As a pro angler on the Professional Walleye Trail, Rich Boggs of Nisswa spends a lot of time fishing with strangers. The PWT randomly pairs pros with amateurs for each day's competition, so Boggs never knows who he'll share space with in his boat.
But once or twice a year, the Crestliner pro likes to team up with someone he knows very well: Michelle Boggs, his wife. I've heard Rich say that Michelle is a better angler than a lot of the amateurs he's been with, and fishing with Rich in a tournament setting gives Michelle a glimpse of the pressures her husband deals with when he's "on the job."
Family fishing is great at any time, but the Boggs' recent trip to Ontario was especially memorable. They won the 2007 Paradise Cove Summer Walleye Classic Team Tournament and brought home a check for $5,500.
"I won't get any of it," Boggs said. "But at least it won't be coming out of the checking account. To go up to Canada for a weekend with my wife and have this happen, well, that's as good as it gets."
Rich Boggs, a member of Crestliner's pro walleye staff, and his wife, Michelle, won the 2007 Paradise Cove Summer Walleye Classic Team Tournament in Minaki, Ontario, on June 30-July 1. Submitted photo
Team Boggs won the tournament with eight walleyes weighing 19.01 pounds, a bag that included a 7.5-pound lunker. They beat the second-place couple by 5.41 pounds, which in tournament fishing is a huge difference.
The winning tactic was live-bait rigging nightcrawlers over deep-water rock reefs.
"Imagine that," Boggs said. "The way we fish around here never works anywhere else. But it did up there."
The tournament was held in Minaki, located on Sand Lake, about 150 miles northwest of International Falls, site of the Gary Roach Pro-Am, another tournament Boggs fishes each year. Last year, he finished eighth in the Gary Roach. Finishing first was Mr. Walleye himself, Roach.
With Boggs' recent good showing at Minaki, this year's Pro-Am could turn into a duel between two of the lakes area's finest walleye fishermen.
Ted fares well, too
Ted Takasaki, who writes a weekly column for the Dispatch during the summer months, also got hot on the tournament trail. The president of Lindy Little Joe placed 11th among 150 pros at a recent FLW Walleye Tour on Michigan's Bay de Noc.
Takasaki's final weight of 36.38 pounds missed the top-10 cut by a mere half pound. Under FLW rules, only the top 10 pros after three days of fishing are allowed to compete on the fourth and final day and get a shot at the big prize.
But Takasaki, who placed second last year at an FLW tournament on Green Bay, said he wasn't disappointed.
"I was pretty happy," he said, "since I caught only seven fish during practice, with the closest one being 55 miles away. I ended up catching my fish 75 miles away and spending $280 in gas each tournament day. The best thing was that I qualified for the championship, which was my goal at the start of the tournament. Finishing 11th and cashing a check was a bonus."
VINCE MEYER, outdoors editor, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5862.
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