UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

Schroeder leads way into semifinal round

Schroeder leads way into semifinal round
Day-two leader, Ranger pro Leroy Schroeder of Larsen, Wis., at left, and his day-two co-angler and semifinalist, Ed Parks Jr. of Webberville, Mich., weigh in at Lake Winnebago.

Wisconsin natives dominate top five slots at RCL Winnebago

OSHKOSH, Wis. - Once again Lake Winnebago proved to be stingy with its limits of walleyes today, but Ranger pro Leroy Schroeder of Larsen, Wis., charged into the day-two lead with a hefty limit of walleyes weighing 23 pounds, 15 ounces. Holding onto the second spot was day-one leader and Ranger pro Tim Minnema of Markesan, Wis.

"I am ready for tomorrow," said Schroeder. "I really hope the big fish stay put in the area I am fishing. If they are there, I will catch them."

Schroeder doesn't need a full day of fishing to weigh big limits of walleyes.

"For the last two days, I have had my limit in the boat early in the day," said Schroeder. "On day one, I was done around 9:30 a.m., and today I had a limit by 9:15 a.m. Maybe tomorrow I will be done even earlier. Who knows?"

Schroeder's two-day total was 42, pounds 13 ounces.

Minnema drops a place

Day two did not go as smoothly for Tim Minnema.

"I really struggled today," said Minnema. "I did not have the action early in the day like on day one. I got a bit nervous, but I stuck to my guns and ended up with a nice limit of walleye."

Minnema had a two day total of 36 pounds, 8 ounces.

Experience pays off for Minnema.

"I have been fishing this lake since I was a little boy with my father," said Minnema. "My father taught me a lot about how to fish for walleye on this system, and it has paid off so far."

Minnema is using the handlining method to present crankbaits to the walleyes as they migrate back into Lake Winnebago. Although this method is unconventional, it has paid off thus far.

"It is no secret that I am handlining," said Minnema. "Everyone that is out there fishing has seen me doing it now. I just find that it is a very effective way to fish for walleye on this system as they make their way back to the big lake."

Rounding out the top five pros heading into tomorrow's semifinal round are: in third, Mark Keenan of Menasha, Wis., with 28 pounds, 8 ounces; in fourth, Jason Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis., with 27 pounds, 6 ounces; and in the fifth spot, Jim Minnema of Randolph, Wis.; with 26 pounds, 5 ounces.

Weights do not carry over into the semifinal or final round, so all 20 competitors will be starting from scratch tomorrow as they compete for a chance at the finals and a first-place prize valued at $90,000. The first-place prize includes $50,000 cash and a fully-rigged Ranger, Crestliner or Lund boat with an Evinrude or Yamaha Engine.

Co-angler Clark jumps into the lead

RCL co-angler Richard Clark of Mukwonago, Wis., heads into tomorrow's semifinal with high hopes.

"It is terrific news to find out that you made the semifinal cut," said Clark. "I really feel good about that, and I will prepare for tomorrow."

Clark's two-day total was 33 pounds, 2 ounces.

The third-place co-angler going into tomorrow's semifinal round is Kristine Szczech of St. Paul, Minn. Szczech and her pro partner Tim Herink of Plainfield, Ill., only caught three walleyes today, but they were Wal-Mart-quality fish.

"We caught Wal-Mart fish today," said Szczech. "My partner and I only caught three fish, but they averaged over 5 pounds a piece. The weight of these fish got me to Wal-Mart tomorrow."

The three fish Szczech and Herink caught weighed 16 pounds and 5 ounces giving her a two-day total of 30 pounds, 8 ounces.

The remaining top five co-anglers heading into the semifinal round are, in second, Keith Strauss of Syracuse, Ind., with 31 pounds, 5 ounces, and in fourth is John Solek of Indianapolis, Ind., with 28 pounds, 1 ounce. Solek is currently leading the RCL Co-angler-of-the-Year field. If Solek wins the Co-angler-of-the-Year title, he will receive free co-angler entry fees into next year's RCL circuit. In the fifth spot is Michael Dutton of Kaukauna, Wis., with a total of 27 pounds, 13 ounces.

The co-anglers are competing for a first-place prize of $15,000 cash.

The semifinal round will start tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. at the Pioneer Resort and Marina located at 1000 Pioneer Drive in Oshkosh, Wis. The number at the marina is (800) 683-1980.

The semifinal and final round weigh-ins will be held at the Oshkosh Wal-Mart located at 2035 S. Koeller St. starting at 4 p.m.

Quick stats

Number of boats: 144
Total fish weighed in: 459
Total weight: 985 pounds, 11 ounces
Limits caught: 16

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Tags: dave-landahl  headline-story  2002-05-29-lake-winnebago 

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