Fishing & Boating News

Hanson Wins Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League Minnesota Division Event On Mississippi River

Minnesota Division

by: Dave Washburn, vp comm, FLW Outdoors

(May. 01, 2006 - RED WING, MN.) Boater Don Hanson of Menomonie, Wis., earned $2,905 Saturday as winner of the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League Minnesota Division event on the Mississippi River. Hanson, along with co-angler Tim Bliss of Burnsville, Minn., caught a five-walleye limit weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounce to win by nearly 4 pounds. Despite rough, windy conditions, Hanson and Bliss were able to land several trophy-sized fish within 10 minutes of the launch site. They caught the majority of their walleyes vertical jigging and pitching jigs along the shoreline in 8 to 11 feet of water, catching mainly postspawn fish. The team was using hair jigs tipped with fathead minnows in a wide array of colors. "There was hardly and fishing pressure, I had the spot all to myself," Hanson said. Rounding out the top five boaters were Alan Sholts of Alexandria, Minn. (five walleyes, 20 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,494 plus $400 contingency bonus); Chris Pluntz of Maple, Wis. (three walleyes, 19 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,245 plus $300 contingency bonus); Brent Rothgarn of Lake City, Minn. (five walleyes, 18 pounds, 14 ounces, $1,079 plus $250 contingency bonus); and Leon Houle of Lino Lakes, Minn. (five walleyes, 18 pounds, $747). Bliss earned $1,453 and a $250 Contingency award as winner of the Co-angler Division with five walleyes weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounces. Co-angler competitors share weight with their boater partner. Rounding out the top five co-anglers were Alan Schultz of Apple Valley, Minn. (five walleyes, 20 pounds, 4 ounces, $747); Ricky Schultz of Farmington, Minn. (three walleyes, 19 pounds, 5 ounces, $623); Darrell Martin of Forest Lake, Minn. (five walleyes, 18 pounds, 14 ounces, $539) and Rodney Horgen of Deer River, Minn. (five walleyes, 18 pounds, $373). Three FLW Walleye League divisions - Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin - each feature three one-day events and one two-day Super Tournament during the regular season. Every angler who receives weight credit earns points, with 200 points awarded to the winner, 199 for second, 198 for third, and so on, except for Super Tournaments, which award 300 points to the winner, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings. The top 35 boaters and 35 co-anglers from each FLW Walleye League division advance to the $141,950 Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League Finals, set for Sept. 7-9 on Lake Michigan in Escanaba, Mich. Anglers finishing in the top 10 in each division also receive priority entry into the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour for 2007. The Minnesota Division's second stop will be held on Lake Mille Lacs May 20, followed by an event on Cass Lake June 24 and the Super Tournament presented by Evinrude July 22-23 on the Mississippi RIver. The Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League was created to provide the grassroots walleye angler a chance to compete in professionally administered, close-to-home tournaments with lucrative cash awards. Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League and nine other national tournament circuits offering a combined $36.9 million in awards through 241 events in 2006. The 27-year-old organization is the purveyor of America's largest and most prestigious fishing tournaments, including the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Stratos Owners' Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series. For more information on FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, call (270) 252-1000. Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as title sponsor of the FLW Tour in 1997 and today is the title sponsor of all FLW Outdoors events.