UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Steffens goes from hospital bed to first

Day-one pro leader Dan Steffens (left) of Oxford, Wis., and his co-angler partner Brandon Finck of Minnesota hold up four giant Lake Erie walleyes.

PORT CLINTON, Ohio - Two weeks ago, Dan Steffens was on his back in a hospital bed after suffering severe burns on his legs and ankles. The burns were so bad he had to coax his doctor into letting him spend the next two weeks in a boat. Thankfully, his doctor obliged.

Steffens, a maintenance worker from Oxford, Wis., brought in the heaviest five-fish limit on the first day of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour, held out of Port Clinton, Ohio, on Lake Erie. It weighed 42 pounds, 15 ounces.

"I wanted to fish so bad. I promised my doctor I would change my bandages and do everything I could to avoid making my legs worse," he said.

Although he and his co-angler partner, Brandon Finck of Minnesota, actually caught the fish, Steffens credits his strong day to a few others, notably, fellow pro Kevin Carstensen.

"I was struggling to stay in the boat during practice because my legs hurt so bad, and I was having trouble getting anything going. Kevin took me out in his boat and showed me what he was doing and where he was doing it. I went there today, and we just happened to get some good fish right away. I can't thank Kevin enough," said Steffens, adding that he didn't catch a single fish on the last day of practice.

Understandably, he's holding his cards close, giving up only the fact that he caught his fish trolling. That's not much information, but with a $50,000 first-place check on the line, it's no wonder Steffens wants to keep his tactics to himself.

That may be hard to do in this tournament. Although the water around Port Clinton is known not only for numbers of walleye, but big fish, too, Erie is actually fishing small. The lake is suffering from the effects of too much rain and wind: Clear water is a precious commodity. Find it and you've not only found fish, Wisconsin pro Gary Parsons brought a five-fish limit that tipped the scales at 41 pounds, 5 ounces, enough for second place.you've also found plenty of other anglers, as Steffens learned. Those other boats actually turned out to be a good thing. He was forced into a different drift than he originally planned, but the new drift put him on his huge limit.

Parsons, Barrett second

Steffens wasn't the only angler who busted the 40-pound mark. Wisconsin pro Gary Parsons and his co-angler Dave Barrett, also from Wisconsin, brought a five-fish limit that tipped the scales at 41 pounds, 5 ounces, enough for second place. Parsons predicted at least a few anglers just might break 40 today, and after the weigh-in he admitted he felt he might be one of them.

"We've been on good fish during the practice," he said, referring to sponsor teammates Keith Kavajecz, who sits in fifth place, and his son, Chase, who is in 10th. "My partner and I just happened to get on some good fish early, and we kept moving around, picking up a good one here and there."

Parsons credits his long experience with Great Lakes walleye to his current standing, including plenty of time on the water around Port Clinton itself. With that experience in mind, he plans to do the same thing tomorrow, but like leader Steffens, he's reluctant to say exactly what or where that is.

"I had some other boats around me, so I'd prefer not to have any more if I can help it," he said.

Graves third among pros

Third-place professional Jeff Graves also had a few other boats around him, but he didn't think they mattered too much. He managed to bring in the only other 40-pound-plus sack of the first day. It weighed 40-2. He caught all his fish on a three-mile drift, pulling crankbaits and Reef Runners, a popular local bait that has a reputation for catching Erie's giants. It caught a 10-pounder for Graves, but the big fish came off at the back of the boat.

"That fish would have helped, but that's how it goes sometimes. I know where to go tomorrow," he said.

All three top pros admitted they just happened to find big fish, something many of the other anglers didn't do. Although there were 12 limits over 30 pounds, there were dozens of anglers who only weighed a single fish. That could certainly change. The weather is supposed to be settled and the water will likely be clearer tomorrow, an ingredient all the anglers have been waiting for.

Tournament details
Second-place pro Gary Parsons and his co-angler partner, well-known chef Dale Janota, enjoy their moment in the limelight.

Anglers will take off from the Nor' Easter Club at 2801 Nor' Easter Cove Road in Port Clinton at 7 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Friday's weigh-in will take place at WaterWorks Park in downtown Port Clinton beginning at 3 p.m; Saturday's weigh-in will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will be held at the Walmart located at 2826 East Harbor Rd. in Port Clinton. There will be a free family fishing clinic where children can win free rods and reels and other great giveaways prior to the final weigh-in. Fans will also have the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, ride in a Ranger boat simulator, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing during the FLW Outdoors Expo. All activities are free and open to the public.

Tags: david-hart  headline-story  2011-05-12-lake-erie 

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

Duarte Covers Ground for Second W

John Duarte of Middle River, Maryland, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division season opener on Lake Hartwell presented by Navionics. For his win, Duarte earned $4,396. READ MORE »

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Stevens Drops 32-10 on Big O

Kail Stevens of Boynton Beach, Florida, caught a massive five-bass limit Saturday weighing 32 pounds, 10 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee. Stevens took home $4,766 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Aaron Plays Current for G-Ville Win

Chad Aaron of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, caught five bass Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division season opener on Lake Guntersville presented by Navionics. For his win, Aaron earned $4,363. READ MORE »

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »

Thliveros Brings it Home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »

Roder Out Front on Big O

Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »