(Sep. 25, 2011 - Bismarck, N.D.)... EverStart Pro Dan Stier of Mina, S.D., caught five walleyes weighing 18 pounds, 14 ounces to win the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Missouri River. Stier had a four-day catch of 18 walleyes weighing 69-4. He won by more than 4-pounds over his closest competitor in an event featuring the top 40 pro and 40 co-anglers from the 2011 National Guard FLW Walleye Tour season. Stier took home $70,000 for his efforts.
"This is truly a dream come true for me," said Stier, who won his first FLW championship title. "This is one of the greatest moments of my life. I’ve had a bad year. I lost my dad in Feb. and two weeks later my grandmother so things were not all that great. I’ve had a lot of fishing mishaps this year and I was beginning to wonder if I would ever catch a break. But this...this is amazing.
"I ended the tournament where I started," Stier went on to say. "In the honey hole that we all fished this week. I was going down there just to play for one or two bites. It truly was a morning bite and I knew it was just a matter of time before the fish would replenish. The area had seen a lot of pressure all week so I was thinking if I could get one or two good bites early I would be okay. I had some areas in the main river where I was getting some pretty good action in the afternoon so figured as soon as I got my first two I would move into the river to catch the rest of my limit.
"I got my first fish within the first 20 minutes of the day. Fifteen minutes later I got my second fish. Then I lost the third fish that was probably 24 inches, landed the next fish and knew I wasn’t leaving that area. I had to stay there all day, the fish were back. At one point I lost four in a row that were all 20 to 25 inchers. Thankfully the lack of the fifth fish didn’t cost me the tournament.
"All week long I was either throwing a jig with plastics; Gulp! Minnows and Bass Pro. When the fish stopped biting the jig I would change up and start trolling crankbaits. Glo green was the color that seemed to work best for me this week.
Rounding out the top 10 pros are:
|2nd: ||Walmart pro Dean Arnoldussen ||Appleton, Wis. ||19 walleyes ||64-15 ||$29,000 |
|3rd: ||OFF! pro Chris Gilman ||Chisago City, Minn. ||20 walleyes ||63-8 ||$18,000 |
|4th: ||David Andersen ||Amery, Wis. ||20 walleyes ||62-12 ||$8,000 |
|5th: ||National Guard pro Bill Shimota ||Lonsdale, Minn. ||18 walleyes ||61-1 ||$10,000 |
|6th: ||Tommy Skarlis ||Waukon, Iowa ||16 walleyes ||58-15 ||$7,750 |
|7th: ||National Guard pro Mark Courts ||Harris, Minn. ||20 walleyes ||56-10 ||$6,500 |
|8th: ||Tom Kemos ||Oconomowoc, Wis. ||20 walleyes ||55-9 ||$4,000 |
|9th: ||Keith Kavajecz ||Kaukauna, Wis. ||16 walleyes ||51-2 ||$3,000 |
|10th: ||Kevin Carstensen ||Merrill, Wis. ||15 walleyes ||44-14 ||$3,250 |
Todd Dankert of Anoka, Minn., earned the Co-angler championship title on Saturday and took home $7,000. His three-day weight totaled 58 pounds, 12 ounces. He fished with OFF! pro Chris Gilman, David Andersen and Tommy Skarlis during the tournament.
Overall there were 34 walleyes weighing 92 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 10 pros Sunday. The catch included four five-walleye limits.
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