UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Lake Mead

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Miller cruises to co-angler title

Co-angler champion Bob Miller (left) and pro champion Brett Wilkens show off their first-place trophies.

OSHKOSH, Wis. - Co-angler Bob Miller could have slept in this morning and still walked away as the winner of the FLW Walleye Tour Eastern Division finale. He had an incredible opening round - catching the heaviest stringers each of the first two days of competition. He started the final day with an 18-pound, 2-ounce lead over second place. And just to put icing on the cake, he caught one more walleye Saturday on an ultra-stingy Lake Winnebago.

On day one he used jigs and slip bobbers while fishing with pro winner Brett Wilkens. On day two, he trolled main-lake mud with Brian Deffner. At 11 a.m. they had an empty livewell and then within the next three hours they had over 19 pounds. On day three, he was reunited with Deffner and the two once again trolled crankbaits near Garlic Island.

The final margin of Miller's wire-to-wire win was 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

"This hasn't sunk in yet," said the Oshkosh, Wis., native. "Everybody told me I had it locked up and to just go out and fish and forget about it. I'm still surprised; I never expected this."

The 71-year-old Miller fished this event with his son Jeff. The two compete in local events like the annual Otter Street and Walleye Weekend tournaments. While Bob had incredible success this time around, son Jeff failed to catch a keeper in three days of competition.

"The bite this week was so tough. Every day was a grind. Even the days we did good we really had to work for them. If it wasn't for my pros I wouldn't have done it."

For a three-day weight of 33 pounds, 11 ounces, Miller earned $3,094.

Little climbs to second

Coming in second for the co-anglers was Eugene Little of Milton, Wis. Little fished with pro Mark Keenan on day three and the two managed a 17-pound, 11-ounce limit, by far the heaviest of the day. He finished the tournament with a combined weight of 25 pounds, 15 ounces, earning $1,237.

"Today Mark could not doing any wrong," Little said. "He'd say `watch that board' and then boom the board would go back with a fish. That happened not once but twice."

Little and Keenan trolled Little Ripper crankbaits over the mud.

Navis third

Co-angler Derek Navis of Waupun, Wis., fell one spot from second to third after catching three fish Saturday weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces. But more importantly, he caught one of the keepers that solidified Wilkens' win. Without it, the title would have gone to Keenan.

"There's no doubt about it," Wilkens said. "He caught the 14-incher that helped me win the tournament."

That pivotal fish bit an 1/8-ounce jig tipped with half a night crawler. Other than that, Navis contributed by lifting Wilkens' giant anchor nearly 40 times.

"I don't think I've ever pulled anchor that much in one day," he said. "I'm worn out."

Navis' three-day total weight was 19 pounds, 10 ounces, good for $928.

Sterr fourth

Randal Sterr of Oconomowoc, Wis., was able to catch four fish on day three weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces. After fishing with Wilkens on day two, Sterr drew pro Chris Gilman on the final day. The two spent most of the day trolling deep-diving crankbaits over main-lake mud flats.

Sterr finished in the fourth spot among the co-anglers with a total weight of 17 pounds, 15 ounces, earning $1,304 with a Ranger Cup bonus.

Beasley fifth

Fifth place went to Steve Beasley of Macomb, Mich., who boated four walleyes Saturday with pro Paul Meleen that weighed 4 pounds, 1 ounce. Beasley's three-day total weight was 17 pounds, 1 ounce, which earned him a check for $742.

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler finalists at the FLW Walleye Tour event on Lake Winnebago:

6th: Collin Martin of Appleton, Wis., 12-8 (three-day total), $681
7th: Mike Taylor of Midland, Mich., 10-1, $619
8th: Brian Boelter of Colgate, Wis., 10-1, $557
9th: Tim Depooter of Rock Island, Ill., 9-4, $495 + $1,090 optional pot
10th: Bob Allen of Brookfield, Wis., 8-2, $433

FLW Walleye Tour competition resumes July 29-31 on Devils Lake in Devils Lake, N.D.

Tags: brett-carlson  co-angler-headline  2010-07-15-lake-winnebago 

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