What is the National Walleye Tour and how exactly does it work?
This is the second straight year the NWT is holding an event in Chamberlain
CHAMBERLAIN/OACOMA, S.D. — The National Walleye Tour for the second straight year selected Chamberlain/Oacoma as one of its locations for a two-day tournament that brings together some of the top professional anglers in the Upper Midwest.
So what exactly is the National Walleye Tour ?
The organization says it offers "tour-level competition for walleye anglers across the north." The tour has been running in its current form since at least 2013.
Anglers can sign up as co-anglers or professionals. Anyone who wishes to compete registers online and pays a per-tournament fee or pays for all four events before the season kicks off. The co-angler fee is $500 per tournament and the pro-angler fee is $1,750 each event.
There are limited qualifications to compete, including paying a $30 annual membership fee and being 16 years or older. (Anyone younger than 18 must have a parent/guardian sign a release form.)
So how do the tournaments work?
There are four regular season tournaments and a championship. At each event, co-anglers are randomly drawn to fish with professionals. The pro-anglers must provide all presentation equipment for their own use and the use of their co-angler partners. With the exception of two rods and reels, co-anglers are not permitted to bring tackle into their pro's boat without permission from the pro.
A co-angler and professional are paired for one day, and a new pair is formed on the second, final day of the event. The highest cumulative weight for both the co-anglers and professionals after two days are counted for standings. Pros and co-anglers fish together for a combined daily boat weight, and boats weigh in five fish (with some exceptions while considering state or lake regulations.)
How much money can anglers win?
Based on a 125-boat field, the winning professional angler takes home at least $15,000 and a Ranger boat package. Second place is $20,000 and third is $15,000.
Co-anglers win $7,500 for first, $3,000 for second and $2,000 for third.
What is the schedule, and how often is South Dakota included in the competition?
The 2022 NWT started in Trenton, Michigan, at the Detroit River. The two-day competition was March 31-April 1.
Chamberlain is the second leg of this year's regular season. The tournament runs April 28-29 with weigh-ins beginning at 3 p.m. each day at Cedar Shore Resort in Oacoma. The third leg is Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, on June 9-10; the fourth is Marinette, Wisconsin, July 14-15; and the championship (qualifiers only) is in Dunkirk, N.Y., at Lake Erie on Aug. 24-26.
In 2021, Chamberlain and Mobridge were both selected as NWT regular season sites. Before that, it had been since 2016 that Mobridge was included in the NWT.
Where are the anglers typically from?
All over the nation. Professional anglers from Michigan; North Dakota; Wisconsin; Minnesota; New York; Ohio; Iowa; and South Dakota were in the top 30 of the Detroit River season-opener earlier this year.