Americana Outdoors E-Magazine - August 2022

DEWEY DOUBLES DOWN, DOMINATES MARINETTE Green Bay is known as perhaps the premier big-walleye fishery in the country, but catching a five-fish limit can be difficult. This week at the fourth and final qualifying event of the 2022 National Walleye Tour season, presented by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, bait was abundant, which meant coaxing walleyes to bite was downright baffling at times. In these challenging conditions, the cream of the crop always rises to the top. For the second time in his young career, the best of the best was 35-year-old Duane “Dewey” Hjelm. By doubling down, Hjelm proved he’s not just a Missouri River stick; he’s one of the best in the business. Lately, Green Bay tournaments have been domi nated by fishermen who run north and structure fish. Casting and reading forward-facing elec tronics is a thrilling way to target huge walleyes, but it’s also nerve wracking as the anglers know they’ll be lucky to receive a handful of bites. For

that reason, Green Bay leaderboards are notori ous for flip-flopping. Proving their mettle, Hjelm and others at the top stayed remarkably consis tent this week. Hjelm said he drove his Ranger 30 to 40 miles north from Marinette – staying on the west shore and heading up towards Big Bay de Noc. There, he sampled offshore structure or what he called resting spots. “They are starting to set up on their summer homes,” said the Pierre, S.D., native, who first won on Lake Sakakawea in 2017. “We were keying in on areas that didn’t have as much baitfish. There was tons and tons of baitfish around, but up there, there wasn’t hardly any. It wasn’t like it was everywhere else; they seemed more friendly.” While there was some rock in his area, rock wasn’t exactly the deal.

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