September 27, 2023

Bill Shimota of Lonsdale, holds his first place trophy for the three-day walleye tournament. (Contributed photos)

WELCH, Minn. (May 22, 2010) – Pro Bill Shimota of Lonsdale, Minn., and co-angler Cal Van Cleve of Wilmot, S.D., caught five fish weighing 35 pounds, 8 ounces to win the FLW Walleye Tour Western Division tournament on Mississippi River, where the anglers were fishing pool no. 3. Shimota had a three-day catch of 15 walleyes weighing 90-4. He won by more than 15-pounds over his closest competitor. Shimota took home $36,001 for his efforts.

“I got my live bait rigs in the water right away this morning at my ‘A’ spot and picked up my casting rod,” said Shimota, who earned his first Tour victory. “My first cast I lost a big fish, but fired back in there and caught a 27-incher and a 28-incher about 10 minutes later. We had four big fish before 8 o’clock.”

After the team caught their limit, they ended up trolling the remainder of the day and just relaxing, as they had the luxury of upgrading their lone 20-incher to a 24-incher, and then that 24-incher to a 27-incher.

“We were rigging with live bait with big creek chubs and at the same time casting crankbaits. The last couple of days I actually stumbled into some fish,” said Shimota. “Yesterday I was out wasting time because I already had a big bag and was prefishing for today and found some fish trolling on Fireline with #5 Shad Raps. Actually we needed it again today. Well actually we may not have needed it, but we ended up getting a couple of big bites from it also.”

Shimota said the win was what he has been looking for.

“It is pretty cool and something you dream of. I have gotten some smaller wins, but this is the one I wanted, so done deal,” he added.

A complete list of results can be found at Rounding out the top-10 pros were:

2nd:    Toby Kvalevog, Brainerd, Minn., 15 fish, 74-14, $5,792

3rd:     Dusty Minke, Forest Lake, Minn, 15 fish, 65-13, $4,131

4th:     Steve Lotz, Lena, Ill., 15 fish, 63-2, $5,991

5th:     Richard Lowe, Soldiers Grove, Wis., 15 fish, 60-5, $1,993

6th:     Nick Fautsch, Maddock, N.D., 15 fish, 57-9, $1,744

7th:     Paul Meleen, Isle, Minn., 13 fish, 41-11, $3,974

8th:     Chad Nissen, White Bear Township, Minn., 14 fish, 40-12, $2,061

9th:     Brian Bjorkman, Fargo, N.D., 13 fish, 40-2, $3,149

10th:   Byron Peterson, Blair, Neb., 13 fish, 36-2, $747

Van Cleve, with the victory in the Co-angler Division, took home $6,629. His three day weight totaled 79 pounds, 12 ounces. He fished with Terence Filkins, Kvalevog and Shimota over the course of the tournament.

“I had a great deal of confidence in Bill as he has been very consistent the previous two days,” said Van Cleve, who had never been in first place before and said he felt like he had already won. “The final conclusion was not that important to me, but it is a once in a lifetime experience for me. This is the sort of thing that happens to other people.”

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers were:

2nd:    Robert Dube, Williston, N.D., 14 fish, 68-14, $1,159

3rd:     William Drake, Horace, N.D., 15 fish, 59-15, $1,739

4th:     Dave Hennings, Hartley, Iowa, 15 fish, 58-7, $754

5th:     Victor Wood, Rapid City, S.D., 15 fish, 52-9, $1,524

6th:     Lance Bainville, Mounds View, Minn., 12 fish, 50-4, $946

7th:     Bryan Bayerkohler, Eagan, Minn., 12 fish, 42-12, $580

8th:     National Guard co-angler Daniel Halan, Rochester, Minn., 13 fish, 38-11, $522

9th:     Daniel Meisner, Merrill, Wis., 13 fish, 38-5, $464

10th:   Christopher Hanson, New Hope, Minn., 10 fish, 34-15, $406

Overall there were 45 walleyes weighing 170 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 10 boats Saturday. The catch included seven five-walleye limits.

In FLW Walleye Tour competition, pros and cos are also competing for valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the FLW Walleye Tour Championship.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189  tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors, tournaments or Fantasy Fishing call 270-252-1000 visit