Paulson and Ebel Headed North to Win the National Guard’s FLW Walleye Tour in Oconto, WI
July 23, 2011
A local fishing guide on the Bay of Green Bay and the Bays de Noc, Steve Paulson, of Peshtigo, WI almost left the winning fish during a “lull” close to late morning, but he decided to stick it out and was rewarded with a huge basket of 5 Walleye weighing in at 32.6 pounds. It was the largest weight for the tournament and garnered this hard working husband and Father with a check for $55,000.00 and a beautiful trophy for his home, office, or Man Cave.
“This is going on my mantle tonight”, Steve says with a huge smile holding up the trophy with pride and admiration. “This is crazy! This is a dream come true, no doubt, this is the real deal! These are the best Walleye Tournament anglers in the world, and I was competing against them, and I won!
I ask, “What does that make you?” He looks puzzled and asks, “What does that make me?” I yell out, “One of the BEST!” He laughs a shy laugh showing how humble he is at the thought of actually being ranked among the “best”, but he’s certainly worthy of the title of Champion, and I’m sure he will enjoy this win and cherish the memories for the rest of his life.
When I asked what he planned to do with 55G’s he just shook his head in wonderment and said, “I haven’t had any time to think about it; it hasn’t even sunk in yet. It doesn’t seem real.” I mention that he shouldn’t worry about that since he is married with children. “They will spend it for you”, I said with a laugh.
What is real is the fact that Steve, and his Co Angler today, Joe Ebel, of Waukesha, WI were fishing an area “up north” where he has been fishng entirely by himself each day. “I didn’t see any other boats all day long on either day”, he said.
After three days of competition Steve Paulson managed to put 92.5 pounds in the boat to win the tournament by over 11 pounds! I asked him what he was doing to catch his fish this morning and he said:
Steve: I was pulling crawler harnesses with snap weights over structure. I just think sometimes they want to see a different movement than what the inline weight shows. I’m fishing some small humps. The spot is hard to fish and I was making maybe 4-10 minutes passes where I had to pick up and get right back on it. It was a lot of work. It’s not easy fishing there at all.
Juls: How about colors? What’s been working best for you?
Steve: Gold has been working well. Green has been good, so I stuck with them. Every once in a while I thought about switching up, but I knew I had to stick with what works. I was only catching maybe a fish an hour, so I wasn’t really “smoking” them. I think I only caught 7 or 8 fish total.
Juls: Are these fish tight to the structure or are they suspended up off of them?
Steve: They’re suspended. It seems like as soon as you fall off the humps or as you’re coming up on it, is when we would catch them. It’s totally different than what everyone else was doing.
In second place on the Pro side is Danny Plautz of Muskego, WI with a three day weight of 80.13 pounds. Danny won $15,000.00 cash to take home. The second place Co Angler is Daniel Leach of Linwood, MI who is taking home $3,000.00 for his time and efforts this past week too.
Third place goes to Ryan Jirik of Rhinelander, WI with 79 pounds 11 ounces and took home a check for $10,000.00. The third place Co Angler is MSG Leroy McCoy of Fridley, MN with 78 pounds 15 ounces won $1800.00.
Fourth place and a check for $8,000.00 went to David Andersen of Amery, WI with 78.1 pounds. And, the forth place Co Angler; Edward Mucha of Shabbona, IL took home $2450.00 in cash.
Rounding out the top five is Pro Nick Schertz of Tomahawk, WI who weighed in 76 pounds 13 ounces for a check in the amount of $9,500.00, while the 5th place co angler, Wallace Carter, Jr weighed a three day total weight of 75.1 pounds. He took home a check for $1,000.00.
To see the full results please go to the Live Leader Board and click on the Green Bay link associated with this FLW Walleye Tour event.
To read about what everyone did to catch their fish, please see the morning article for day 3.
It was an outstanding event on all counts, and should go down in the books as one of the most successful, in that the field was almost to capacity with 141 boats and 282 competitors. The crowds were the biggest I have ever seen at a regular season event, and the National Guard put up their “Fun Zone” while the FLW crew entertained with a Ranger Boat simulator and a Trout Pond with real fish in it for kids to catch (just like at the winter sport shows).
The Soldier Appreciation Tournament went very well as did the Kids Fishing Clinic that was sponsored by the FLW Outdoors and National Professional Anglers Association organizations. The pictures tell it all, so if you haven’t seen the photos from this event yet, please go to the Live Leader Board and click on the AM1, PM1, AM2, PM2, AM3, and PM3 under images associated with this event.
Thank you for joining us here on Walleye Central for the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour event at Green Bay. We hope you will join Keri Solis as she covers the next event at Escanaba, MI for the MWC August 5-7, 2011 on the Bays de Noc.
Hope to see you all there!
To read the final day coverage of the Masters Walleye Circuit in Mobridge, SD just (click here).