Congratulations to OPTIMA Angler, Tommy Skarlis

DateApril 25, 2012
OPTIMA angler, Tommy Skarlis won the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour season opener on the Mississippi River in dominating fashion this past weekend with a three-day total of 14 walleyes weighing 72 pounds, 8 ounces, which was held at Red Wing, Minnesota and presented by Evinrude.

Skarlis, who runs a Ranger 620VS powered by a 250 H.O. Evinrude E-TEC main engine and Evinrude E-TEC 15 H.O. kicker engine and a bank of OPTIMA BLUETOP batteries, led all three days of the tournament. He started out with an incredible 36 pound, 12 ounce haul on the first day, which put him ahead by more than nine pounds. The Waukon, Iowa native added to his total Friday with 20 pounds, 13 ounces and held a 17-pound lead entering the final day.

"I was playing defense after day one, but fishing with such quality anglers I knew I could get beaten if I stumbled," said Skarlis. In addition to his $63,000 pay day from FLW, Skarlis also won the $8,000 Evinrude contingency bonus for his first place finish.

The FLW Walleye Tour season opener on the Mississippi River will be featured in the Sept. 23 episode of 'FLW' which will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network from 1 - 2 p.m. ET. The tour's next tournament is May 10-12 in Port Clinton, Ohio on Lake Erie.