Americana Outdoors E-Magazine - May 2022

They (the larger female walleyes) still needed time to recoup.”

contemplating it. Then I thought about some past tournaments where I threw away the winning fish. I knew it would be tougher with the rain and stormy conditions, so I kept it.”

Kjelden was able to improve two more slot fish, and then he came in at noon.

“To bring in 15 pounds two days in a row is very difficult, so it worked out well. The key to winning was not getting hung up on certain spots. That’s how you win on reservoirs. It’s run-and-gun style fishing, and you have to be searching for fish, not just stuck on previous spots. Things just came together for us in this tournament.” Kjelden’s day-one weight was 15.46 pounds, and today he improved to 16.30 pounds. He started the day in seventh place and finished first with a cumulative total of 31.76. He earned a Ranger 2080MS powered by a 250-horsepower Mercury Pro XS, plus $15,000 cash and another $2,603 in Anglers Advantage cash for a total package worth $88,598. LORENSEN HAPPY WITH SECOND Like Kjelden, fellow South Dakota angler Troy Lorensen was remarkably consistent. On day one, the local Oacoma, S.D., fisherman caught a 14.89-pound limit. On day two, he improved to 15.25, giving him a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 30.14 pounds. Lorensen also had success at last year’s Chamberlain event, finishing 8th. “I am super happy with taking second,” Lorensen said. “To be honest, my prefishing was terrible. I ended up just going with my knowledge of the river. I went to a spot that usually holds both good overs and slot fish this time of year. I stayed in one area and grinded it out. Everything came on crankbaits with leadcore.” “It feels great; I’m pumped up.”

Kjelden started his tournament by running 40 miles south. That eventually proved to be wasted time as all 10 of his weigh fish came between the White River and town. “The big run didn’t work, but it was worth checking as it can be a big-fish area. So I came back closer to town and started catching fish.” Kjelden said he did his damage trolling leadcore with Berkley Flicker Shads. Under sunny conditions on day one, white was the best color. In cloudier conditions on day two, he used bright neon. “I was trolling them slower than normal, around 1.8 to 2 mph, working the edge of the main river channel in 14 to 20 feet. I was running leadcore with 12-foot and 6-foot Denali Rods. There’s not a lot of structure, which is why leadcore is so efficient here. Historically, crankbaits win the day on this body of water. What Chase (Parsons) and Tommy (Kemos) did last year with jigs was really impressive, but that’s a small window.” With steady action on day two, Kjelden had a few difficult decisions to make. “I already had a 25-incher in the box, and then I caught a 21-incher. In practice, I didn’t see a lot of overs, so I sat there thinking about it,

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