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      Anglers prepare for World Walleye Championship

      Fishermen from around the country are preparing for the 2013 World Walleye Championship in Escanaba which begins Thursday. It's the biggest and final tournament in Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit. The teams registered at the U.P. State Fairgrounds Wednesday.

      Many of these fishermen have traveled a long way to catch some walleye at the 29th annual World Walleye Championship, a three-day tournament between 46 teams of two. Anglers are here from 15 states and Canada.

      Fisherman Jerry Plourde of Escanaba is on one of two teams from the U.P. He's been competing since 2006 and is happy to see the championship here in his own backyard.

      "Coming back to my home waters like this, I'm really excited. Lots of pressure on me, I feel. I don't want to disappoint my local community, that's for sure," said Plourde.

      They compete for the greatest total weight. Anglers weigh in their five best walleye at the end of each day and then they're released. The highest total amount may earn some large cash prizes.

      "It's going to be tough fishing out there. They're going to earn every fish they get...These guys are so competitive that some of them have been here for two weeks pre-fishing or practicing for this event," said Tournament Director Daniel Palmer.

      Many of the competitors were out in the water Wednesday getting in one last day of practice.

      "We found some fish today. It's going to be a tough grind. It's a three-day tournament so we're going to do our best," said Dan Hassevoort from near Highland, Michigan.

      The tournament is spectator friendly and open to the public. The fishermen will be in the Bays de Noc from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day and weigh in at 4:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

      On Friday, event officials are hosting a Youth and Family Fishing Clinic at 4 p.m.

      The entire championship will be televised on Federation Angler on the NBC Sports Network on December 11 and again on December 18.