Nussbaum places first in National Walleye Tour competition

Photo submitted – Dylan Nussbaum is shown with the first place trophy after winning the National Walleye Tour event held at Devils Lake, North Dakota on July 26-27.
Becky Polaski
Staff Writer

When it comes to participating in the National Walleye Tour, which features top walleye anglers from across the country, some anglers compete for years without even coming close to winning an event. However, in the tour’s most recent event, held at Devils Lake, North Dakota, July 26-27, it was a 20-year-old newcomer, St. Marys resident Dylan Nussbaum, who claimed the first place prize.
“I actually broke the record for the youngest angler to get first place in a FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) or a National Walleye Tour (NWT),” Nussbaum said. “I beat the last guy by three years. He was 23 when he won his first one.”
Dylan is the son of Jesse and Pam Nussbaum of St. Marys, and he credits fishing with his father from an early age with sparking his interest in competitive fishing.
“My dad and I started doing tournaments when I was 10 years old,” Nussbaum said. “We just started on Kinzua and just started doing tournaments, one here and one there, and then we started doing the whole circuit. Then we kind of started branching out and going to the National Team Championship, and then this year I decided I wanted to go for the NWT, which is pretty much the biggest walleye tournament you can get into.”
Walleye, Nussbaum noted, are what he primarily enjoys fishing for because there are so many different ways to catch them.
“We actually have quite a few walleye around here,” Nussbaum said. “Kinzua is filled with walleye. You can go up there and catch them all day long.”
As for what drew him to the NWT, Nussbaum explained that he wanted to compete against other top anglers on the biggest stage.
“You watch it on TV all the time and see the biggest guys in walleye fishing there. I just kind of wanted to try it out since I was so young,” Nussbaum said.
Winning one of the events was always his dream, but even he did not realize how quickly that would become a reality.
“I’ve always had dreams of me being up there on the stage like that. When it actually happened, I didn’t really believe it,” Nussbaum said.
Anglers did not need to qualify to participate in the event.
“You just pay the entry fee, which is quite a bit to get into one, but anyone can go out there and do it as long as you’ve got the boat and the knowhow,” Nussbaum said.