erie 2002, Lake Erie, 1991, Lake
Norfork, AR 1996
Day 3 Morning Story:
The conditions this morning as the anglers headed out were in one word,
"calm". There was no wind, and the temps were in the low to mid 40's this
morning. The skies were cloudy and there is a chance for some showers on and off
for most of the morning.
No one is safe from a fall from the top
ten. As we saw yesterday, anyone can stumble and have a bad day after doing so
well on day one, but it also goes the other way too. Someone who struggled the
first day came back to whack and stack a good bag yesterday. It's still anyone's
tournament to win this afternoon!
Todd Riley is struggling, but
after a decent day 1 finish and a slight stumble yesterday, the Ranger/Evinrude
Pro is sitting in 28th place going out today. He talked to us this morning and
told us his thoughts about today's strategy.
I had two different strategies to fish this thing. One was to just get through
it, and try to get a decent place finish, and grab some Ranger Cup money. But,
it's hard to lay down and not swing for the fence at each and every one of these
events...especially when I knew there was some good fish available. The first
day, I was lucky enough to get one, and of course with our one day "Shootout"
coming up tomorrow...being on "those" is going to be pretty critical for the one
day tournament.But, as it's turning out, I'm probably shooting myself in the
foot here for a paycheck at this event...and, some Ranger Cup money after it's
all said and done.
Juls: So, what's your plan
Todd: (He rolls his eyes at me) I
hadn't really thought about that yet. I'm going to try to play "catch up" again.
And, hopefully before it's "too little too late", I'll recover a limit of small
fish, and hopefully it will be enough to squeak me in.
Next in line
to roll up to me in his big fancy Evinrude wrapped truck and boat is the 6th
place seated Pro, Rick Olson of Mina Lake, SD. After a quick "congrats", I
asked him what his day was like yesterday and what he planned to do today.
Here is what he had to say about that.
do everything the same. Other than the cloud cover...I don't like that...other
than that...well, we don't have any wind (like yesterday) which is all right. I
would like to see Sun, but I don't think we're going to get that. We'll just go
out and hope for the best.
Juls: Well, you're fishing that
"Shootout" tomorrow, so I suppose you can't give me any presentation info yet,
Rick: Trollin, Trollin, Trollin....(he
grins) Ah, I'm just trolling with Shad Raps and Minnow Raps with Fireline out
the back of the boat...nothing fancy.
Chase drives up next with a
big Mercury powered Tracker with a FinTech wrap gracing its sides...he's happy
to share his thoughts, but as I ask him this question, the trucks start moving
up again and we run out of time before he has to launch...he told us what he
could in the short amount of time he had.
Juls: Good morning
Chase! You had a really good day yesterday...can you tell us how your day went
and what you plan to do today?
Chase: Yeah, a
good day! Just short of 18 pounds. I actually had nothing at about 12:30, so I
was pretty happy to get that! I'll go out there today, and hopefully find some
active fish again.
Juls: On day one your Dad, Gary, did
well...but, you didn't, and on day 2 you turned the tables on him and you did
well, but he struggled. Are you guys fishing the same area and it's just a
matter of who is getting bit and who
Chase: Well, kind of...it kind of
The first day he got them in a different area than where I got them
yesterday, but we are fishing the same presentations, so it's just a matter of
finding an active school.
Juls: Thanks Chase! Good luck
John Kolinski, the Triton/Mercury Pro from Greenville,
WI has a little more time to share with us, so I ask him what his thoughts are
about fishing the one day "Shootout" after an event like this
John: It's a little different fishing two
tournaments back to back on the same body of water, and the reason for that is,
that you want to save enough fish for both tournaments.
I mean, we have a
couple different areas where we think we can get some bigger fish. We stop in
there from day to day at this tournament, and we do catch some bigger fish
there...we're just hoping that it holds up, but we don't know how long it's
going to hold.
The question is, do you burn it up now for this tournament and
just say, "the heck with it on the shootout", or do you save it for the shootout
and win basically the "World Championship"?
It's a hard decision to make. It's the hardest thing about this tournament.
It's a little stressing on the mind.
The thing is, you always want to go there and you want to win! I mean, you
want to catch the big fish!
Juls: Is this someplace that
everyone seems to be going?
John: We really
haven't seen any other boats there. So, it's going to be interesting. I've
stopped there and caught some decent fish. Tommy Skarlis stopped in there and
caught a couple decent fish. And, Tommy Kemos stopped in there and caught one
decent fish. So, we're just stopping and checking to make sure they're still
there. We want to catch them on that last day. We don't even know if it's big
enough for all of us either. It's going to be interesting.
Bite license plate comes into view...I know who that is! Keith Kavajecz! His rig
is identical to Chase and Gary's, so it's not hard to
Juls: Morning Keith...I saw that you were sitting in the
top ten as of this morning...congrats! Can you share with the Walleye Central
readers how your day went yesterday and what your plans are for
Keith: Well, actually I was telling my
partner here, I've had two fairly tough days. The first day I caught two fish
for 10 pounds in the first hour and a half, and yesterday I caught 13 pounds,
but it was in the last hour and half, so it seems like it's feast or famine
here. I just hope we get a nice long consistent day of catching fish all day.
But, I don't know if that will happen or not.
It's a matter here of, the fish kind of move up and down. They eat quick and
then they leave. So, if your bait happens to be in the right spot, at the right
time, they'll bite it. The right bait obviously...we're all running those
Flicker Shads on Leadcore...and running them fast...at 3mph...trying to elicit a
strike, so it's just a matter of covering ground.
Chase, Gary, and I are all
fishing in similar areas or the same areas, but kind of rotating between about 5
(note: I had his permission to reveal the presentation/baits
The next Next Biter to pull up is the last of the tremendous
trio, Gary Parsons.
Juls: Morning Gary. On day one you did
well, while Chase struggled, and yesterday you struggled while Chase did well.
Are you all fishing the same area and it's just a matter of who gets bit and who
doesn't each day?
Gary: You know it's hard to
say with what we're doing. You get anywhere from 8 to a dozen bites a day,
and that's intermixed with Sheephead and Catfish, and if you get the right ones
with the right colored sides to them, you can come in with a pretty big
I had enough bites yesterday...I lost a couple nice Walleye,
so....(he changes thoughts here)
I just didn't execute worth a damn. (He seems disgusted with the
Juls: So, has your game plan changed at all for today?
Or, will you go and do what you've been doing the past couple of
Gary: I'm going to close this
tournament trolling like I did. Tomorrow, I'm probably going to pitch and jig,
trying to go for three or four or five big fish to try and win the championship.
I'm not going to troll. It's too up and down. We thought the trolling
would be more consistent and would last over the three days, but I don't think
it's the way to win a one day event here. So, I'm probably changing her up
Juls: Well, good luck guys! Have a great day out
Join us this afternoon as we continue the live
coverage of the last PWT event on the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers from
Lakefront Park in Hudson, WI.
The weigh in will begin at 4pm
Tomorrow, 50 of the country's best pros will compete
in a one day "Championship Shootout", where the winner will walk away with a
cool $50,000.00 cash!