Fishing & Boating News

PWT & BASS Join Forces for 2-Species Tournament at Great Outdoor Games

by: Julie Meister,

(Apr. 07, 2004 - Baxter, MN) Two of the most respected competitive fishing organizations, BASS, the worldwide authority on bass fishing, and the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) will join forces in the Freshwater Doubles event at the ESPN Great Outdoor Games presented by Dodge July 8-11, in Madison, Wis. In past years, the Great Outdoor Games featured only bass competitions, but in 2004, the bass and walleye pro anglers will be teamed together (one walleye pro and one bass pro per boat). Teams will compete for medals and cash prizes by catching the best combined weight of three bass and three walleyes. "This will give pro walleye anglers a chance to share boats and skills with their counterparts in BASS," said Jim Kalkofen, PWT executive director. "I've never seen grown men so excited about any fishing opportunity. This is an ideal format for stars from each circuit to combine tactics and strategies and teach all of us a little more about fishing." All contestants earned the right to compete in Madison, including the defending gold medalists from the 2003 Great outdoor Games bass fishing tournament, as well as the respective 2003 CITGO Bassmaster Classic champion and PWT/Mercury Champion, the 2003 CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year and the PWT Angler of the Year, the top two all-time BASS money winners, and the top four PWT all-time money winners. The 2003 Gold Medalists returning are Shaw Grigsby, Jr., Gainesville, Fla., and Gary Klein, Weatherford, TX. The BASS field will be finalized upon commitments from the eligible pro anglers. Representing the PWT are Mercury Champion Dan Plautz, Muskego, Wis., and Angler of the Year Bill Ortiz, Dodgeville, Wis. The top four PWT money winners are Ron Seelhoff, Burlington, Col., Mike Gofron, Antioch, Ill., Perry Good, Brainerd, Minn., and Gary Parsons, Glidden, Wis. Profiles follow: Shaw Grigsby, Jr., 2003 ESPN Great Outdoor Games bass fishing gold medalist (team), 2002 ESPN Great Outdoor Games bass fishing gold medalist (individual), 10 CITGO Bassmaster Classic appearances, 8 BASS wins, 43 top 10 finishes, winner of $1,229,380. Pro Angler and TV host of "One Last Cast with Shaw Grigsby." Gary Klein, 2003 ESPN Great Outdoor Games bass fishing gold medallist (team), 2001 & 2002 ESPN Great Outdoor Games bass fishing silver medalist (individual), 21 CITGO Bassmaster Classic appearances, 2-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year, 8 BASS wins, 58 top 10 finishes, $1,172,218 in winnings. Pro Angler. Dan Plautz: 2003 Mercury Champion, 3 PWT wins, qualified for 10 championships, 12 top 10 finishes, in the money 36 of 70 events. Pro walleye angler and also owns a cleaning service. Bill Ortiz: 2003 Angler of the Year, PWT winner, qualified for each of last 5 championships, 5 top 10 finishes, 21 of 51 money finishes. Pro walleye angler and union carpenter. Ron Seelhoff: # 1 all-time PWT money winner, $479,125; most wins (5) on tour, 4 second place finishes, 21 top-10 finishes, only back-to-back and 2-time champion (1999 & 2000), won the championship on the Madison Chain in 1999, qualified for 13 of 14 championships. Pro walleye angler and owns and flies a crop-dusting service. Mike Gofron: # 2 all-time PWT money winner, $347,350; most top 10 place finishes on tour (25), Championship winner (total of 2 tour wins), won money in 31 of last 41 events fished; fished 11 of 14 years and made championship every year. Pro walleye angler and owner of excavation company. Gary Parsons: # 3 all-time PWT money winner, $334,687; only back-to-back and 2-time Angler of the Year, 17 top 10 finishes, 3 wins (all on South Dakota's Lake Oahe), made 12 of 14 championships. Pro walleye angler and former dentist. Perry Good: # 3 all-time PWT money winner, $336,500; only pro to have qualified for all 14 championships; has fished every PWT tournament, 24 top 10 finishes, 4 wins, 48 money finishes - the most of any pro. Pro walleye angler and fishing guide. The current PWT year begins April 21-23 on the Fox and Wolf River systems in Winneconne, Wis. A few PWT amateur spots still remain at Chamberlain, SD, in May, and Bull Shoals, Ark., in June. Reach the PWT for entry info and details at 218-824-2542. For additional details about Great Outdoor Games V, contact ESPN Outdoors Communications at 334-551-2375. BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. This April, BASS introduces the all-new Bassmaster Elite 50 Series, a four-event, no-entry-fee circuit featuring a $1.6 million prize purse for the world's best anglers. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968. In-Fisherman is the communications leader in the freshwater fishing industry through the integration of magazines, television airing every week of the year, a 400-station radio network, dozens of books, 75 instructional fishing videos and DVDs, fishing tournaments and the Internet. The In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail (PWT), the nation's premier walleye tournament circuit, enters its 15th circuit season in 2004 with six regional Pro-Am competitions plus a world championship. The PWT is dedicated to the advancement of walleye fishingp. In-Fisherman is part of PRIMEDIA Inc., America's leading producer of targeted media headquartered in New York City. PRIMEDIA delivers content via print as well as the Internet, live events and video.