Co-angler Jerry Chwierut took second in the Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Championship presented by Berkley on the Missouri River in Bismarck, N.D. That adds to an impressive resume on the FLW Walleye Tour that includes a co-angler title in 2006 on Lake Oahe in South Dakota.
The second added $10,600 to his career FLW earnings, which now tops $50,000.
I have been fortunate to prefish a few walleye events over the years with groups that included Chwierut.
Here's the word from the FLW:
Steil Takes Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Championship
Joy Wins Co-Angler Division, $7,000
BISMARCK, N.D., Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ --Pro Scott Steil of Richmond, Minn., caught five walleyes weighing 21 pounds, 4 ounces to give him a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 37 pounds, 12 ounces to win the Walmart FLW Walleye Tour Championship presented by Berkley on the Missouri River in Bismarck, N.D. Steil earned $105,000 for his title in the nationally televised tournament that featured 108 anglers from 16 states and Canada.
"I caught all my fish on one rod," said Steil. "I only caught five fish. That other rod sat out there trolling and just sat there all day and did not catch any fish. It was a great day and the fish came in the right order. I was done by noon."
Steil's plan heading into the final day was to box his first five fish. "I was catching big fish and so the plan was the first five go in the box. I probably lost 20 fish yesterday that I could not keep hooked because they were too big."
"A lot of things changed in the system over the few days," said Steil. "I started out using a Berkley Flicker Shad and some other crankbaits in the deep water. Some of the walleyes I was catching were eating crappies, so I put my baits a little higher and that seemed to be the difference."
Steil, ecstatic over his win, said this was the biggest of his career. "This is the big one here. The first win [Cass Lake in 2008] is really sweet, but for Tony [Renner] and I to go one-two here, that means everything."
"Tony is my teammate and I knew I was putting a good weight together. I couldn't help but pull for Tony too, but we were competing against each other. Thanks again to all the people out here and on the water cheering for me today. It was awesome."
Rounding out the top 10 pros are Tony Renner of Hutchinson, Minn. (nine walleyes, 34-11, $39,000); David Anderson of Amery, Wis. (10 walleyes, 30-7, $14,000); Carl Adams, Jr. of Blackduck, Minn. (10 walleyes, 29-8, $17,800); Todd Riley of Amery, Wis. (10 walleyes, 28-14, $14,050); Tommy Skarlis of Waukon, Iowa (10 walleyes, 27-7, $9,800); Robert Crow of Paterson, Wash. (10 walleyes, 27-5, $9,100); Ron Seelhoff of Burlington, Colo. (10 walleyes, 24-4, $4,200); Chris Gilman of Chisago City, Minn. (10 walleyes, 16-12, $7,700); and Nicolas Schertz of Tomahawk, Wis. (four walleyes, 13-5, $4,900).
Overall there were 47 walleyes weighing 139 pounds caught by 10 boats Friday. The catch included eight five-walleye limits.
Joy, who took home the title in the co-angler division earning $7,000, was filled with emotion on the victory and said it has not sank in. "This is hard to believe and sort of unreal. This is a great organization and I will plan on being back again. All the pros I fished with are a class act. There is no doubt about."
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are Jerry Chwierut of Lake Villa, Ill. (five walleyes, 16-8, $10,600); Troy Vanacek of Omaha, Neb. (five walleyes, 15-2, $5,250); William Drake of Horace, N.D. (five walleyes, 14-8, $4,900); Dave Smith of Bemidji, Minn. (five walleyes, 14-7, $2,100); Jimmy Cox of Bono, Ark. (five walleyes, 11-12, $1,900); Patrick Bertelsen of Jackson, Minn. (five walleyes, 11-2, $1,275); Christopher Hanson of New Hope, Minn. (five walleyes, 11-12, $1,150); Justin Steinke of Birnamwood, Wis. (five walleyes, 8-7, $1,000); and Philip Zimpel of Plummer, Minn. (one walleye, 2-9, $850).
Pros and co-anglers were randomly paired each day and fished for a combined boat weight. Pros competed against other pros, and co-anglers competed against other co-anglers. The full field competed the first two days and was cut to the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers for day three. Anglers in both divisions started from zero on day three, and co-angler competition concluded with the winner determined by the day's heaviest catch. Pros carried their weights over to day four, and the winner was determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
Coverage of the Walleye Tour Championship, hosted by the Bismarck-Mandan Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated "FLW Outdoors," will air Nov. 15 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports. Sign up for Player's Advantage to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player's Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.