Kirt Hedquist (r) and Troy Zupke (L) Takes Over Lead at the WalMart FLW Walleye League Championship on Lake Wissota
He's a quiet and humble man, but when the adreneline starts rushing, he's like every other human being on the planet. The knees start shaking and the heart gets to pumping very fast. It's a "drug" like no other! That's what happened to Kirt Hedquist of Lakeville, MN and his Co Angler, Troy Zupke of Fond du Lac, WI today when they caught a huge "kicker fish".
After filling his limit with small fish, they hooked into a real nice fish at about 1:30pm. This fish would catapult them both into the lead with 12.14 pounds and 13.3 pounds respectively.
Juls: Congrats on taking over the lead today! Can you tell our WC readers how your day on the water was today?
Kirt: It started out really slow compared to yesterday. It was a long morning before we got our first fish to the boat. And, even as slow as it was, those fish were going back. I played that game yesterday...trying to wait to go for the big ones. But, as slow as it was this morning, they were all going to go in the boat.
We stayed in the same general area all day long. Kind of worked around the plan I had, and just stuck with it. Couple fish here...couple fish there...some were keepers and finally we had 5 in the box.
Juls: But, at that time it's still nothing to really write home about?
Kirt: No. They're all 12 1/2's-13's. Just the pride of coming in with a full limit is what it amounted to. (Laughs) So, anyway, ah...I kind of used the same program all day long. It was about 1 o'clock and nothing was happening on the spots I had, and we had worked them pretty hard.
I figured I'd try one spot that I hadn't really tried. I had looked at it in prefishing and stuff, but didn't fish it yesterday. Out of a hunch, I decided to make a move and we caught one fish. I thought, "Wow". We kept on going, and made a loop, and got some lines tangled. We got that straightened out and made another pass. We caught another fish, so we turned around again. We lost another fish that was on, that could have been a decent fish, but we lost it and didn't see it. So, that was working out pretty good. We tried...um...we caught it on a certain color crankbait (they can't say yet since they still have to fish tomorrow), so we looked in the box and found another one just like it.
Juls: What time was it when you caught that fish?
Kirt: About 1:30 or quarter of two....so, anyway, it's 2:00pm now, and I decide we're going to go down and make one more pass down and come back up. And, I'm going to do what I did yesterday at the last minute, and that was put down a live bait rig.
5 minutes before I was goingto bring in the trolling rods, it was....was....the Co Angler says, "I've got a fish on!" He thinks it's a big one, and it's fighting like there's no tomorrow. We thought it was a Catfish at first. And, it's staying down...coming up...and staying down. I chased it with the kicker and used the motor to stay off the top of it. Troy's almost got it up and it makes one more big run. The last time up, I just couldn't believe it. It was a Walleye! I saw it's side....
Juls: So, at right about this time your knees are shaking?(laugh)
Kirt: Oh! It's beyond shaking. I almost fell out of the boat when I saw it. (laughs)
I scooped it up (he was the "net man")....I had an AWESOME Co Angler today....AWESOME! He did a fantastic job, and never trolled like that before. He did an awesome job and did what I asked him to do. I scooped the fish in, dropped it in the bottom of the boat, and he (meaning Troy) was visibly shaking. I set the fish down, and the crankbait popped out of the fish's mouth. We didn't even measure it. We picked it up and placed her in the livewell, and said, "why measure it"? :)
To view Kirt and Troy on stage, please see the link for "video 2". For Kirt's day 2 interview, please see the link for "video 3" on the Live Leader Board's FLW Walleye League's current event at www.liveleaderboard.com
In second place by a mere 7 ounces is Boater, Jullian Jones of Andover, MN with 12.7 pounds, and Co Angler, Tom Laveque of Saginaw, MI with 12.6 pounds.
Juls: How was your day on the water today, Jullian?
Jullian: It was outstanding! It was challenging for a couple hours...the fog rolled in and the fish really turned off. But, as soon as that fog cleared, it got exciting again.
We actually got a couple of fish right away. Our first over was right around 18 1/4, or so. Right when the fog cleared we caught another slot. Then, it got quiet again. (laughs)
Then, I guess it was about 12:30, and it started picking up again and we caught our 6th fish. It happened to be our big one, which was right around 6 pounds. We figured we didn't need to measure that one, because that was definitely over 18. (laughs again)
Juls:Well, congrats on your placing...we'll do another interview in the morning. Sleep good tonight!
In third place after two days of competition is the day one leader, Bernie Neuhaus, of Glencoe, MN with a total weight of 10-10. After having the largest weight yesterday, Bernie didn't manage any kicker fish today, but his lead yesterday was enough to get him in the top ten when he brought in only 3.6 pounds today. The third place Co Angler is, Todd Reider of Fond du Lac, WI. Todd has a total weight of 10-4 pounds.
Going out in the number 4 position tomorrow is, Dusty Minke of Forest Lake, MN. He's got a total weight of 10-5 pounds. His Co Angler tomorrow will be Steve Beasley of Macomb, MI. Steve has a total weight of 9.13 pounds.
In fifth place on the boater side is, Zach Kovar of Ottumwa, IA with a total weight of 9.12 pounds. In fifth place on the non-boater side is, Roy Hammond of New Berlin, WI with 9.10 pounds.
Paul DeVoss (L), who sits in 6th place right now, has been the first one to fill his limit each day. By 9:30 or 10am each day, he's been tied off at the dock with his fish...waiting for hours while he waits for the weigh in to begin. Yesterday, he didn't have any kicker fish, but had 5 perfect slots under 14 inches. Today, he caught an 18 1/2 inch Walleye, a 20 1/2 inch Walleye, and three more perfect slots to give him an even 6 pounds today, and a total weight of 9.6 pounds overall.
Paul mentioned that his girlfriend, Karen, calls him each morning and gives him a pep talk. She also plays his favorite "Knickleback" tune called, "The Way It Was" for him. He said, "I make all my Co's listen to that song every morning before we go out too". (chuckles)
Tomorrow, Paul's Co Angler will be 6th place ranked Co, Tim McClaran of Mansfield, OH with 8.14 pounds.
The person going out in 7th place on the boater side is, Jonathan Rhode of Kildeer, IL with a total weight of 9.0 pounds. On the non-boater side, Chet Babcock sits in 7th place with a total weight of 8.13 pounds.
In 8th place is boater, Jim Klein of Spring Valley, IL with 8.15 pounds and Co Angler Alan Kerkaert of Leavenworth, KS with 8.11 pounds.
In 9th place is boater, David Leach of Linwood, MI with 8.13 pounds and his Co Angler for tomorrow, Brian Wolter of Fond du Lac, has 8.9 pounds that carry over.
Rounding out the Top Ten for the FLW Walleye League Finals is boater, Michael David of Necedah, WI with a total weight of 8.13 pounds, and his Co Angler, Craig Cayemberg of Valders, WI with a total weight of 8.8 pounds.
For full results, please see the Live Leader Board and click on the Lake Wissota link inside the FLWWL's current event.
The top ten will fish one last day to determine who the 2009 Champion will be. The weigh in is scheduled for 4PM Central Time at the WalMart store located at the 53/29 interchange in Chippewa Falls.
A special shout out goes to the folks who are members of the Chippewa Rod and Gun Marina who have helped make this event as good as it is. They have gone above and beyond what was asked of them, and all the anglers had good words to say about the group on stage today. Without them, this event would have been as much fun.
Join us again tomorrow morning as we continue the Walleye Central Tournament Coverage with interviews of all top ten Boaters. Learn what techniques and presentations these men are using to catch all their fish here on Lake Wissota in Chippewa Falls, WI!
Hope to see you all there!