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Area angler leads Walleye Tour stop

RED WING, Minn. -- After two days, Nick Johnson of Elmwood, Wis., leads the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event on the Mississippi River with 39 pounds, 3 ounces.

Richard Franklin of Bemidji, Minn., who caught 30 pounds, 5 ounces on Thursday alone, is second with 39 pounds. Red Wing's Steve DeLain is tied for 14th with 29 pounds, 5 ounces.

Other locals competing in the event are Scott Allar of Welch (28th with 24 pounds, 15 ounces), John Renschen of Red Wing (78th with 18 pounds, 6 ounces), Eric Olson of Red Wing (89th with 16 pounds), Keith Carlson of Goodhue (91st with 15 pounds, 5 ounces), and Scott Banks of Cannon Falls (146th with 3 pounds, 12 ounces).

"Things went really well today," said Johnson, who has amassed more than $450,000 in career earnings with FLW Outdoors.

"I've got a few spots where the bite is starting to turn around and get better. I jumped around and covered a lot of water today and it took me all day to fill my limit. I am trying to target shallow, more aggressive fish. They are sitting in predictable places just waiting to bite. You just have to get your bait in front of one."

He added that he has been doing a number of different patters and has done everything from live baiting to jigging.

"I am going to go back out and do the same thing again tomorrow (Friday) and hopefully I can get five in the boat."

The top local co-angler was Daryl Raden of Prescott, Wis., 28th with 24 pounds, 9 ounces.

The top 50 professionals and co-anglers after Friday's weigh-in will qualify for Saturday's championship. The final weigh-in is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Red Wing.