UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Let’s get vertical

Let’s get vertical

In spring, on freewheeling rivers with heavy current, vertical jigging for walleyes is a delicate dance. Its most ballet-like maneuver: a heel-and-toe tango on the foot pedal of a bowmount electric trolling motor. READ MORE »

The river walleye

The river walleye

When ice floes quit ripping with the onset of spring, the time is prime to take it to the river. The water’s running, the season’s open, and saugers and walleyes are chomping. READ MORE »

Blade runners

Blade runners

During winter, open-water opportunities for walleyes and saugers are limited to choice situations below dams. Ice can’t form in their fast-flowing tailraces, so it’s a perfect time for lures made of heavy metal to slice the current and trigger strikes. READ MORE »

Timeline: Hummin’ along

Timeline: Hummin’ along

Remember a decade ago when the best electric trolling motor was a 24-volt model – two batteries – that generated 55 pounds of thrust? In retrospect, you might also remember how battery power, though a huge improvement over the oomph supplied to glorified eggbeaters a decade before that, was lacking for a full day’s worth of pedal-to-the-medal maneuvering. READ MORE »

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence

Seemingly countercultural and counterintuitive, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour pro Rick Walter of Casper, Wyo., is at odds with the Midwestern and thoroughly Minnesotan gospel according to walleye – a bucket of leeches, a box of night crawlers and thou. How so? Walter believes in fake, not bait. READ MORE »

Jig of all trades

Jig of all trades

Drag, pitch, pop, rip, lift, hover, shake, swim. What’s the beauty of a jig? You can do anything with it, no matter the sum of its parts. READ MORE »

Parsing the waters

Parsing the waters

Plus: Top five walleye spots you don't want to miss READ MORE »

Every lock that’s unlocked

Every lock that’s unlocked

MOLINE, Ill. — In an increasingly erratic bite spiced by a cold front after a dash of warm, stable weather, it didn’t even take a five-fish limit to seal victory in the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River out of the Quad Cities. What it took was four walleyes weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces to capture victory and $300,000 for Ranger pro Nick Johnson of Elmwood, Wis. READ MORE »

Semifinals flip-flop

Semifinals flip-flop

MOLINE, Ill. — Come Friday’s semifinals of the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour Championship on the Mississippi River, the sole constant was utter inconsistency. The top qualifier, Crestliner pro Dan Plautz of Muskego, Wis., squeaked into the sixth and last spot in the finals with two fish for 4 pounds, 2 ounces. The 12th and final qualifier, Lund pro Russell McDonald of Dryden, Ontario, powered into a short-lived lead with a five-fish limit of 10 pounds, 5 ounces. READ MORE »

Weeds be gone?

Weeds be gone?

MOLINE, Ill. — Weeds, weeds everywhere. Weeds, indeed, have been troublemakers with little respite for the field competing in the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River. READ MORE »

What a difference a day makes

What a difference a day makes

MOLINE, Ill. — On a day of upward swings and downward swoons that decided the second day’s top-12 cut to Friday’s semifinals of the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship, a quality catch of saugers propelled Crestliner pro Dan Plautz of Muskego, Wis., in a dramatic move from 15th place to first on the momentum of a second-day weight of 11 pounds, 5 ounces for a qualifying total of 18-13. READ MORE »

Keenan’s repeat campaign

Keenan’s repeat campaign

MOLINE, Ill. — With uncanny similarities to 2003’s Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour Championship finals, the penultimate angler to weigh in on opening day of the second Mississippi River title bout in a row struck up echoes of a year ago, edging out the last championship’s runner-up, Ranger pro Scott Allar of Welch, Minn., who weighed five fish for 11 pounds, 13 ounces for third place. Last year’s champion, Ranger pro Tom Keenan of Hatley, Wis., trolled up four walleye, including a monster, to jump into first place to get the tournament going. READ MORE »

Every second counts

Every second counts

MOLINE, Ill. — With thousands of wing dams, a maze of backwaters and a surfeit of possible ways to catch fish, the possibilities are endless for opening day of the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi. Something more valuable and more precious, however, could be severely limited: time. READ MORE »

Roll black water

Roll black water

MOLINE, Ill. — All things considered, conditions on the Mississippi River could be better and could be worse for the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship starting Wednesday and the run-up to a tournament win worth a potential $400,000 cash and an overall purse totaling $1.4 million. READ MORE »

Big-water walleyes

Big-water walleyes

Check out a map, stand on shore or simply imagine, if you will, the vast waters where the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour holds most of its events, and the wide-open spaces are bound to give pause to the uninitiated. A Missouri River reservoir in the Dakotas stretches between dozens and hundreds of miles from one dam to the next. Lake Erie, a favorite Great Lakes tournament venue, unfurls toward four states and even across the border to another nation. It would be easy to get lost in the abundance of water and walleyes. READ MORE »

Bait and switch

Bait and switch

PIERRE, S.D. — Making the most of home-water advantage and a thorough knowledge of night crawlers, local guide and resort owner Terry Nelson of Pierre came up with a big catch in the clutch, a weight of 16 pounds, 4 ounces, to surpass the trollers in the finals and take the title in the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour event on Lake Oahe. READ MORE »

Catching Crow

Catching Crow

PIERRE, S.D. — It’s overcast, there’s a puff of wind, and both bode well for a shootout in the finals of the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour competition on Lake Oahe. READ MORE »

Crow flies

Crow flies

PIERRE, S.D. — Boosted by the benefits of breeze, Lund pro Bobby Crow of Paterson, Wash., bagged his biggest limit to date in the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour event on Lake Oahe, claiming the semifinals lead by a narrow margin with 16 pounds, 4 ounces. READ MORE »

High-plains drifters

High-plains drifters

PIERRE, S.D. — Good morning, Lake Oahe. For the third day of competition in the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour here, the morning dawned sunny and calm. Sounds great, but the high skies, scant ripple and forecast for wind later in the day are a mixed blessing for the top 20. READ MORE »

Waiting game

Waiting game

In typical bewitching fashion, Lake Oahe handed out its share of trickery Thursday in the stretch run for the top-20 cut in the final Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Tour qualifying event of the year. READ MORE »