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Deep rigging versus shallow jigging

Walker City Park bustles with activity shortly before the day-four takeoff.

WALKER, Minn. - After two straight days of wind and rain at the 2010 FLW Walleye Tour Championship, the weather in the northern Minnesota lakes region has finally stabilized. For some of the top 10 pros, that's good news. For others, it's bad news.

While the top two pros, Terry Filkins and Chris Gilman, are mainly rigging in deep water, third-place pro Paul Meleen and fifth-place pro Mark Courts are jigging in the shallows. The calm weather is a blessing for the deep fishermen, while the skinny-water anglers know they must capitalize on the first few hours of the day to put together a sizeable limit.

"I think I have a 3-hour window from blastoff," said Meleen, who caught three overs yesterday. "I believe the fish will still be there and they'll still bite, especially with this cloud cover."

Sitting 4 pounds behind Filkins and Gilman, Meleen knows he has to have an over to have a chance at winning.

"I'm going to dedicate half my day to big fish. I believe Chris Gilman, day in and day out, is one of the top three walleye fishermen in the country. So I think he'll probably get an over. If I can get a 10-pounder and some good slots, I have an outside shot at winning with him still getting an over. But my over is

going to have to be a 30-incher. And Terry Filkins, it's his first time here, but he's done an amazing job. There's no reason he can't go out and stick an over today and win it."

For the first time all week, Filkins failed to get an over yesterday. He too, knows he'll need one today to take home the title.

"Its flat calm this morning and I'm good with that," the pro leader said. "I've got current in my area and I'm a river guy so I'm very comfortable fishing in current."

Filkins said calmer weather helps him position his boat better and enables him to really feel his bites.

"I'm loving this. It should make what I'm doing easier and it might kill the main-lake bite."

Filkins plans to return to the deep-water saddle in Kabekona, the spot he fished each of the first three days.

"I'm not going to do anything different. Whatever happens, happens. If I get the right bites it should be a done deal."

Logistics

Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Northern Lights Casino parking lot located at 6800 Y Frontage Road NW in Walker beginning at 4 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Family Fun Zone at the Northern Lights Casino from 1 - 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in. Rod and reel combos will be given to the first 100 kids under 14 in attendance, which can be redeemed following the final weigh-in. The Family Fun Zone will include the National Guard obstacle course and rock climbing walls, a Ranger boat simulator, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing. All activities are free and open to the public.

Pros fish all four days, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days. The winning pro at this no-entry-fee championship is guaranteed a purse of $20,000 with up to $40,000 if boat and motor contingency awards are met.

On the Web

For those who can't catch the weigh-in action in person, FLWOutdoors.com offers FLW Live, an online application that brings fans real-time weigh-in results, streaming video and audio.

In addition to FLW Live, FLWOutdoors.com is offering real-time updates from the water throughout each day of the 2010 FLW Walleye Tour Championship. Simply click on the "On the Water Coverage" banner from any of the FLW Outdoors and walleye home pages.

Saturday's conditions

Sunrise: 7:09 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 45 degrees
Expected high temperature: 58 degrees
Water temperature: 55-58 degrees
Wind: SSW at 4 mph
Maximum humidity: 74 percent
Day's outlook: partly cloudy

Tags: brett-carlson  morning-story  2010-09-22-leech-lake 

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