UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

Olson reaches ultimate goal in walleye fishing

Olson reaches ultimate goal in walleye fishing
Pro Rick Olson (left) of Mina Lake, S.D., and co-angler Darren Miller (right) of Stevens Point, Wisc., took ninth place at the Sept. 5-8 Wal-Mart RCL Walleye tourney on Devils Lake after turning in a final-day catch of 8 pounds, 3 ounces. Olson won $7,000 while Miller took home a check for $1,500.

Captures 2001 Wal-Mart RCL Angler-of-the-Year title

Earning a whopping 555 points out of a possible 600, 44-year-old Rick Olson of Mina Lake, S.D., took home one of the most prestigious awards in the sport of walleye fishing - the first ever Wal-Mart RCL Angler of the Year.

"It was my main goal to earn the Angler-of-the-Year title this year," said Olson. "It is not only a great honor to receive this title, but also being the first in the world to receive the Wal-Mart RCL Anger of the Year title is a big thing for me."

Olson's year started off great and he didn't looked back from there. Propelled by one top-10 and two other top-30 finishes during the regular season, Olson beat out fellow anglers Mark Brumbaugh (second place with 532 points) of Arcanum, Ohio, and Chuck Miller (third with 524 points) of Suamico, Wis.

In sum, Olson placed 11th at Lake Erie, Ohio, 28th at Saginaw Bay, Mich., ninth at Devils Lake, N.D., and 146th at the RCL Championship in Green Bay, Wis. Olson brought in a total of 43 walleye weighing in at 201 pound, 11 ounces. His largest one-time weigh-in occurred at Lake Erie with an amazing 46-pound, 10-ounce five-fish limit. Olson's total earnings from the Wal-Mart RCL for 2001 were $16,000.

"He was a very consistent angler this year," said RCL tournament director Sonny Reynolds, "Not only is he a world class angler, but Rick has a top-deck personality, and is just a pleasure to be around."

Olson is no newcomer to success. He has had numerous wins throughout his 25-year fishing career and has well over 300 walleye tournaments to his name. Olson, who turned pro in 1992, was also the 2000 Angler of the Year on the Professional Walleye Trail.

However, Olson acknowledged that the RCL title was the most special.

"This is the biggest honor an angler can receive," said Olson. "It's just great to be first."

Palzkill take first place in the co-angler division

Steve Palzkill of Eau Claire, Wis., finished off the 2001 season in first place in the Co-angler Division, with an identical 555 points. Palzkill, who placed in the top 20 in each of the three regular-season Wal-Mart RCL tournaments as well as 156th in the championship, won a total of $2,900 for his efforts in 2001. Like Olson, Palzkill's largest stringer of walleye came from Lake Erie with a 36-pound, 2-ounce catch.

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