PORT CLINTON, Ohio – Since winning the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour on Lake Erie presented by Dr. Pepper in 2005, Walmart pro Dean Arnoldussen hadn’t been able to tally a top-10 finish fishing out of Port Clinton. After Friday, Arnoldussen can now concentrate on trying to become the first angler to win this event twice, as he leads the event after day two. After weighing in 45 pounds, the largest stringer of his career, Arnoldussen jumped from ninth place after day one into the top spot.
The Appleton, Wis., native heads into the final day with 10 walleyes weighing 82 pounds, 14 ounces, good enough for a 3-pound, 2-ounce lead over his closest competitor. This walleye tournament features 123 pros and 123 co-anglers representing 18 different states along with Canada, where pros are fishing for a top award of $63,000 and co-anglers are shooting for an award of $10,500.
“It was just a phenomenal day out there today,” said Arnoldussen who is the all-time leading money winner on the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour with more than $670,000 in winnings. “The bite was pretty consistent throughout the day. We probably caught around 30 to 35 fish today, although there were a few smaller ones. I kept track of every single fish that I caught and every single pass that I made over my spot, we upgraded.
“I got out there right away this morning and headed for the area that I had been working,” Arnoldussen continued. “After our first pass through, we had five in the box. After a few passes, we had a solid five with our smallest being a few 27-inchers. That allowed us to take our time and relax a little bit. I was able to cull out a few of the 27-inchers with a 29, then a 28. The Walmart boat tends to stick out a little bit, so I decided to leave that spot so nobody would see me. I headed to a different spot, and ended up catching another 29-incher and was able to upgrade the 27.
“There were two big keys for me out there today,” Arnoldussen said. “One was just following my Hummingbird, with a LakeMaster chip. Another thing that I do a little different that really helped me was my Minn Kota Engine Mount Trolling Motor. I like to be stealthy, and it really allows me to be precise on my speed. I can set it at exactly 1.2 – 1.3 (mph), and then if it gets a little windy I can put my Terrova down and I use it for steering. It works awesome.”
“I’m pretty confident that my area will hold up tomorrow,” said the Walmart pro. “There were only a couple of people fishing in the same area, and I don’t think that anyone that made the top-10 cut will be fishing that spot. If they move, I actually have a couple of spots for tomorrow, so I feel pretty good. It’d be nice if it was calm tomorrow, because then I could turn on them and keep my lines in the water. But if it’s windy, that’s nice too because then you pick your lines up after you make a pass and you check your bait. A lot of times when it’s calmer you can become complacent and forget to check your bait, and then you pull them up and you’re missing crawlers on two of them. So the conditions tomorrow don’t really matter to me.
Rounding out the top 10 pros after day two and moving on to fish the final day on Lake Erie are:
2nd: Kevin McQuoid, Isle, Minn., 10 walleyes, 79-12
3rd: Nathan Seiferlein, Chesterfield, Mich., 10 walleyes, 77-1
4th: David Kleszyk, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., 10 walleyes, 76-9
5th: Greg Yarbrough, Port Clinton, Ohio, 10 walleyes, 76-4
6th: Aaron Depinet, Tiffin, Ohio, 10 walleyes, 76-3
7th: David Kolb, Rockford, Mich., 10 walleyes, 74-14
8th: Rick Zachowski, Milwaukee, Wis., 10 walleyes, 74-5
9th: Don Loch, Iron Mountain, Mich., 10 walleyes, 73-4
10th: Brian Bjorkman, Fargo, N.D., 10 walleyes, 71-11
Kevin Yancey of Newport, Mich., leads the Co-angler Division with 10 walleyes weighing 78-9, followed by Jimmy Cox of Bono Ark., in second place with 10 walleyes weighing 77-4.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers and moving on to fish the final day are:
3rd: Tom Nevans, Strongsville, Ohio, 10 walleyes, 74-1
4th: Tony Harris, Chatham, Ill., 10 walleyes, 72-14
5th: Mike Chutes, Sheffield Lake, Ohio, 10 walleyes, 72-4
6th: Boyd Strissel, Billings, Mont., 10 walleyes, 71-2
7th: Philip Maher, Lincoln Park, Mich., 10 walleyes, 70-14
8th: Aaron Lochotzki, Sandusky, Ohio, 10 walleyes, 69-14
9th: Cody Armstrong, Devils Lake, N.D., 10 walleyes, 69-8
10th: C.J. Johnson, Monticello, Iowa, 10 walleyes, 69-6
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 577 walleyes weighing 3,412 pounds, 14 ounces caught by 123 boats Thursday. The catch included 111 five-walleye limits.
In Walleye Tour competition, pro and co-anglers are competing for valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the 2012 National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship which will be held on the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities Oct. 25-28. Anglers are also vying for the coveted Angler of the Year title, which earns them a place in the 2013 Walleye Tour Championship, as well as $10,000 for the pro and $2,500 for the co-angler.
The top 10 pros and co-anglers will take off from the Nor’Easter Club located at 2801 Nor’Easter Cove Road in Port Clinton at 6:30 a.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 2826 East Harbor Road in Port Clinton beginning at 4 p.m.
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 Erie tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs October 7 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.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.