A river rat caught his just dues late Sunday morning.
Pending completion of paperwork and verification, Jim Zimmerman appears to have caught the Illinois-record walleye of 15.08 pounds from the Pecatonica River.
Zimmerman was pitching a 1/8th-ounce Northland fireball jig with a 3-inch Berkley PowerBait twister tail and a small minnow when he caught his 31.5-inch walleye with a girth of 20 3/8th inches.
``This guy fishes more than anybody I know,’’ said Dan Palmer, a well-known tournament organizer from the Rockford area. ``He has put in at least two months of 12 hours a day [on the Pec and the Rock rivers]. Last year he caught one that would have been a record, but it lost 10 percent of its weight in the freezer.
``There is not a more deserving guy to have the record. He puts the time in.’’
Palmer received a call from Zimmerman, a Wisconsin man, late Sunday morning asking what to do to certify it. Palmer told him to contact conservation police officers. They met him to witness the weighing at Blackhawk Meats in South Beloit, Wis.
``My daughter [Bobbie Jentz] was working and she said, ``Mom, oh my God, it was huge,’ ‘’ Debbie Jentz said. ``It was a buzz. People were taking photos out in the parking lot. It was huge.’’
``This guy, this was the perfect time, 14 days before the spawn,’’ said Dan Sallee, regional fisheries biologist who was plans to verify the fish and check paperwork this afternoon. ``That fish will be loaded with mature eggs.’’
Professional Fishing Guide Tom Neustrom of Grand Rapids Minnesota, teaches a customer walleye fishing tips and techniques on Lake Winnibigoshish. Visit Tom's website at http://www.mnfishingconnections.com for more information about guided fishing trips.
Dr. Jason Halfen uses scientific experiments to compare the Trigger X Walleye Minnow with leading competitor soft bait products. The research results of the test prove that Trigger X is overwhelmingly successful
When the readout of their digital scale flickered around the 19-pound mark as this past Monday afternoon faded into early evening, Brian Coe and friend Rick Sutherland decided they should probably get the fat walleye Brian had just caught onto a more official weights and measure device. After all, the Washington state record is 19.3 pounds.
So they rushed off the Columbia over to Yoke's grocery store, and even though the scale there pegged the fish at 18.54 pounds, it's still the catch of a lifetime for the Loon Lake angler.
Eric Olson to Guest Host Monday Night Fireside Chat March 5th, 2012
It’s been two years since we first interviewed Eric Olson with our previous “Twenty Questions” article, and I thought it would be fun to catch up to him and see what’s been going on since that time.
Eric will be our Guest Host for the next Monday Night Fireside Chat on March 5th, at 7pm Central Time, so pull up a chair and come and chat with this easy to talk to Pro about fishing, tournament fishing, ETEC motors, Ranger Boats, or anything else you would like to chat with him about.
Eric is known on the circuit for always having the fastest Ranger on the water, and that’s due to his continuous tweaking of the props, weight distribution, and motor heights. He is a fountain of information if you’re running this combo, so don’t miss your chance to pick his brain.
Juls: Welcome back, Eric. What have you been up to since we last spoke to you two years ago? Eric: WOW! Where to start? Well, in 2010 I won the Lake Oahe National Guard FLW Walleye Tour event, which was a pretty cool deal, and I have had some great sponsors continue to grow with me that were new in 2011; Bank Brewing Co., “Walleye Chop Beer” was one. They wrapped my boat last year. I have my own Radio show out of Red Wing, MN called “The Valley Outdoors With Eric Olson” (www.thevalleyeoutdoors.com). We’re on 4 stations now and looking to syndicate very soon. It’s lots of fun and we have a ton of great guests! (There is podcast and streaming for those that want to listen after the fact or if they aren’t in broadcast range).
Juls: Will you be working or participating in any children's events this year? Eric: I will be involved in all the Youth and Family events at the FLW Walleye Tour stops across the Midwest. It’s a great event that has a real positive feel for all involved; Mom, Dad, kids, and even grandparents attend. I think the biggest thing about these events is that the family really needs to be involved for this type of event to have a successful long term effect. The parents see the interest, and they learn a thing or two, the kids get all outfitted (for the most part) and all you have to do is add water and Bam!!…A fishin’ family is born!
Juls: Who are your sponsors for 2012? Eric: As always, my sponsors have been exceptional, as they have stood by me through many years of tournament fishing that may not have always included a podium position. That said they all believe in the promotion of the product, and the end result which is increased sales. That’s what I have always strived for from my first tourney year and on…my motto is, ”Under promise and over deliver!” These great companies are: Evinrude, Ranger, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Cannon, Shimano, Rapala, VMC, Sufix, Storm, Bob’s Machine Shop, Walleye Chop and Rooster Lager, Typhoon Optics, The Grand Lodge
Juls: Do you see Walleye tournaments getting better this year than the past few, or is it staying the same? Eric: Better can mean different things to different people. One might think it means better payouts, another might think it means a better format… I think it means more participation. I hope with the optimism I had seen last year it will bring out more people that had the “wait and see” attitude. More participants means more payout, and more payouts mean more everything! I think the advancements the FLW made last year really put it in a class by itself in the Walleye tournament world; Pre season TV show highlighting the upcoming season, TV show for each event, tremendous web coverage and live feeds from the events, dedicated walleye magazine, and last, but not least… great events and payout, structure and people.
Juls: What is your opinion of where Walleye tournaments are headed for the future? Eric: They can only head up! Last year was the start of the resurgence, albeit with baby steps, we are heading in the right direction and things look good for the upcoming years!
Juls: Do you see an increase in interest from young people towards fishing? Or, do you see a decline due to the increase in technology that keeps kids on the computer? What's your take on it? Eric: From looking at the FLW youth events success and growth I hope that’s an indicator on a micro scale that things are changing to growth and activities that include outdoor activities. I teach skiing for a roving ski school in the winter and the numbers are growing there as well!
Juls: Are you helping any of your sponsors to create new products? If so, are there any you can talk about for the 2012 season? Eric: Yes, I am in several areas, but as they aren’t at the go to market stage yet…sorry, mums the word.
Juls: You always have a wrapped boat....who are you featuring this year? Eric: Well, I’m extremely excited to announce that along with the Beer for Wildlife brands (Walleye Chop and Rooster Lager) I will have the Grand Lodge as the main wrap!! They are a full service pheasant hunting lodge targeting corporate client business development using the outdoors. They are great people that understand hunters, because they are hunters themselves, and phenomenal habitat means tons of birds and a memorable hunt! Juls: What would you consider to be the hardest part of being a Professional Tournament Angler? - Read The Rest Of The Walleye Central Article