FLW Walleye Tour - Championship
Mississippi River - Quad Cities (Oct. 25-28, 2012)
DAVENPORT, Iowa – When you take the top walleye anglers in the world and put them on a body of water with a sub-par bite, you expect to see the cream rise to the top. And that was exactly the case on day one of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Mississippi River.
After finishing the points race in 10th place overall and capturing two top-10 finishes on Tour, Danny Plautz appeared to keep the momentum rolling into the championship.
“This year I really tried to do a lot more off the water studying,” said the 30-year-old pro. “Before every event I really tried to look at my Navionics maps at home to really try and figure out key areas that I felt would be prime fish-catching spots.”
With low current welcoming the anglers to the Mississippi, Plautz discovered an area that looked to have more current. When Plautz put his boat in for the first day of practice, he ran right to the area he had found on his maps. It turns out that the spot produced a few overs, and Plautz never went back until today.
The Madison, Wis., pro, along with co-angler Anthony Erdmann of Watertown, Wis., was the only team to bring five fish to the scale. Their weight for the day settled at 8 pounds, 14 ounces , which puts them 1-13 in front of their closest competitor.
“I fished the other pools in practice but the one spot I found was on Pool 16,” said Plautz. “I had the spot to myself, it’s not very big, but it’s pretty much the only spot I have. The big thing about it is that it has current and rocks. I had to go where I was confident today, and that spot is it.”
Plautz noted that he is pitching baits up to the rocks in the current and that color is very important. He also said that they would get a bite almost every hour. With the fish being in a negative mood, the way that Plautz is presenting his bait is the key to trigger bites.
Plautz is hopeful that is spot will produce again tomorrow, and is confident he can claim his territory since he is one of the first boats to take off.
Takasaki, Wiehoff in second
Mercury pro Ted Takasaki of Sioux Falls, S.D., knew coming into this event that he wanted to go for the win. To accomplish that he figured he would have to run up to pool 14, where the biggest population of fat walleyes reside. Though he did not encounter any giants, Takasaki and co-angler Tom Wiehoff of Pierre, S.D., wrangled up three fish that weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce, which put them within striking distance of the top.
“Practice was pretty tough for me - like most guys - but I did manage to catch 27 ½-incher,” said Takasaki. “I knew there was good current on the spot I caught that fish so I figured that is where I would go come tournament day.
“It took a while to get the boat positioned correctly today with the wind and current,” continued Takasaki. “I was having trouble staying anchored until I realized that my Minn Kota Terrova with Spot-Lock would do the job. I needed to be able to hold in place so I could cast jigs at a small rock cluster. Without Spot-Lock, I wouldn’t have been able to catch the fish I did.”
Takasaki is focusing his attention on a small spot with rocks and some current. He is holding his boat in around 11 feet of water and pitching ½-ounce Lindy jigs with a ringworm and chunk of nightcrawler to the rocks.
Takasaki didn’t start fishing today until around 10:30 a.m., and had two keepers by 11:30. He then had to pack up so that he would be able to make it to the lock on time. His third fish came while he sat in pool 15 waiting for the next lock to open up.
His plan for tomorrow is to run back to the same spot and hopes to catch the big over he caught in practice.
McQuoid, St. Sauver take third
As one of only three anglers on the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour to have three titles under his belt, Kevin McQuoid looks to add another victory to his résumé this week. Starting the week off on a good note, the Isle, Minn., pro and co-angler Col. Scott St. Sauver of Little Falls, Minn., showed off an impressive 6-pound, 5-ounce, four-fish stringer.
McQuoid sampled all of the available fishing water during practice and found better quality up river. He didn’t like the lost fishing time that was spent running through the locks, so he decided to look for an area close to the launch.
What he found was a spot near the dam that is no bigger than a swimming pool. McQuoid says that he has company on his fishing grounds, but boats come and go throughout the day. He caught around 20 short walleyes today that were all within a quarter inch of being a keeper.
Parsons, Hummel and Przekurat, Janota tied
Veteran pro Gary Parsons of Glidden, Wis., and co-angler Randy Hummel of Jackson, Minn., battled the tough weather and even more difficult bite to bring three fish to the scales that weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces.
Parsons did mention that he was making the run up to the big-fish water of pool 14.
Chevy pro Jason Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis., and his co-angler Dale Janota of Gillette, Wyo., sit tied with Parsons/Hummel despite only catching two fish. Przekurat and Janota weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces, showing that they are on the right caliber of fish to keep them in the hunt for the title.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 teams from day one of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Mississippi River:
6th: Dusty Minke of Forest Lake, Minn., and co-angler Tyrone Larson of Amherst, Wis., 5-0.
7th: Todd Zemke of Red Wing, Minn., and co-angler Chris Augustyn of Holdrege, Neb., 4-6.
8th: Ryan Jirik of Rhinelander, Wis., and co-angler Msg. Leroy McCoy of Fridley, Minn., 4-3.
9th: Eric Olsen of Red Wing, Minn., and co-angler Steve Beasley of Macomb, Mich., 4-2.
10th: Mark Courts of Harris, Minn., and co-angler Bruce Frevert of Centerville, Iowa, 3-11.
Walleye fans take note
Anglers will take off from the Centennial Park Launch located at 315 S. Marquette St. in Davenport, Iowa at 7:30 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at the River Center located at 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport beginning at 4 p.m. daily.
The NPAA will be offering a free Youth and Family Fishing Clinic on Friday after the weigh-in beginning at 7 p.m. Prizes, including rods & reels, will be given away after the clinic. Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo at the River Center on Saturday and Sunday from noon-4 p.m. prior to the weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. On Sunday the first 300 children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult will receive a free rod and reel combo courtesy of the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau/Quad Cities Sports Commission. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a $500 Walmart gift card. The gift card giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.