Courts Leads FLW Walleye Tour Event On Illinois River
SPRING VALLEY, Ilinois – Pro Mark Courts of Harris, Minnesota, and co-angler Steve Beasley of Macomb, Michigan, brought in five walleyes weighing 8 pounds even Thursday to lead day one of the FLW Walleye Tour Eastern Division tournament on the Illinois River. The pair now holds a 9-ounce lead over their closest rivals in the event featuring pros and co-anglers fishing for top awards of $35,000 in the Pro Division and $7,500 in the Co-angler Division.”This morning was nice out on the river,” said Courts, who is a nine-year veteran of the FLW Walleye Tour. “We started out getting one (fish) the first pass and it took us until the third pass to get a limit. We actually had a limit by 9:30. We ended up going through about 12 weigh fish.”
Courts said he caught “somewhere between 60 and 70″ fish throughout the course of the day by trolling Berkley Flicker Shads. Courts said winds that gusted to 40 miles per hour didn’t really have an effect on his ability to catch fish.
“The biggest thing was boat control,” Courts said. “The Ranger 620 and the (Evinrude) 15 H.O. and the 250 (horsepower) handled it really well. Boat control was a huge issue and it was a key factor in what we were doing … keeping the boat on the line we wanted to troll and obviously keeping it at the right speed in both directions.”
Rounding out the remainder of the top-10 pros and co-anglers after day one at the Illinois River are:
2nd: Tommy Skarlis, Waukon, Iowa, John Janosko, Ottawa, Ill., five walleyes, 7-7
3rd: Ryan Jirik, Rhinelander, Wis., Mark Grahn Sr., Wautoma, Wis., five walleyes, 7-5
4th: Jacob Lapine, Fond Du Lac, Wis., Bruce Frevert, Centerville, Iowa, five walleyes, 7-3
5th: Richard Zachowski, Milwaukee, Wis., Ralph Janzer Jr., Campbellsport, Wis., five walleyes, 7-2
6th: Pat Byle, Colgate, Wis., Jeff Edwards, Washington, Ill., five walleyes, 7-0
6th: David Kleszyk, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., Joe Jordan, Hampton, Ill., five walleyes, 7-0
8th: Tom Giachetto, Ladd, Ill., John Allen, Mansfield, Ohio, five walleyes, 6-12
8th: David Kolb, Rockford, Mich., Kyle Schuchard, Essex, Ontario, five walleyes, 6-12
10th: Dan Stier, Mina, S.D., Thomas Kaus, Lake Zurich, Ill., five walleyes, 6-11
In FLW Walleye Tour competition, pros and cos are also competing for valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the 2010 FLW Walleye Tour Championship held on Leech Lake in Walker, Minn., Sept. 23-25.
Anglers will take off from Spring Valley Boat Club located at 13862 Illinois Hwy. 89 in Spring Valley, Ill., at 7 each morning. Friday and Saturday’s weigh-in will also be held at the Spring Valley Boat Club beginning at 3 p.m.
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