UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Lake Norman

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Tough times on the Mississippi

The sun rises on the top 42 pro and co-anglers for the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship.

DAVENPORT, Iowa - With a season that began on the Mississippi River in Red Wing, Minn., it seems only fitting that the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour should wrap it up back on the mighty Miss. After a seven-year hiatus, the FLW Walleye Tour returns to crown a champion in the Quad Cities.

Anglers swing by the dock to get checked in on the first morning of the championship.The fishing outlook for this week is grim - to put it lightly. The warm weather that has lingered over this stretch of the river - pools 14, 15, 16 and 17 - for the past couple weeks and light current have combined to give these fish a case of lockjaw. Another variable for the anglers is the slot limits that are in place. Walleyes must have a minimum length of 15 inches and be no more than 20 inches long, although anglers will be able to keep exactly one fish over 27 inches per day. The saugers and saugeye must be a minimum of 15 inches to keep.

With only a few keepers a day being caught in practice it seems as though many of the boats will favor the saugers and saugeye to fill their limits. The walleyes have been few and far between with the better fish being found up the river in pool 14.

Launching from pool 16, as predicted, many of the pros took off to head up river. With guaranteed lock time giving the anglers confidence, most of the field is swinging for the fences by making the long run up to pools 15 and 14. One of the anglers that will be heading north is Brett King of Claremont, Minn., who finished third in the Angler of the Year race and is an avid Mississippi River fisherman.

"It's been extremely tough, so I'm just going to try to catch a few fish and see what happens," said the Mercury pro. "I'll tell you one thing, it will be a boat race coming out of the locks to get to the better spots.

"There's not a lot of current to begin with and the way the wind is blowing today it will pretty much cancel out any current, which will make the bite even tougher," King continued. "I'm not really even sure a limit will come in. I know back home where I fish (pools 3 and 4) these conditions make things tough, but I like tough and feel confident in my abilities on the river to make adjustments."

King plans to target the saugers just to put some fish in the boat. He says that he will be happy if he has any fish to bring to the scales.

Another veteran who has similar feelings about the fishing is fellow Mercury pro Ted Takasaki. Back in 2005, Takasaki finished in 31st place by catching just two walleyes in two days of fishing. This time around, however, Takasaki hopes that the fish will cooperate better.

Ted Takasaki prepares to drop his boat in for day one of the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship. "It's a tough bite. Whoever can consistently put two, three, or more keepers in the boat will do well," said Takasaki. "I'm here to win so I'm going to run to where the big fish live. The saugers will be very crucial to help build a limit."

"I'll be looking for just a few fish each day, and I will be a happy man when I get the first keeper in the boat," continued the pro from Sioux Falls, S.D. "It's going to be jigs and rigs this week, nice and simple."

Tournament logistics

The top 42 pros and top 42 co-anglers will compete this week for top awards of up to $100,000 in the Pro Division and $15,000 in the Co-angler Division.

The format for this tournament will be the full field of 42 pros and 42 co-anglers fishing the first two days. On day three the top 20 in each division will fish, and a co-angler champion will be crowned. On Sunday, the final day, the field drops down to the top 10 pros fishing for the title.

National Guard pro Mark Courts has some laughs before he tackles the Mississippi. Anglers will take off from the Centennial Park Launch located at 315 S. Marquette St. in Davenport, Iowa at 7:30 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at the River Center located at 136 E. 3rd St. in Davenport beginning at 4 p.m. daily.

Walleye fans take note

Want to watch the weigh in live but can't make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 4 p.m. Central Time to watch live streaming video and audio of today's opening-round weigh in.


Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:27 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 67 degrees
Expected high temperature: 70 degrees
Water temperature: 57 degrees
Wind: West 20 to 30 mph
Humidity: 79 percent
Day's outlook: Windy with rain and a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Tags: kyle-wood  morning-story  2012-10-25-mississippi-river-quad-cities 

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