UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Eufaula

Hanson hangs on for co-angler crown on Oahe

Hanson hangs on for co-angler crown on Oahe
Christopher Hanson of New Hope, Minn., earned the FLW Walleye Tour victory in the Co-angler Division and took home $6,000. His three-day weight on Lake Oahe totaled 53 pounds, 2 ounces.

PIERRE, S.D. - Christopher Hanson of New Hope, Minn., took the Co-angler Division lead Friday on Lake Oahe, which led to his pairing Saturday with pro Chase Parsons. The pair went to town on the fish in the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour finals, landing a tournament limit of five that weighed 18 pounds, 5 ounces and ushered each of them into the winner's circle.

"I never really believed this could happen, and here I am," Hanson said. "It's pretty surreal."

Hanson started strong Thursday, fishing with pro Gary Maher for a five-walleye limit weighing 18-10 (including a 10-pound kicker fish) and a third-place finish on the day. Carrying that weight into day two, the Minnesota co-angler got a great draw Friday and fished with pro Paul Meleen, the overall 2010 FLW Walleye Tour Angler of the Year, for a 16-3 limit and first place on the day. Heading out with Parsons in boat No. 1 today sealed the deal for Hanson, who won the co-angler title on Oahe and $6,000 for a three-day total weight of 53-2.

"The conditions were brutal out there - we were all in 4- to 5-footers - so you really had to be on your toes," Hanson said (takeoff was delayed by an hour due to extreme weather conditions). "That really added to netting difficulties.
Pro Chase Parsons of Brillion, Wis., and co-angler Christopher Hanson of New Hope, Minn., caught five walleyes weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces on the final day of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour tournament on Lake Oahe and each won their division.
"Having said that, we had a great day. Our fish pretty much came in the right order."

Between state regulations for Oahe and tournament rules, catch strategy was of the utmost importance this week. A pro and co-angler could bring eight walleyes back to the scale, weighing their best five, of which all had to be at least 14 inches in length, but only two could be over 20 inches. What made decision making tricky was the regulation prohibiting upgrading, so a decision had to be made on whether to keep a walleye at the moment it was caught.

"We caught like a 24-incher on our second pass, but it was a big football - probably 5 1/2 pounds," Hanson said of their day fishing at Peoria Flats, including the decision to throw back a few smaller overs before moving shallower to fish for walleyes under 20 inches. "Then we had our dream pass."

The pair caught three slot fish in the 19-inch range before moving back out to land their final over - a 26-incher - before closing out their fishing day just after 11 a.m.

"The worst part of the day was waiting," Hanson laughed.

Keyser runner-up
Co-angler Dave Keyser of Oak Lawn, Ill., placed second with 15 walleyes, 51-6, for $3,000.
Finishing in second place was co-angler Dave Keyser of Oak Lawn, Ill., who finished the tournament with a total weight of 51-6 worth $3,000. His best weight came today on the back of five walleyes for 19-2 that he caught while fishing with third-place pro Tom Kemos.

"I've just had a blast," Keyser, a first-year co-angler on the FLW Walleye Tour, said of his week on Oahe.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers to fish the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour event on Lake Oahe:

Gary Kafka of Pierre, S.D., placed fourth in the Co-angler Division with 15 walleyes, 48-10, earning $1,200. 3rd: Dale Janota, Gillette, Wyo., 15 walleyes, 49-3, $1,800
4th: Gary Kafka, Pierre, S.D., 15 walleyes, 48-10, $1,200
5th: Jerry Chwierut, Lake Villa, Ill., 15 walleyes, 47-4, $1,000
6th: Flo Swank, Pierre, S.D., 15 walleyes, 46-14, $900
7th: Russell Somsen, Pierre, S.D., 13 walleyes, 44-2, $800
8th: Chad Resel, Wessington, S.D., 14 walleyes, 43-12, $700
9th: Chad Wilz, Appleton, Wis., 14 walleyes, 41-2, $600
10th: Dave Smith, Saint Joseph, Minn., 15 walleyes, 39-4, $500

Strissel earns Co-angler of the Year title

Boyd Strissel of Billings, Mont., won the Co-angler of the Year title on the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour along with $2,500 for his efforts. He discusses the honor with Walleye Tour host Chip Leer.Boyd Strissel of Billings, Mont., won the Co-angler of the Year title, sponsored by the National Guard, and earned $2,500 for his efforts. The 77-year-old has fished the FLW Walleye Tour four a dozen years, fishing in 37 events, and 2011 has been the pinnacle of his long co-angling career.

"I've had some of the greatest pros there are out there over the years in FLW - especially this year - and I just want to thank every one of them," he said, with emotion welling up in his voice. "My wife is just ecstatic ... she's just wishing she'd been here. Normally she travels with me, but she had some things to do with her sister this week. I just want to thank her."

Strissel fished his way to the title with remarkable finishes on the 2011 National Guard FLW Walleye Tour: 26th at Lake Erie, ninth at Leech Lake, eighth at Green Bay and 34th at Lake Oahe.

Next up is the season-ending National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship Sept. 22-25 on the Missouri River at Bismarck, N.D.

Tags: patrick-baker  co-angler-headline  2011-08-25-lake-oahe 

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