UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Clear Lake

Fike finds five more

Fike finds five more
Pro Richard Fike and co-angler Dan Jarvi caught a five-walleye limit Friday weighing 34 pounds, 3 ounces.

TRENTON, Mich. - Richard Fike has only fished two FLW Outdoors walleye tournaments in his life. Both were on Lake Erie - his favorite body of water. So when he signed up to fish the 2010 FLW Walleye Tour opener, he kept his expectations to a minimum. But now he finds himself in the driver's seat with only one day of competition remaining.

Fike has completely committed himself to trolling the lake. His program consists of making seven or eight passes a day. These passes are nearly a mile in length and take approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

"We dumped the first fish of the day and after a while I was thinking it was time to switch to cranks," Fike explained. "Just when I was starting to rig up the fish started biting. By the end of our second drift we were looking for our limit fish. After that the bite slowed down but the ones that were biting were quality fish."

Near the end of the day, Fike made a move a fished a new area slightly south of his best spot.
Pro leader Richard Fike speaks with Tournament Director Sonny Reynolds Friday afternoon.
"I decided to stop and fish an area that had some dirtier water. We only had 10 minutes to fish but we caught one that probably weighed over 8 pounds and gave us a 2-pound upgrade. It was the perfect ending to a great day."

Like most fishing the lake, Fike is trolling spinners with night crawlers up in the water column over water 15 feet deep. But he has certain subtleties that he thinks makes his presentation stand out.

"I'm trying to keep my speed down between .8 and 1.3 mph. I do a lot of stalls too. I think it imitates the bait taking off and shows them something different.

With limits of 36-6 and 34-3, Fike has a total weight of 70 pounds, 9 ounces. Despite another stellar day, his lead only increased to 8 ounces.

"My goal was just to make the top 10. I never thought I was going to win; I just thought that I could compete and possibly make the top 10. This feels so good right now. Even if I take 10th, I'll walk out of here with a sense of accomplishment."

While Fike is relatively new to the FLW scene, he's won a major tournament before. In 2006, he claimed the Cabela's NTC Championship on Lake Sharpe in Pierre, S.D.

Kolb closes the gap

David Kolb, Troy Cox and Jimmy Cox combined for a five-fish limit Friday weighing 37 pounds, 9 ounces.It's no surprise to see David Kolb thriving at an open-water trolling tournament. What is surprising is that thus far the Rockford, Mich., pro has done his damage in the Detroit River. While the other competitors are making long runs to the lake and abusing both their bodies and their equipment, Kolb is calmly jigging away.

"I stayed in the river again today and jigged," he said. "It was slow early; we had no weigh fish in the box at 10 a.m. But then the bite really turned on. Between 10 and 11:30 we caught all but one of our weigh fish. The last hour was really slow but we did get one more upgrade. In total, I'm guessing we caught about 25 keepers."

Kolb was quite pleased with his performance. When he walked up to the scale he thought he had around 34 pounds. When it finally settled at 37 pounds, 9 ounces, he lit up like a Christmas tree.

"Since I'm fishing the river, I sure would like to see an east wind tomorrow (to dirty up the lake). I say that, but I'm not even 100 percent sure I'll fish the river again tomorrow. I think so, but I want to look at some satellite pictures of the lake first."

Kolb won the 2003 Walleye Tour event on Lake Erie, but that's his only FLW victory to date. With merely an 8-ounce deficit, No. 2 is definitely within reach tomorrow.

"I haven't won one in a while so I'm hungry."

Dean Arnoldussen and Randal Sterr hold up part of their 34-pound, 14-ounce catch.Arnoldussen rises to third

Open-water expert Dean Arnoldussen is once again having his way with Lake Erie - catching limits of 33 pounds and 34 pounds, 14 ounces. While the two days look similar on paper, they were actually quite different.

"Yesterday we hooked up on every fish and today we lost our first seven," said the Appleton, Wis., native. "We eventually got it together though. We found that if the water is too clean, you won't catch them."

Arnoldussen is trolling at 1 to 1.3 mph and relying heavily on his engine-mounted Minn Kota trolling motor. For part of the day he even employed a wind sock to help control his vessel.

"I love the Detroit area; I can jig the river and troll the lake. I was brought up jigging but we troll all the time on Green Bay. So it fits me great."

Arnoldussen is fishing with a heavy heart this year. During the holiday season, his brother Daniel Arnoldussen fell through the ice and died tragically while driving on Lily Lake in northern Wisconsin. Authorities said Arnoldussen kicked a window from the vehicle as it sunk and pushed his daughter Pro Don Loch and co-angler Jeff Edwards caught five walleyes Friday that weighed 34 pounds, 7 ounces.Megan Arnoldussen to safety.

Loch fourth

Iron Mountain, Mich., pro Don Loch is thriving in the first FLW Walleye Tour event of his career. After catching 30-10 on day one, he caught 34-7 today for a total of 65-1.

"I'm pulling spinners in the lake," said Loch. "I started the day in about 12 feet of water and ended in about 19. We were fishing the inside edge of an area and running our baits pretty much on the top half of the (water) column."

Loch's day could have been even better. He lost two good fish at the boat that were just out of reach. He was able to regroup and execute one last upgrade right at the end of the day.

"I'm shook up. I didn't sleep much last night and I know I'm not going to sleep much tonight. It's an Pro Ed Stachowski and co-angler Rich Carmack hold up part of their day-two catch.awesome feeling; that's all I can say."

Stachowski fifth

Ed Stachowski slipped from third to fifth after catching five walleyes Friday that weighed 29 pounds, 14 ounces. Stachowski finished the opening round with a two-day total of 65 pounds even.

The Canton, Mich., native is an expert on the Detroit River/Lake Erie. He fishes the system approximately 60 times per year. Not surprisingly, he's utilizing both the river and the lake during this particular tournament.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros who made the cutoff after day two:

6th: Jon Bondy of Windsor, Ontario, two-day total of 62-12
7th: John Campbell of Marco Island, Fla., 62-1
8th: Dan Stier of Mina, S.D., 61-13
9th: Mark Meravy of Shorewood, Ill., 61-5
10th: Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis., 59-4

Cox climbs to co-angler lead

Troy Cox has fished two walleye tournaments in his entire life. Truth be told, he's mostly a bass fisherman living in Jonesboro, Ark., and working for the Mizmo Bait Company. His first walleye tournament took place at Bull Shoals Lake in northern Arkansas back in 2005. Neither he nor any of his pro partners caught a keeper walleye during that brutally tough event.

Five years later he's catching them hand over fist at a much different venue. Today he drew Kolb and also got to share the boat with his father - whose pro partner had an emergency and had to withdraw from the tournament. To ensure no competitive advantage was given, the three were allowed the same number of lines in the water (4). Together they caught 37 pounds, 9 ounces - the heaviest limit of the tournament thus far.

"We were pretty much on them all day; it was awesome," said the younger Cox. "At one point I dropped my rod to go net Dave's fish and then my dad got hooked up.
"Fishing with Dave is amazing; he knows his stuff out here. He had us jigging in the river, and as a bass fisherman, you can't ask for anything better. I love getting to feel my bites."

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers who made the cutoff after day two:

2nd: Randal Sterr of Oconomowoc, Wis., two-day total of 66-11
3rd: Todd Macker of Columbus, Mich., 66-6
4th: Joseph Bruno of Strongsville, Ohio, 63-2
5th: Jeff Edwards of Washington, Ill., 62-0
6th: Mirko Canji of Belle River, Ontario, 59-10
7th: Barry Gropp of Walled Lake, Mich., 59-9
8th: Rich Carmack of Trenton, Mich., 58-10
9th: Kyle Schuchard of Essex, Ontario, 57-14
10th: Bruce Frevert of Centerville, Iowa, 57-5

The final day of FLW Walleye Tour competition on the Detroit River/Lake Erie begins as the top-10 pros and top-10 co-anglers take off from Elizabeth Park Marina in Trenton at 7 a.m. Eastern time Saturday.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2010-04-08-detroit-river 

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