Ranger/ Mercury Pro-Angler John Hoyer Wins the NWT on Lake Erie!

Nitti Finishes Second and Buddie Takes Third

Port Clinton, Oh. (April 19th, 2024)  The first 2024 Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s National Walleye Tour (NWT) presented by Progressive being held on Lake Erie out of Port Clinton, OH goes to Ranger/ Mercury Pro-Angler John Hoyer with a final weight of 64.10!

For the win, the Iowa angler takes home a new 2024 Ranger 620FS with a Mercury 250hp Pro XS motor, the $8,000 in Ranger Cup contingency bonus and a Power-Pole Pro Series II, totaling $116,926 in cash & prizes.

Ranger/ Mercury angler Hunter Nitti Finishes Second with 64.10

Ranger/ Mercury angler Hunter Nikki from Rosemount, MN ends his first NWT event of the 2024 season with a second-place finish after catching a total weight of 64.10. For the tournament, he walked away with a check worth $23,643.

“Man today was a struggle, the weather moved in on us really mudding up our water,” said the Rapala Pro-Angler. “I have no regrets in this tournament. I had really great Co-Anglers today, my equipment was great throughout the tournament, and today I was very grateful to be in a Ranger 621FS”.

Hunter reported catching close to one hundred Lake Erie keepers throughout the tournament catching them exclusively using Garmin Livescope. His baits of choice was a Rapala Jigging Rap, and a Rapala ‘Crush City’ Freeloader rigged on a 1/4oz VMC Hybrid Swimbait Jighead.

“Just can’t say enough for the support I am getting this year, especially United Hero’s League and Nitti’s Hunter’s Point. Obviously, family and friends mean everything out here just like all the other anglers. But then also Ranger, Mercury, Rapala, VMC, and then my dad and uncle.

Third Place goes to Ranger/ Mercury angler Ryan Buddie

Ohio native angler Ryan Buddie rounded out the Top-3 in third place with a total weight of 64.05 taking home $20,645 which includes a Ranger Cup contingency bonus and the $200 T-H Marine bonus for being the highest finishing angler with a registered T-H Marine JackPlate.

“I trolled during the entire tournament to catch my fish. I know a lot of guys were using forward-facing sonar, but for me it was all about going old-school trolling big Berkley diving hardbaits,” said Buddie

“Another game-changer for me this week was using a TrollMaster Remote Throttle controller. With the wind today, without it there would have been no way I could have kept on the fish I found. I was fishing the mouth of the a river and with the TollMaster, dealing with the current just made me a lot more efficient, especially in bite windows.”

Ryan also wanted to thank Ranger Boats dealer Vic’s Sport Center and Marine Detail Supply for the great support and keeping him on the water.

The Rest of the Top-Ten on Lake Erie:

4.) Josh Lund      Elk River, MN  62.11    $14,562

5.) Duane Hjelm  Pierre, SD   62.08    $15,980

6.) Mathew Leben         Chardon, OH   61.02   $13,038

7.) Dylan Nussbaum St. Mary’s, PA   60.03  $12,710

8.) Duane Phillips         Carrolton, OH  60.01  $11,130

9.) Will Pappenfus        Shelvin, MN   59.11    $8,956

10.) Chris Berglund      Grand Rapids, MN   57.08   $6,900

Final Pro-Angler results can be found here.


Grant Smith Wins the Co-Angler Side

Bradford, PA Co-Angler Grant Smith wins the Co-Angler side of the NWT tournament on Lake Erie with a total weight of 72.02!

Grant drew out with Day-1 Pro-Angler leader James Winters, and on Day 2 had Triton Boats angler Chris Berglund.

“This was my first tournament with NWT so it was very exciting to walk away with the win”, said the 26 year-old oil industry worker. “I really want to thank my parents, my girlfriend (Carli), and the Willow Creek Sportsman Club back home.”

For the win, he takes home a check worth $7,500

Full Co-Angler results can be found here:

A special ‘Thank You’ to the City of Port Clinton for the great hospitality toward the NWT throughout the entire week and weekend!

Additional information on the events, contingency prizes, and more exciting announcements will be shared soon. For more information on updated angler qualifications, please visit www.nationalwalleyetour.com.

About National Walleye Tour

National Walleye Tour (NWT) is part of the Outdoor Team Works family of fishing tournaments. The OTW brand offers a wide range of fishing events from professional tournaments to grassroots fishing derbies. All events are supported by some of the top companies in the nation and include on-site activation and activities, as well as extensive media support. For live updates and information, follow NWT on Facebook and Instagram or visit https://outdoorteamworks.com/ to catch up on all the action.

2024 Proud Sponsors

Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Progressive, Nitro Boats, Ranger Boats, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Aftco, Garmin, Power-Pole, TH Marine, Sunline, Gamakatsu, TrollMasterPanther MarineGemini G2