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Anglers search for Cass Lake walleyes

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Anglers search for Cass Lake walleyes
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Fargo anglers Chad Maloy and Don Denning have been trying to find walleyes on Cass Lake and its connected waters since Monday. They have hit the water during Monday's calm, Wednesday's wind and Thursday's below-freezing temperatures.

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And they will be back at it today and Saturday.

Unlike the casual angler whose main goal is to catch a fish or two for the frying pan, however, Maloy and Denning need to learn all they can about the chain and the walleyes that swim in those lakes. At stake is $11,100 and a potential spot in the 2012 Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit World Championship tournament next October in Prairie du Chien, Wis.

This year's World Championship field, based upon last year's results, is already set and Maloy and Denning did not qualify.

Maloy and Denning form one of 62 teams participating in the two-day MWC West Division event beginning today on the Cass Lake Chain. They enter the tournament ranked fourth in the season-long West Division standings and ranked 37th in the total MWC circuit.

The 45 teams with the most MWC points will qualify for the 2012 world tournament.

"Our goals are to maintain our fourth-place West Division position and make the 2012 championship field," Maloy said.

The top team at the Cass Lake event will also pocket $11,100. The runner-up will earn $5,090 and the payouts continue to 12th place which is worth $830.

"The old saying is that 90 percent of the fish are in 10 percent of the water and we've been fishing since Monday to lower that percentage of water even more," Maloy said.

By examining lake contour maps, checking water temperatures and keeping a close eye on the electronics Denning and Maloy eliminate unproductive water and try to learn where the walleyes are located and why they are there.

When they catch a walleye they record the location, the weather, the water temperature, the bottom conditions and any other data that might be influential.

On Monday and Tuesday they discovered that the walleyes were cooperative. The mood of the fish, however, changed on Wednesday with the arrival of the cold front.

"The walleyes aren't as aggressive today," Denning said during Wednesday morning's pre-fishing. "During cold fronts you have to locate the spot on the spot. And you have to be patient."

The anglers landed a few walleyes during the excursion, including a 19.5-inch fish which will be the target size today. Minnesota law allows only one walleye per angler to be over 20 inches. Tournament anglers will be allowed to weigh five fish so the perfect catch would include three walleyes a shade over 19 inches and two kickers well over 20 inches.

"Every day will be different because of the weather and you try to get a feel for what the fish are doing and try to find general locations," Maloy said. "Fishing is a puzzle and this week our job is to put the pieces together."

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

Fargo anglers Chad Maloy and Don Denning have been trying to find walleyes on Cass Lake and its connected waters since Monday. They have hit the water during Monday's calm, Wednesday's wind and Thursday's below-freezing temperatures.

And they will be back at it today and Saturday.

Unlike the casual angler whose main goal is to catch a fish or two for the frying pan, however, Maloy and Denning need to learn all they can about the chain and the walleyes that swim in those lakes. At stake is $11,100 and a potential spot in the 2012 Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit World Championship tournament next October in Prairie du Chien, Wis.

This year's World Championship field, based upon last year's results, is already set and Maloy and Denning did not qualify.

Maloy and Denning form one of 62 teams participating in the two-day MWC West Division event beginning today on the Cass Lake Chain. They enter the tournament ranked fourth in the season-long West Division standings and ranked 37th in the total MWC circuit.

The 45 teams with the most MWC points will qualify for the 2012 world tournament.

"Our goals are to maintain our fourth-place West Division position and make the 2012 championship field," Maloy said.

The top team at the Cass Lake event will also pocket $11,100. The runner-up will earn $5,090 and the payouts continue to 12th place which is worth $830.

"The old saying is that 90 percent of the fish are in 10 percent of the water and we've been fishing since Monday to lower that percentage of water even more," Maloy said.

By examining lake contour maps, checking water temperatures and keeping a close eye on the electronics Denning and Maloy eliminate unproductive water and try to learn where the walleyes are located and why they are there.

When they catch a walleye they record the location, the weather, the water temperature, the bottom conditions and any other data that might be influential.

On Monday and Tuesday they discovered that the walleyes were cooperative. The mood of the fish, however, changed on Wednesday with the arrival of the cold front.

"The walleyes aren't as aggressive today," Denning said during Wednesday morning's pre-fishing. "During cold fronts you have to locate the spot on the spot. And you have to be patient."

The anglers landed a few walleyes during the excursion, including a 19.5-inch fish which will be the target size today. Minnesota law allows only one walleye per angler to be over 20 inches. Tournament anglers will be allowed to weigh five fish so the perfect catch would include three walleyes a shade over 19 inches and two kickers well over 20 inches.

"Every day will be different because of the weather and you try to get a feel for what the fish are doing and try to find general locations," Maloy said. "Fishing is a puzzle and this week our job is to put the pieces together."

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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