UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

Olson manifests consistency, secures opening-round lead

Olson manifests consistency, secures opening-round lead
Pro Rick Olson of Mina, S.D., (left) posted the best two-day weight of the opening round at the FLW Walleye Tour Championship with 22 pounds, 6 ounces. Fishing with co-angler Peggy Severson of Fort Pierre, S.D., (right) they caught the heaviest stringer Thursday with three walleyes weighing a collective 13-5. Olson and Severson each also won the $500 Snickers big-walleye award for their kicker fish (left), which weighed 6-10 by itself.

MOLINE, Ill. - In a tournament where the fishing is tough, history suggests the best anglers will separate themselves over the course of four days. That pattern clearly unfolded on day two as Mina, S.D., native Rick Olson led a star-studded crew as the field was cut to the top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers. On day two, the Mississippi River was tightfisted yet again as only 74 fish, including three limits, were registered.

Making only two passes on his best water, Olson said he fished for just over an hour before calling it a day. The veteran walleye pro is sharing a portion of water on Pool 14 with pro Shannon Kehl.

"It seems to be getting better," said Olson, describing his primary spot. "One of us is going to do pretty good, maybe both of us. Today the weeds cleared out, and that makes a huge difference. I have a few backup spots, but they're not as good."

Olson said he trolled Shad Raps in fairly shallow water to trigger his bites. His 13-pound, 5-ounce catch was anchored by a 6-pound, 10-ounce kicker walleye, bringing his two-day total to 22 pounds, 6 ounces. He believes continued stable weather will only improve his bite.

"There is a certain color that is catching all the fish," he added. "It's a new color; I'll tell you what it was on Saturday."

Fluekiger solid in second

Jarrad Fluekiger of Alma, Wis., qualified for the finals in second with a weight of 17 pounds, 11 ounces. His two-fish, 6-12 catch Thursday was anchored by this nice kicker.Jarrad Fluekiger also demonstrated remarkable consistency on day two, bringing in 6 pounds, 12 ounces, which kept him in the same spot where he started the day. His opening-round total was 17 pounds, 11 ounces.

"I'm still fishing the wing dams on Pool 14," Fluekiger said. "We started today at 9:30 a.m. and left at 12:30 p.m. I have about six wing dams that I have saved for tomorrow and Saturday. The bait I'm using is like candy to a walleye. What's happening now is that the river is coming up and pushing the fish into areas of less current. With the water temperature dropping, this is getting better and better."

Of his chances in the final round, Fluekiger said: "I feel very confident. I'm a guide on Pool 4 back home. I fish wing dams with my customers, and this is no different. To win it, I think you'll need 22 pounds over two days. I'm going to give every dam about 20 minutes."

Ryan zeroes, falls to third

Jeff Ryan was unable to boat a walleye on day two, but his day-one catch of 16 pounds, 9 ounces was more than enough to carry him into the final round.

"I wanted to weigh a couple to make sure," the Lake View, Iowa, pro said. "I will still start at my main spot tomorrow. I'm hoping the cold front was part of the problem. If I get a couple fish early, I'll probably spend all day there. Depending on who makes the cut, I could be there all by myself."

Stier fourth

Falling to fourth place was Pierre, S.D., native Dan Stier. After bringing in 10 pounds, 15 ounces on day one, Stier used day two as an extra practice period. In his quest to find new water, Stier managed three walleyes that weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces, bringing his opening-round total to 16 pounds, 6 ounces.

"The weeds moved in, so it was tougher today," Stier said. "We had 15 or 16 boats in there today. There should only be two or three of us tomorrow. It's a great accomplishment to get to this point. It's going to be a crapshoot tomorrow."

Kehl fifth

In fifth place was Olson's Pool 14 partner Shannon Kehl, who boated a 9-pound limit, one of only three limits weighed, bringing his two-day total to 14 pounds, 12 ounces.

"I fished only two hours, then quit because my engine blew out," Kehl said. "I don't know if the bite got better or if the fish just replenished themselves. There's a number of fish holding on this one flat."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros who will be fishing on day three on the Mississippi River:

6th: Carl Grunwaldt of Green Bay, Wis., five walleyes, 13-11
7th: Ross Grothe of Northfield, Minn., three walleyes, 11-9
8th: Kevin Goligowski of Maplewood, Minn., one walleye, 11-2
9th: Robert Lampman of De Soto, Wis., two walleyes, 10-10
10th: Aaron McQuoid of Isle, Minn., two walleyes, 10-9

Jandl boats one, retains first

Jeff Jandl of Minnesota City, Minn., led all co-anglers in the opening round with a weight of 18 pounds, 7 ounces.On the co-angler side, Jeff Jandl held his first-place position by bringing one walleye that weighed 1 pound, 14 ounces to the scale, pushing his opening-round total to 18 pounds, 7 ounces.

"I'm still shaking; this is my first time in the cut," he said. "Today, we were trolling in about 12 feet of water. We were in Pool 14, chasing them all over the place. I think we might see some weights tomorrow."

Co-angler Jimmy Cox of Bono, Ark., grabbed the second slot with a weight of 15-3.Moving up three places was Jimmy Cox of Bono, Ark. Cox partnered with Rock McGillivary on day two and caught three walleyes that weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces by trolling Shad Raps. Cox's two-day total was 15 pounds, 3 ounces.

"I feel like a little kid sitting in front of a bunch of Christmas presents," said an elated Cox.

Cox also fishes on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, but says while he enjoys both walleye and bass fishing, they are two very different worlds.

"I've already decided I want to fish again next year."

Co-angler Peggy Severson of Fort Pierre, S.D., zeroed on day one, yet still made the cut thanks to three stout walleyes that weighed 13 pounds, 5 ounces on day two.

"We had a good time; Rick is a total professional," Severson said. "It's been fun, regardless. The championship is coming to my home next year."

John Solek of Indianapolis claimed the fourth spot for the co-anglers with a combined weight of 12 pounds, 11 ounces.

Fifth place went to Keith Strauss of Syracuse, Ind., for 12 pounds, 4 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers who will fish on day three on the Mississippi River:

6th: John Hight of Pierre, S.D., zero walleyes, 10-15
7th: Joseph Fallaw of McHenry, Ill., five walleyes, 10-9
8th: Marty Barski of Crystal Lake, Ill., one walleye, 10-6
9th: Matthew Hiller of Ada, Mich., five walleyes, 9-7
10th: Jim Lippens of Laporte, Ind., five walleyes, 9-7

Day three of the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour Championship begins as the top 10 pro and top 10 co-anglers take off from Sunset Park at 7 a.m. Central time Friday. Weights are cleared for the final round, with the winning pro determined by the heaviest two-day total weight from tomorrow and Saturday. The co-angler champion will be crowned Friday based on the day's heaviest catch.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2005-09-28-mississippi-river 

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