Day 1 Results - In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail on Wabigoon Lake:
PWT Pro Mark Brumbaugh Takes Day One Lead in Ontario
Two-time In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail winner Mark Brumbaugh, Arcanum, Ohio, captured the day one lead at Dryden, Ontario. The first PWT event north of the border, the Lund/Mercury Pro-Am, part of the Super Pro series presented by MinnKota, was held in sweltering 92-degree heat on Lakes Wabigoon and Dinorwic.
The 52 Super Pros fished in almost every corner of the system, favoring shallow rock reefs. The walleyes were in two to eight feet of water, and jigs with bait and jigs with PowerBait or Gulp! were the preferred tactics. Some anglers cast crankbaits; others rigged or ran spinners and bottom-bouncers, and a few like fifth place Super Pro Bruce Samson, Minnetrista, Minn., fished with slip bobbers.
Brumbaugh was jigging and casting crankbaits. His two “overs” were in the mid-20 inch range (each boat could weigh two walleyes over 18 inches), and gave him a total of 16.55 pounds for five walleyes – three were 14 to 18 inches. Brumbaugh said, “I think we caught more than 100 walleyes today. The lake is loaded with a zillion walleyes. The big ones are here, it’s just a matter of being shallow enough when they move up to feed.”
The PWT camera crews were on the water taking in the action, and hook-sets were common; so were 50 to 100 fish a day per day. Additionally, northern pike exceeding 20 pounds (lots in the 10 to 15 pound range), giant muskies and big smallmouth were landed. Several small walleyes ended up in the middle of tug-of-wars with pike and muskies, with the anglers losing the battles. The Coleman big fish of the day went to Colorado pro Ron Seelhoff and amateur Gary Beardsley, Ear Falls, Ontario with a 7.74-pounder.
Wabigoon Lake borders the community of Dryden, and stretches east to the narrows leading into Lake Dinorwic. This Canadian lake of 52,000 acres abounds with islands, shoals, reefs, bays, but differs significantly from “classic” shield lakes because water visibility is less than 12 inches.
Super Pro Mark Courts, Harris, Minn., is in second place with 15.24 pounds, while Rick Olson, Mina Lake, SD is in third with 15.16 pounds. Ernie Olson, Oak Park, Minn, is fourth with 14.09 pounds. Pros fish with a different amateur every day, and provide the gear, tackle, bait and boat. They also go to the pro’s top spots.
On the amateur/co-angler side, Reid Norine, Oakdale, Minn. fished with Brumbaugh and leads the amateur race. Neil Michelin, Sioux Lookout, Ontario is second. Gene LaMere, Amery, Wis., is third, while Ontario amateurs Rob Brodhagen, Dryden, and Dave Cryderman, Thunder Bay, are fourth and fifth. The winning amateur will collect a Lund boat powered by a Mercury outboard, valued at $20,000. The top pro earns an $81,000 prize, including a Lund/Mercury boat package and $45,000 cash.
The pros had their boats towed into the Dryden Arena to the cheers of walleye fans. The weigh-in festivities get under way Thursday and Friday at 5 p.m., with pros explaining their tactics and secrets from the stage.
The PWT is an integral element of the In-Fisherman Communications Network headquartered in Baxter, Minnesota, and InterMedia, America's leading producer of targeted media. PWT promotional partners include: Mercury Marine, Lund Boats, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, Optima Batteries, Minn Kota, Realtree, MotorGuide, Johnsonville Brats, Outdoor Channel, Coleman, Northland Fishing Tackle, The Dow Chemical Company, StowMaster, Reef Runner, Yo-Zuri Quality Lures, Smooth Moves Seat Mounts, Kwik Pfyt Mud Flaps, Yellow Bird Planer Boards, Allstar Graphics, Ram Mounts, Element Edge, Pflueger, Plano Tackle Systems, Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge, E-Cell, Cannon, Fin-Tech Tackle, Do-It Molds & Dryden District Chamber of Commerce, 807.223.2622.
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Wabigoon Lake Walleye Regulations