They buried the lead about the FLW Walleye Tour event on the Illinois River, well, didn’t mention it: the field only had 41 boats. Ouch.
On fhe fishing side, trolling Leadcore with Shad Raps, veteran Tom Keenan held off John Balla of Barltett by eight ounces to win out of Spring Valley. Thomas Kaus of Lake Zurich won on the co-angler side.
KEENAN WINS FLW WALLEYE TOUR EVENT ON ILLINOIS RIVER
Kaus Hangs on for Co-Angler Title
SPRING VALLEY, Ill. (May 1, 2010) – Pro Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis., and co-angler Thomas Kaus of Lake Zurich, Ill., caught five walleyes weighing 9 pounds, 5 ounces to win the FLW Walleye Tour Eastern Division tournament on the Illinois River. Keenan had a three-day catch of 14 walleyes weighing 22-7. He won the event by 8 ounces and took home $27,884 for his efforts.
“This feels pretty incredible,” said Keenan, who has earned more than $612,000 in FLW Outdoors competition. “I’d been talking to my wife about competitive fishing and all that. It’s been eight years since I’ve won a tournament. I had a second last year and a second the year before.
“I told my co-angler this morning and I told my wife, ‘If I can’t win this one, I’m never going to win one,'” Keenan added. “I had the right pattern and everyone else’s fishing was dying because of pressure. I had my spot to myself and I thought we could go down there and win the tournament. And we got the right bites today. We got five good bites and put them all in the livewell.”
Keenan said he trolled lead core with Rapala Shad Raps to catch about 70 fish during the course of the day, including 10 weigh fish.
“We pretty much dialed the pattern in yesterday afternoon,” Keenen said. “I went out today and I told (tournament director Sonny Reynolds) I was going to go get them. I was fishing this spot all by myself near Hennepin. And we caught them pretty good.”
Keenan said he had one small 15 1/2-inch walleye he wanted to cull at the end of the day to add to four nice fish already in the livewell. At 2:30 Keenan replaced the small fish with a 19 1/4-inch fish.
“That sealed the deal for us,” Keenan said. “That was the one that put us over the top.”
Rounding out the top-5 pros are:
2nd: John Balla, Bartlett, Ill., 15 walleyes, 21-15, $11,267
3rd: David Kolb, Rockford, Mich., 15 walleyes, 21-15, $3,372
4th: Tommy Skarlis, Waukon, Iowa, 14 walleyes, 20-5, $5,477
5th: Jacob Lapine, Fond Du Lac, Wis., 13 walleyes, 19-10, $5,078
A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com
Kaus earned the victory in the Co-angler Division and took home $2,440. His three-day weight totaled 21 pounds, 8 ounces. He fished with Dan Stier of Mina, S.D., Ryan Jirik of Rhinelander, Wis., and Keenan over the course of the tournament.
“Tom promised an exciting day,” said Kaus, who notched his fifth top-10 finish. “He said, ‘We’re going to have a big box and we’re going to catch a lot of fish’ and he delivered. He was very conservative when he was estimating what kind of weight we had. He was saying eight pounds and we ended up over nine pounds. He was really excited to win the event … this is my first time to place first in any tournament, so, needless to say, I’m excited.
“The Tour is just full of really good fishermen,” Kaus added. “I’ve enjoyed it a lot this week.”
Rounding out the top-5 co-anglers are:
2nd: Jim Milewsky, Bondurant, Iowa, 15 walleyes, 20-11, $976
3rd: Craig Cayemberg, Valders, Wis., 15 walleyes, 20-2, $1,709
4th: Steve Beasley, Macomb, Mich., 13 walleyes, 19-14, $634
5th: John Spiegel, Appleton, Wis., 14 walleyes, 19-5, $586
Overall there were 40 walleyes weighing more than 55 pounds caught Saturday. The catch included five five-walleye limits.
In FLW Walleye Tour competition, pros and cos are also competing for valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the 2010 FLW Walleye Tour Championship held on Leech Lake in Walker, Minn., Sept. 23-25.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.