Pro angler earns more than $83,000 in winnings
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (July 30, 2019) – David Kolb, of Grand Blanc, Michigan, weighed a combined total of 65.04 pounds to win the National Walleye Tour Presented by Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops event at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, July 26. Because he is Ranger Cup qualified, Kolb won an upgraded and fully rigged Ranger 620FS package with a 225-horsepower Mercury outboard, $15,000 in prize money and $2,364 in Anglers Advantage cash for a total of $83,259 in winnings.
Kolb’s first victory came in 2003 on Lake Erie. Ironically, it was the first major tournament he ever entered. Sixteen years later he returned to the winner’s podium on walleye fishing’s biggest stage.
“I spent a week and a half prefishing; I worked really hard for this one,” said Kolb. “I’ve been in the hunt several times, so it’s nice to finish one off. Sometimes you wonder if you’re doing something wrong.”
Kolb’s extensive practice led him to a rocky shoreline in the Drummond Island area, located approximately 45 miles from takeoff. On Monday, Kolb caught a 27, a 29 1/2, and a 26 in short time. He knew he discovered something special, but at the time he wasn’t sure it would hold up.
“I actually started the tournament on a jigging spot in the St. Joseph’s area,” said Kolb. “I was consistently getting 23 to 25 pounds there. I caught a few, but I ended up culling everything out at the big-fish spot. Today I pretty much spent the entire day in Drummond.”
The bite was not fast and furious this morning. At 11:30, Kolb only had one skinny 24-incher in his Ranger livewell. He debated a major move, but chose to stay largely because the bite tended to improve in the afternoon.
“That class of fish is really rare up here,” said Kolb. “I was fortunate to find it. And I was fortunate that they were active in the afternoon. I don’t understand why, but it was a later-in-the-day bite.”
On day one, Kolb caught two casting a No. 7 Rapala Rippin’ Rap (Redfire crawdad). On the final day, all five of his fish came from trolling Reef Runner 600 Series Deep Little Rippers (Cheap sunglasses and Purple descent).
“There were big boulders, so I wanted the crankbaits just above the bottom,” said Kolb. “Today I ran four boards to one side because all my bites were coming on the inside.”
John Hoyer, of Orono, Minnesota, weighed a total of 50.82 pounds to take second place. Hoyer has recently become one of the hottest names in professional walleye fishing. His streak started with a victory at Green Bay, at the second event of the season. The common denominator between the two events is casting. In Marinette, Hoyer mainly employed lipless crankbaits. This week, he used a new swimbait that was recently released at ICAST.
“I caught every one of my fish on the new Berkley PowerBait The Champ Swimmer,” said Hoyer. “It’s a 4.6-inch paddletail with a high definition printed side. My best colors were black crappie, blueback herring, and yellow perch.”
Hoyer fished the new bait on a 1/2-ounce Fusion 19 swimbait jighead with a 6/0 hook.
“I was basically bass fishing in musky spots,” said Hoyer. “I would cast into the thickest cabbage, snap the bait as hard as you can to clear the cabbage, and they’d bite it on the fall. I was letting it freefall as fast as it possible could, and they would absolutely inhale it.”
Hoyer won $18,750 for his second-place finish and took advantage of the numerous contingency awards and added $2,059 in Anglers Advantage cash, $1,000 boat bonus and $1,000 motor bonus for a total of $22,809 in winnings.
Bill Sutton (third), Brett King (fourth), Kevin McQuoid (fifth), Kent Anderson (sixth), Jason Doyon (seventh), Michael Lenarduzzi (eighth), Eric Olson (ninth) and Gary Parsons (tenth) round out the top-10 pro-anglers.
Robert Olson, of Walnut Larsen, Wisconsin, took home top honors in the co-angler Division with a total weight of 49.41 pounds. On day one, Olson made the long run with King, and the two trolled a limit worth 23.09 pounds. The final day he fished the cabbage with Hoyer, and together they weighed five walleyes for 26.32 pounds. Olson earned $7,085 for his win.
Rich Weiss (second), John Allen (third), Drake McCarthy (fourth), Brad Rudie (fifth), Brian Schwiderson (sixth), Kevin Slagg (seventh), Jason Kiesow (eighth), Quentin McCarthy (ninth) and David Miller (tenth) round out the top-10 co-anglers.
The next stop for the NWT is the championship event set for September 11-13 at Devils Lake, North Dakota.
For more details, anglers are encouraged to call 612-424-0708 or check out the website at www.nationalwalleyetour.com. From here, site visitors can learn more about the NWT, view the TV schedule and learn more about what’s in store for 2019.
National Walleye Tour events are made possible through the sponsorship and continued support of these well-respected brands: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Mercury, Lucas Oil, Triton Boats, Power-Pole, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance, Valley Fashions, T-H Marine, Atlas, G-Juice, Powertex Group.
2019 NWT scheduled events:
Championship – September 11-13 – Devils Lake, N.D.