Skarlis Extends Lead to 17 Pounds in Walleye Tour Opener
Mississippi River producing good walleye fishing for FLW pros
According to pro Tommy Skarlis of Waukon, Iowa, the only thing worse for his style of fishing than high skies is lightening. Today’s high skies didn’t seem to slow him down too much as he brought another five walleye limit weighing 20 pounds, 13 ounces to the scales on day two of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour presented by Evinrude.
Skarlis’ two day total of 57-9 gives him an almost insurmountable 17 pound, 7 ounce lead going in to the final day of competition at the FLW Walleye Tour season opener on the Mississippi River in Red Wing, Minn. Pros are fishing for a top award of $63,000 and co-anglers are working for a top award of $10,500. The Red Wing event features 110 pros and 110 co-anglers representing 15 states and Canada.
“Red Wing is like a second home to me,” said Skarlis, who is looking for his first Mississippi River crown. “I grew-up fishing the Mississippi from Red Wing and I am really enjoying this homecoming.
“I am fishing the way I like to fish,” continued Skarlis. “I am fishing rocky areas in the river and as long as I can get to my key spots I am confident that I will be able to catch another good sack tomorrow. I am not camping out in one area for the day but running to a lot of different spots giving the areas time to reload.
“I’m using a lot of home-made baits that I created with Do-it Molds. I have custom painted them so they are exactly the way I want. Do-it is located near Davenport, Iowa, close to where I grew-up and I am so proud to be able to bring it home for the homeboys.
“You know, my style is not to be conservative. It’s either go big or go home. I am really looking forward to tomorrow; you’ll see me bring in another five fish.”
Despite the river rising over a foot after Thursday’s rain 100 of the 110 registered anglers in the tournament weighed fish on day two. Overall weight for the tournament decreased on day two and many of the anglers were scratching their heads as to what happened, but they were still heard saying that the Mississippi River is one of the finest fisheries in the country.
Rounding out the remainder of the top 10 pros after day two on the Mississippi River are:
2nd: Robert Bruegger, Wabasha, Minn., eight walleyes, 40-2
3rd: Tom Brunz, Madison Lake, Minn., 10 walleyes, 37-15
4th: Brian Bjorkman, Fargo, N.D., nine walleyes, 34-15
5th: Joe Whitten, Toledo Ohio, 10 walleyes, 34-15
6th: Rich Mealey, Westerville, Ohio, 10 walleyes, 33-7
7th: Brent Henriksen, Tea, S.D., 10 walleyes, 32-15
8th: Brett King, Claremont, Minn., 10 walleyes, 32-5
9th: Chad Schilling, Akaska, S.D., 10 walleyes, 32-1
10th: Nick Schertz, Tomahawk, Wis., 10 walleyes, 31-15
Tim Lessila of Milwaukee, Wis., leads the Co-angler Division with 10 walleyes weighing 40-4, followed by Jimmy Cox of Bono Ark., in second place with seven walleyes weighing 39-11.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:
3rd: Jim Milewsky, Bondurant, Iowa, 10 walleyes, 39-9
4th: Keith Keivens, Toledo, Ohio, 10 walleyes, 39-8
5th: John Mickish, White Bear Lakes, 10 walleyes, 39-1
6th: Keith Hahn, McHenry, Ill., 10 walleyes, 35-5
7th: Brett Lilienthal, Brooklyn Park, Minn., 10 walleyes, 34-3
8th: Jesse Proffitt, Eau Claire, Wis., 10 walleyes, 34-2
9th: David Klamfoth, Waverly, Iowa, eight walleyes, 33-9
10th: C.J. Johnson, Monticello, Iowa, 10 walleyes, 33-3
Overall there were 385 walleyes weighing 1,032 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 110 boats Friday. The catch included 46 five-walleye limits.