Tournament pays more than $300,000 to competitors
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 9, 2016) – Pro-angler Jason Przekurat, of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, brought in a three-day total of 36.67 pounds of walleye to win the pro-angler category of the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour (NWT) Championship event on Lake Oahe, at Mobridge, South Dakota, on August 5.
Jason Przekurat has been fishing competitive walleye tournaments for over twenty years and is regarded as one of the best in the sport. The angler has a team championship, two angler of the year titles, and a tour-level victory under his belt, but his trophy case lacked the ever-elusive pro-am championship win.
“My last major win was in 2007 on the Mississippi River,” said Przekurat. “I think this is the best win of my career because I worked the hardest for it. I had been close to winning a pro-am championship several times and I wondered if it would ever really happen. When I saw the final weight pop up today, I realized I finally did it. It was awesome.”
The angler started the final day with a seven-pound lead. With calm conditions, which matched a successful pre-fishing trip, Przekurat felt confident he could continue to catch fish, but the angler struggled to find fish on spots that previously produced.
“I had been fishing submerged trees in deep water at Whitlock’s,” said the angler. “The fish weren’t there and they weren’t in my second spot either, so I knew I had to keep moving. On my third spot I caught two fish then I moved again to a spot in Swan Creek. I caught my third fish within the first three minutes of getting there.”
The three fish Przekurat’s caught on the final day of the tournament weighed 6.67 pounds, which was just enough to give him the win. The angler’s main pattern consisted of trolling over submerged trees in deep water.
“The trees were down 50 to 60 feet in water 95 to 105 feet deep,” said Przekurat. “The key was keeping the bait on top of the trees, just ticking the tops. I was using a blue and silver No. 7 Flicker Minnow.”
In addition to $15,000, the angler was upgraded to a fully rigged Ranger 621FS with an Evinrude G2 250HP outboard by participating in the Ranger Cup and Evinrude contingency programs. The angler tacked on $1,771 in Anglers Advantage cash for a combined purse of $88,566.
Joe Okada (second), Brian Bjorkman (third), Wade While (fourth) Kevin McQuoid (fifth), Robert Blosser (sixth), Chad Schilling (seventh), Scott Larson (eighth), Randy Hummel (ninth), and Don Loch (tenth) round out the top 10 pro-anglers.
Tom Samp, of Eldora, Iowa, took first place in the co-angler category. Samp was paired with pro-angler Mark Brumbaugh on day one for 9.35 pounds. His day-two pairing with Wisconsin pro Tom Kemos gave him 11.21 pounds. On the final day of the tournament the co-angler was paired with the eventual second-place finisher in the pro-angler division Joe Okada. Samp bested his two previous days of fishing with a 12.85-pound stringer to give him a three-day total of 33.41 pounds.
“Your really learn a lot from these guys,” said Samp. “They will tell you how to do it and then have you do it the next time. I learned how to fish 50-feet deep from Mark, and Tom showed me how to fish the trees. Joe put me on the fish today and it was one fish after another. These guys are really good.”
Stamps’ total purse of $8,192 included a winner’s check worth $6,000, a $1,500 Triton boat bonus and $692 in Anglers Advantage cash.
Tyler Nickel (second), Troy Fink (third), Matt Hanken (fourth), Tyrone Larson (fifth), Thomas Nevans (sixth), Andy Zegers (seventh), Richard Landerschier (eighth), Douglas Anoman (ninth) and Jack Bradach (tenth) round out the top 10 for co-anglers.
For more details, anglers are encouraged to call 612-424-0708 or check out the website at www.nationalwalleyetour.com. From here, site visitors can learn more about the NWT, view the TV schedule and learn more about what’s in store for 2017 season.