Stop No. 3 of the 2019 National Walleye Tour season presented by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s was seen by many as a major wildcard. The National Walleye Tour had never visited Sault Ste. Marie and the St. Marys River and connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron are beautiful, healthy fisheries, but the sheer amount of water to uncover is daunting.
Leave it to Great Lakes veteran David Kolb to figure out the bite. The Ranger pro put his open-water knowledge to use as he grabbed the day-one lead and keep it!
Kolb, from Grand Blanc, Michigan, weighed a combined total of 65.04 pounds to take home the trophy from this event. And because he is Ranger Cup qualified, he 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. That’s a great pay day – and it was well-earned.
“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.”
John Hoyer, from Orono, Minnesota, weighed a total of 50.82 pounds to take second place. 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.
“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.”