UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Arnoldussen rallies for emotional third win

Arnoldussen rallies for emotional third win
Pro Dean Arnoldussen and co-angler Todd Macker caught a five-fish limit Saturday weighing 33 pounds, 15 ounces.

TRENTON, Mich. - Long considered one of the best walleye anglers in the game, Dean Arnoldussen has had a rough go of it lately. Over the holidays his brother Daniel died tragically when he fell through the ice while driving on Lily Lake in northern Wisconsin.

Authorities said Daniel kicked a window from the vehicle as it sunk and pushed his daughter Megan to safety. With his brother's courageous act in mind, Arnoldussen took to the water with a purpose. And by week's end, the Appleton, Wis., native was dedicating his third FLW Walleye Tour win to him.

"I've had a real tough year or so," Arnoldussen said to Tournament Director Sonny Reynolds. "This is for my brother."

All three of Arnoldussen's wins have come at open-water venues. His first, the 2001 Walleye Tour Dean Arnoldussen gently sets his fish on the scale Saturday afternoon.Championship, came on his home water of Green Bay. Win No. 2 came on the Ohio side of Lake Erie out of Port Clinton in 2005. And this week Arnoldussen found a productive spot on the Michigan side of Lake Erie near Lunar Pier. This area, located near the Ohio border, had the right water clarity - a crucial component in Arnoldussen's success.

"We fished stained water; that was the key," he said. "We were looking for that milky color where the clarity was about 2 feet."

Once he found that mix, Arnoldussen would set out four trolling lines with planer boards. He put his two outside boards 20 to 25 feet back and his inside boards were approximately 25 to 30 feet back.

For bait, he used short, fat night crawlers and spinners. He experimented with colors but his best two were a pink blade made by Walleyes Unlimited and a holographic green blade made by Northland Fishing Tackle. He trolled these spinners at 1 to 1.3 mph with his engine-mounted Minn Kota electric motor. The water in the area was approximately 15 feet deep and most of his fish bit halfway up the water column.

Dean Arnoldussen and Todd Macker hold up their trophies for winning the 2010 FLW Walleye Tour opener."Today we changed areas in the afternoon. We left Lunar Pier and went 10 miles north to fish a place called Stony Point. It turned out to be a great decision as we had two triples within 15 minutes. We caught our last kicker, an 8 1/2-pounder, with about an hour left. When I came in I didn't think I had enough. I guess that last kicker sealed it."

Arnoldussen caught approximately 25 keepers Saturday. Of those 25, seven came from Stony Point - the rest from Lunar. His best five weighed 33 pounds, 15 ounces. Combined with days one and two, he finished the tournament with 101 pounds, 13 ounces.

"I've had a dry spell for awhile; I was due. Tom (Keenan) was catching up to me and threatening to kick me off the team. This should keep him quiet for awhile."

Thanks to $10,000 in Ranger Cup contingencies and $8,000 in Evinrude contingencies, Arnoldussen earned $34,924.

Fike proud of second

In only the third Walleye Tour event of his life, his second as a pro, Richard Fike put together an impressive program that nearly went the distance. Fishing near Arnoldussen at times, Fike caught limits of 36-6, 34-3 and 28-13 for a total weight of 99 pounds, 6 ounces. While Arnoldussen left Lunar Pier Richard Fike and Troy Cox caught 28 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday and slipped to second in their respective divisions.late in the day Saturday, Fike stayed the course and was never able to coax a big bite.

"We had our limit by 9 a.m. this morning," said the Farmington, Pa., pro. "We kept working over the fish but we just couldn't get the right size. I even switched to cranks late in the day but we never could trigger a bigger one."

While Arnoldussen kept his speed steady, Fike frequently executed stalls.

"Pausing the boat emulates a baitfish trying to get away. I was also trying to work the entire water column. If there were any way down, I wanted to give the active fish a chance to bite."

Water color and clarity were also important to his success.

"I was looking for the transition from brown-green to blue-green with about a foot and a half of clarity."

Earlier in the week, Fike fished the mouth of Maumee Bay near Turtle Island. He started there again today, but didn't like what he saw (too clean) and immediately went south. His best blade colors were metallic red and chartreuse trolled at .8 to 1.3 mph. While Arnoldussen controlled the boat with his engine-mounted trolling motor, Fike used his bow-mounted Minn Kota i-Pilot.

Without contingencies, his second-place finish was worth $3,425.

"This was a life goal of mine," said Fike, reflecting on his first top-10. "I'm not disappointed at all with second."

Pro Don Loch and co-angler Joseph Bruno caught five walleyes Saturday that weighed 29 pounds, 2 ounces.Loch moves up to third

Iron Mountain, Mich., native Don Loch finished third with a total weight of 94 pounds, 3 ounces, which earned him$2,936. Saturday Loch caught a limit from the lake weighing 29 pounds, 2 ounces - his lightest of the week.

"A lot of people said the wind hurt them but we found our spot because of the wind," said Loch, who was fishing his first Walleye Tour event. "We went out towards Stony Point and chose to fish the inside edge and stay out of the wind. And then we just started whacking fish. I've never thrown back so many 5- and 6-pounders."

Like Arnoldussen, Lock found success with spinners and crawlers high in the water column.

"We were fishing water 12 to 19 feet deep and they all came from 6 feet and above."
Fourth-place pro Tom Keenan holds up two nice Lake Erie walleyes.
Keenan climbs to fourth

Tom Keenan started the day in 10th place and rallied all the way to fourth via a 34-pound, 15-ounce limit, the heaviest of the day. Keenan finished the event with 94 pounds, 3 ounces - the same total as Loch. But Loch won the tiebreaker, which goes to the angler with the heaviest opening-round weight.

"Dean and I fish together so our patterns were very similar," said the 2006 Angler of the Year. "I was also fishing the Lunar Pier area but I never saw him today. I moved a little bit to an area with warmer water and absolutely whacked them. It was a ball. My hands are sore from handling fish."

Keenan also used a Minn Kota engine-mounted trolling motor to keep his speed between .9 and 1 mph.

The Hatley, Wis., pro earned $7,050 thanks to Evinrude and Ranger contingencies.

Pro Dan Stier and co-angler Rich Carmack hold up their day-three catch.Stier finishes fifth

Dan Stier improved three spots to fifth with a limit weighing 29 pounds, 14 ounces. Combined with 28-13 and 33-0 from days one and two, the Mina, S.D., pro finished with a total weight of 91 pounds, 11 ounces.

This was Stier's eighth top-10 finish and he earned $2,957.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pro finalists at the FLW Walleye Tour event on the Detroit River/Lake Erie:

6th: Mark Meravy of Shorewood, Ill., 89-11, $2,679
7th: David Kolb of Rockford, Mich., 87-11 , $2,296
8th: Jon Bondy of Windsor, Ontario, 86-10, $1,223
9th: John Campbell of Marco Island, Fla., 83-5, $1,669
10th: Ed Stachowski of Canton, Mich., 80-1, $734

Competition resumes April 29-May 1 for the second qualifying event in the Eastern Division on the Illinois River in Spring Valley, Ill. The Western Division opener is slated for May 20-22 on Pool 3 of the Mississippi River and the lower St. Croix River.

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

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