Walleye factory still produces despite warm temperatures
PIERRE, S.D. – Extreme heat and very little wind greeted anglers today for the first day of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour on Lake Oahe presented by Mercury. The 96-degree temperature had little to no effect on the bite, though, as walleye pro Lynn Jurrens of Watertown, S.D., and his co-angler, Lowell Joy of Bemidji, Minn. jumped to the top of the leaderboard after bringing in a five-walleye limit. The duo weighed in 17 pounds, 11 ounces to take the top spot on day one of the third walleye event of the season being held in Pierre, S.D.The pair now holds a slim 8-ounce lead over the second-place duo of Chevy pro Jason Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis., and his co-angler, Kevin Yancey of Newport, Mich., who brought a five-walleye limit weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to the scales Thursday. The top of the leaderboard is still extremely tight, as only 2 pounds, 5 ounces separates first place from 10th. This tournament features 103 of the best walleye pros in the world competing for a top award of $63,000, while the 103 co-anglers are casting for an award of $10,500.
“We had to be very patient out there today,” said Jurrens, who has more than $54,000 in career FLW earnings and recorded a ninth-place finish in the Oahe event last year. “We had to go to our third different presentation until we started catching the right fish. That’s pretty normal for Lake Oahe, though. We started out the day pitching jigs, and then we did some rigging. We were able to catch some slot fish, which was very important because it allowed me to stay in the big fish area. Then we went to Plan C, and we were finally able to connect with the two big girls.
“We probably caught 50 to 60 fish throughout the day today,” Jurrens continued. “We had to go through a lot of little ones to upgrade our slot fish. There was no one time that was better, though. The bite was there all day long, which makes for a fun day. The weather was flat calm and very, very warm today. We were really targeting all different depths, and we caught fish as shallow as 5 feet to as deep as 40 feet.“I’m satisfied with my day, because practice was very challenging out here,” Jurrens went on to say. “The fish are searching for forage right now, and there is really not a lot of forage here. Finding the right areas was really tricky. You can go to an area for three days in a row and find nothing and then on the fourth day the fish show up. The fish are really on the move looking for something to eat, and that made it tough.”As is the norm for FLW Walleye Tour events, Jurrens did not want to get into the specifics of his pattern after the first day of competition, but promised to reveal his technique Friday if he had the same success.“My game plan for tomorrow will be more of the same,” he said. “I’m very confident because I’m fishing four different patterns right now, and I’m not afraid to switch it up after 20 or 30 minutes if I think I need too. I would love to fill everyone in on my whole game plan, and I will. After day two, it’s game on.”
The top 10 pros and co-anglers after day one on Lake Oahe are:
1st: Lynn Jurrens, Watertown, S.D., and Lowell Joy, Bemidji, Minn., five walleyes, 17-11
2nd: Chevy pro Jason Przekurat, Stevens Point, Wis., and Kevin Yancey, Newport, Mich., five walleyes, 17-3
3rd: Ryan Jirik, Rhinlander, Wis., and Col. Scott St. Sauver, Little Falls, Minn., five walleyes, 17-1
4th: Paul Steffen, Pierre, S.D., and Craig Salmonson, Timmons, Ont., five walleyes, 16-15
5th: Curt Olivier, Yankton, S.D., and Chad Balka, Schererville, Ind., five walleyes, 16-9
6th: Brian Regelin, Cozad, Neb., and Dale Janota, Gillette, Wyo., five walleyes, 16-6
7th: John Campbell, Marco Island, Fla., and Kenny Brenner, Moline, Ill., five walleyes, 16-1
8th: National Guard pro Mark Courts, Harris, Minn., and Keith Keivens, Toledo, Ohio, five walleyes, 15-13
9th: Danny Plautz, Madison, Wis., and Christopher Hanson, New Hope, Minn., five walleyes, 15-7
10th: Chad Schilling, Akasaka, S.D., and Charles Fields, Pierre, S.D., five walleyes, 15-6
For a full list of results visit liveleaderboard.com
Overall there were 510 walleyes weighing 1,213 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 103 boats Thursday. The catch included 99 five-walleye limits.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at Walmart on Saturday from noon-4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in. The Expo includes the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, a trout pond, and interactive games and activities. The NPAA will be offering a free Youth and Family Fishing Clinic beginning at 2:30 p.m. Prizes, including rods & reels, will be given away after the clinic. All activities are free and open to the public.
Coverage of the Lake Oahe tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs
October 14 from 1-2 p.m. ET. “FLW” is hosted by Chip Leer and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.