Weickert, Balcer Win Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Cass Lake Regular Season Finale

Weickert, Balcer Win Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Cass Lake Regular Season Finale

Presented By Ranger Boats

Cass Lake, Minn.—Sept. 17, 2016—Minnesotans Steve Weickert and Joe Balcer sacked a 10-fish limit weighing 25 pounds, 2 ounces to win the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s regular-season finale on northern Minnesota’s Cass Lake Chain September 16-17 presented by Ranger Boats.

Weickert, of Bemidji, and Balcer, of New York Mills, opened the two-day, team-format tournament with a 5-fish limit weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces. The weight would turn out to be the heaviest basket of the entire event, and put them atop the 98-team field. They followed up with a solid 10-pound, 4-ounce limit on day two to cement their position atop the leaderboard.

“This is surreal, it’s an amazing feeling,” said Weickert, who guides on the popular Northwoods walleye destination, which includes Cass, Buck, Andrusia, Big Wolf and Kitchi lakes, plus Pike Bay. “We’ve knocked on the door a few times in past MWC events on Cass Lake, but this time it all came together.”

cass-winners

“I was speechless on stage,” added Balcer. “I’ve been fishing tournaments for 30 years, and winning a major event has always been a goal. Now I can cross this off my bucket list.”

The win was worth $14,700 including $13,000 in first-place cash, a $500 AirWave certificate and $200 Okuma bonus. They also won a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid entry into the 2017 NTC, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.

Because all 2016 Cabela’s MWC tournaments are designated as “State Championship Qualifying Events,” Weickert and Balcer also earned the title of Minnesota State Walleye Champions. Besides bragging rights, they claimed custom state champions’ prizes and awards, a berth in the Cabela’s 2017 NTC, and a spot on the MWC website’s Wall of Fame.

Balcer and Weickert relied on a carefully crafted, two-fisted strategy. They fished live bait rigs and jigs tipped with redtail chubs in and around cabbage beds in 12 to 14 feet of water for a limit of fish, then targeted the inside turns on steep-breaking points in deeper water for the big bite.

The plan worked wonders on day one. But changing conditions on day two tested their skills and ability to adapt. “The deep bite didn’t produce for us, and the weedbed walleyes moved from the deep edge of the cabbage to the inside edge when the wind picked up,” Weickert explained. “We stuck to our game plan, though, and it worked out in the end.”

Rounding out the top five were:

2nd: Aaron Templin, Chuck Hasse, 24-06, $6,050 plus $500 Lowrance Electronics contingency

3rd: Abraham Wolf, Amos Wolf, 24-04, $4,000 plus $3,850 from the option pot

4th: Lorin Skipper, Justin Skipper, 24-02, $3,300 plus $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus

5th: Troy Morris, Corey Heiser, 23-12, $2,700 plus $2,700 from the option pot

Big fish of the tournament was a 7-pound, 5-ounce beauty caught by Jim Preissner and Mike Olson, worth $900 from the MWC Big Fish Pot. In all, the Cabela’s MWC awarded $68,040 in cash and prizes.

A total of 686 walleyes weighing 1,117 pounds, 3 ounces crossed the scale at Stony Point Resort. Adding to the fun, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association and Pure Fishing presented a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the day-one weigh-in, with participating youths receiving rod-and-reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. The 2016 schedule included seven qualifiers in six states on a diverse selection of the Walleye Belt’s finest rivers, inland lakes and big-water fisheries. The Cass Lake event was the final regular-season tournament. The 2016 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship, which features the top teams from the 2015 MWC season, is set for Oct. 6-8 on the Bay of Green Bay out of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its 15th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.

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Northwoods Walleye Showdown On Tap When Cass Lake Chain Hosts Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Regular Season Finale

Northwoods Walleye Showdown On Tap When Cass Lake Chain Hosts Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Regular Season Finale

Presented By Ranger Boats

Ponca City, Okla.—Sept. 7, 2016—One of Minnesota’s most famous Northwoods walleye destinations will host the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s 2016 regular season finale, when two-person teams from across the Midwest descend on the Cass Lake Chain of Lakes out of Stony Point Resort Sept. 16-17.

The scenic fishery has become a regular stop on the Circuit’s schedule, thanks to its ability to produce walleyes and its popularity among MWC anglers.

“Limit catches are common and a variety of presentations produce fish on the system, which includes Cass, Buck, Andrusia, Big Wolf and Kitchi lakes, plus Pike Bay,” says Senior Tournament Director Dan Palmer. “Everything from live bait rigging and pulling spinners to trolling crankbaits, slip bobbering and vertical jigging puts fish in the boat on Cass.”

Palmer noted that during the 2015 Cabela’s MWC Cass Lake qualifier, teams reeled in 98 limit catches as 628 walleyes weighing a total of 1,287 pounds, 15 ounces crossed the stage in the Circuit’s time-tested and conservation-friendly catch-and-release format.

This year’s event offers two full days of competition and is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Teams will be allowed to weigh their best five fish measuring 14 inches and over each day (with one over 20 inches allowed per angler), and the duo with the heaviest two-day total weight will be crowned Cass Lake champions.

Besides great fishing and the thrill of competing in a professionally run setting, the Cabela’s MWC also offers lucrative payouts. For example, Minnesotans Dan Fuller and Chad Benson collected more than $13,000 when they won the 2015 Cass Lake tournament with a 31-pound, 9-ounce 10-fish limit.

MN winners

Payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. Plus, the MWC Big Fish Pot and MWC side pot payouts, along with sponsor bonuses including Ranger Cup, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics and Okuma add thousands to the total payout. Additional bonuses can push the tally even higher. And as an extra incentive, the first-place team will win a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.

Adding to the winnings, excitement and potential bragging rights, Cabela’s MWC qualifiers serve as “State Championship Events.” All teams fishing the event are eligible for the State Champions title in that state, and any event with more than 10 teams registered from any state where the MWC is not holding a qualifier that year will offer a State Champions title for that state as well. State champs earn, at minimum, custom prizes and awards, a berth in the Cabela’s NTC and a spot on the MWC website’s Wall of Fame.

Walleye fans of all ages are invited to the weigh-ins, which begin at 3 p.m. daily at Stony Point Resort. As a bonus to young tournament fans, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association and Pure Fishing will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the day-one weigh-in. The first 50 youths will receive rod and reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.

Along with great payouts at each event, teams fishing three or more 2016 tournaments battle for berths in the 2017 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship, set for next September on the Cass Lake Chain out of Stony Point Resort.

Teams fishing at least four qualifiers compete for Team of the Year awards, including thousands in cash and Cabela’s Cash cards, as well as paid entries into a full season of great walleye action. Michigan MWC Veterans Steve Vande Mark and Jerry Fox, Jr. lead the pack headed into Cass Lake with 584 points, followed by Illinois’ Joe Miller and Mark Barden with 567. With a number of other teams in the hunt for the coveted title, the Team of the Year battle promises to add even more excitement to the Cass Lake showdown.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. In all, the 2016 schedule included seven qualifiers in six states on a diverse selection of the Walleye Belt’s finest rivers, inland lakes and big-water fisheries. Deadline to register for the Cass Lake Chain tournament is Monday, Sept. 12.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its 15th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.

 

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Heiser, Morris Score Repeat Victory At Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Devils Lake Qualifier

Heiser, Morris Score Repeat Victory At Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Devils Lake Qualifier

Presented By Berkley

Devils Lake, N.D.—August 20, 2016—North Dakota’s Troy Morris and Corey Heiser weighed in 44 pounds to win the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s regular-season qualifier on Devils Lake, North Dakota, August 19-20 presented by Berkley.

Heiser, of West Fargo, and Morris, of Fargo, charged out of the gate on day one of the two-day, team-format tournament with a 5-fish limit weighing 30 pounds, 3 ounces. The weight put them solidly atop the 88-team field, and was enough to carry them to victory when the bite slowed on day two and they sacked 5 more walleyes for 13 pounds, 13 ounces.

DL winners w fish

The win marked the pair’s second straight Cabela’s MWC Devils Lake qualifier victory. They won the 2015 MWC Devils Lake event with a total weight of 57 pounds, 1 ounce. “It’s hard to win one MWC tournament, but winning back to back is crazy,” said Heiser. “It’s an unbelievable feeling, and it’s different than last year. This time, it’s more of a relief. We had a lot of people paying attention to us this time, and it was nice to live up to the expectations of others.”

DL winners prize

“It’s great to show the world that last year wasn’t a fluke, added Morris. “And to prove that you can win walleye tournaments without live bait.” While the tournament rules allowed live bait, Heiser and Morris swore off live bait in 2014 and formed “Artifishalleyes.” They’ve since shown how a variety of artificial presentations such as Berkley Gulp! and PowerBait can outfish traditional walleye bait choices. They encourage fellow walleye anglers to visit their website, artifishalleyes.com, and pledge to fish three days without live bait.

The win was worth $19,433 including $11,650 in first-place cash and $3,770 in cash from the option pot, plus the $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus, $500 Lowrance Electronics contingency, $813 from the MWC Big Fish Pot, a $500 Air Wave gift certificate and $200 Okuma bonus. They also won a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid entry into the 2017 NTC, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.

Because all 2016 Cabela’s MWC tournaments are designated as “State Championship Qualifying Events,” Heiser and Morris also earned the title of North Dakota State Walleye Champions. Besides bragging rights, they claimed custom state champions’ prizes and awards, a berth in the Cabela’s 2017 NTC, and a spot on the MWC website’s Wall of Fame.

On day one, Heiser and Morris vertically fished hard-bodied swimming jigs in 28 to 36 feet of water along a steep main-lake breakline. They credited their Lowrance StructureScan 3D sonar system for helping them spot low-riding walleyes holding tight to rocky areas. “It also showed us schools of juvenile white bass, which the walleyes were following,” said Morris.

Their presentation included ripping the jigs sharply upward, then allowing them to swim and flutter back down. They used 14-pound-test Berkley FireLine mainline with a 2-foot leader of 17-pound Berkley 100 Percent Fluorocarbon, noting that the stiffer fluoro limited tangles and helped prevent bite-offs from northern pike. “Boat control was critical, too,” added Heiser. “Troy did a great job of keeping us in position.”

On day two, the jigging bite cooled off. “We caught our fish trolling shad-imitating crankbaits including size 7 Berkley Flicker Shads on lead-core line in 23 to 25 feet of water on the main lake,” said Heiser. Morris noted that speeds of 2 mph were key.

Jeff and Rick

2nd place Team, Jeff and Rick

Rounding out the top five were:

2nd: Jeff Trana, Rick Darling, 43-02, $5,800

3rd: Brad Hahn, Travis Riley, 41-05, $3,900 plus $2,820 from the option pot

4th: Curt Hanson, Andrew Johnson, 41-01, $2,950

5th: Mike Dorris, Brian Tordsen, 40-10, $2,300 plus $1,750 from the option pot

In other contingencies, 34th-place finishers Curtis Olivier and Doug Galant won the $200 Abu Garcia bonus for catching the event’s largest walleye, a 9-pound, 10-ounce trophy. In all, the Cabela’s MWC awarded $62,582.00 in cash and prizes.

A total of 780 walleyes weighing 2,076 pounds, 5 ounces crossed the scale at scenic Grahams Island State Park. Adding to the fun, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association and Pure Fishing presented a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the day-one weigh-in, with participating youths receiving rod-and-reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. The 2016 schedule includes seven qualifiers in six states on a diverse selection of the Walleye Belt’s finest rivers, inland lakes and big-water fisheries. Up next on the 2016 Cabela’s MWC qualifier circuit is the Cass Lake, Minnesota, qualifier Sept. 16-17.

Senior Tournament Director Dan Palmer announced the 2017 Cabela’s MWC schedule onstage during the Devils Lake event. To the delight of fans and anglers, next season’s calendar includes a return trip to Devils Lake July 21-22. For the full schedule, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its 15th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.

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High Plains Shootout coming up on Devils Lake, North Dakota Presented By Berkley

High Plains Shootout Up Next When Cabela’s Masters
Walleye Circuit Visits Devils Lake, North Dakota

Presented By Berkley

Ponca City, Okla.—July 29, 2016—Two-person teams from across the Walleye Belt will enjoy great walleye fishing while competing for thousands in cash and prizes when the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit returns to the High Plains paradise of Devils Lake, North Dakota, August 19-20 for a regular season tournament.

Based at scenic and historic Grahams Island State Park just outside the decidedly fishing-friendly hamlet of Devils Lake, the event offers two full days of competition on the legendary fishery, which is flush with walleyes of all sizes. Teams will be allowed to weigh five fish measuring 14 inches and over each day, and the duo with the heaviest two-day total weight will be crowned the Devils Lake champions.

Given the incredible health of the lake’s fishery and this summer’s hot bite, competitors can expect big fish and full livewells. At last year’s MWC Devils Lake qualifier, walleye warriors Troy Morris and Corey Heiser topped the field with a 10-fish basket weighing a whopping 57 pounds, 1 ounce.

A variety of presentations produce Devils Lake walleyes, allowing anglers to play to their strong suits. While live bait is perfectly legal in MWC events, Morris and Heiser took a vow to only use artificial lures. They won the event by vertically fishing hard-bodied swimming jigs at the base of large rocks along steep breaks in 25 to 32 feet of water on East Devils Lake. Overall, the pair parlayed artificial presentations to three top-10 MWC finishes in 2015; they finished fourth in the Team of the Year race and lead the field headed into the 2016 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship.

Over the years, a variety of techniques have paid off in MWC events on Devils Lake, from standard live bait tactics to trolling Berkley Flicker Shads along shoreline roadbeds and pulling Gulp! Minnows behind spinner rigs in deeper water.

“Devils Lake never disappoints,” said MWC Sr. Tournament Director Dan Palmer. “There are so many walleyes, and so many different ways to catch a lot of them this time of year, the anglers love coming here. Whether you like live bait or artificial presentations, trolling, jigging, casting or bobbering, you can do it here and have a chance to climb the leaderboard. Plus, the folks in Devils Lake and the surrounding area welcome MWC anglers with open arms.”

But make no mistake, the Devils Lake showdown isn’t all about savoring fine walleye fishing while showcasing your fishing skills on the nation’s largest and longest-running team trail. The Cabela’s MWC also offers lucrative payouts, which are based on the number of teams entered in each event. For example, Morris and Heiser took home more than $18,000 in cash and prizes for their 2015 Devils Lake MWC victory.

The MWC Big Fish Pot and MWC side pot payouts, along with sponsor bonuses including Ranger Cup, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics and Okuma add thousands to the total payout. Additional bonuses can push the tally even higher. And as an added incentive, the first-place team will win a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.

Adding to the winnings, excitement and potential bragging rights, Cabela’s MWC qualifiers serve as “State Championship Events.” All teams fishing the event are eligible for the State Champions title in that state, and any event with more than 10 teams registered from any state where the MWC is not holding a qualifier that year will offer a State Champions title for that state as well. State champs earn, at minimum, custom prizes and awards, a berth in the Cabela’s NTC and a spot on the MWC website’s Wall of Fame.

Walleye fans of all ages are invited to the weigh-ins, which begin at 3 p.m. daily at Grahams Island State Park. As a bonus to young tournament fans, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association and Pure Fishing will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the day-one weigh-in. The first 50 youths will receive rod and reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.

Along with great payouts at each event, teams fishing three or more 2016 tournaments battle for berths in the 2017 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship, set for September on Minnesota’s Cass Lake out of Stony Point Resort. Teams fishing at least four qualifiers compete for Team of the Year awards, including thousands in cash and Cabela’s Cash cards, as well as paid entries into a full season of great walleye action.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. In all, the 2016 schedule includes seven qualifiers in six states on a diverse selection of the Walleye Belt’s finest rivers, inland lakes and big-water fisheries. Deadline to register for the Devils Lake tournament is Monday, August 15.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its 15th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.

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Gehm And Apitz “Weed Out” Green Bay Walleyes To Win

Gehm And Apitz “Weed Out” Green Bay Walleyes To Win

Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Oconto Qualifier

Presented By Lowe Equipment

lowe

Oconto, Wisc.—July 9, 2016—While other walleye warriors went deep, Wisconsin’s Buck Gehm and Louie Apitz targeted shallow weeds to rack up a 46-pound, 2-ounce total and win the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Green Bay tournament presented by Lowe Equipment out of Oconto, Wisconsin, July 8-9.

“It’s pretty surreal to win a big tournament like this,” said Apitz, of Menasha. “The MWC is the top of the line in team trails and our favorite one to fish.”

Oconto 1 w fish

“This is awesome,” added Gehm, of Crivitz. “I didn’t think we’d be able to pull it off. We couldn’t put a program together targeting big fish on the mud, so we ground it out fishing the tops of shallow weeds about a mile from the launch.”

Apitz and Gehm pulled perch-colored hatchet and willow-leaf spinner rigs sweetened with nightcrawlers 1.4 mph over weed tops in eight to 11 feet of water. Split shot kept their blades spinning just above the weed tops most of the time, but the winners report checking rigs for bits of weeds or bait lost to small fish was a never-ending part of the program.

“Constantly bringing in one line after another was part of the deal,” said Gehm. “There were a lot of small walleyes, along with perch, pike and sheepshead,” added Apitz, who noted they went through 13 dozen nightcrawlers on day two alone. “We made a rule that nothing under 25 inches was going into the livewell. We got a little nervous this morning, but stuck with it and things worked out.”Oconto 1

For their efforts, Apitz and Gehm claimed more than $14,680 in cash and prizes, including the $10,000 first-place cash payout, $1,000 Ranger Cup contingency and $500 Lowrance Electronics bonus. Plus, they claimed a complete 750 auger attachment package with drive unit, 12-inch diameter auger, mounting accessories and hose kit valued at $2,181 from presenting sponsor Lowe Equipment. They also won a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid entry into the 2017 NTC, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.

Because all 2016 Cabela’s MWC tournaments are designated as “State Championship Qualifying Events,” Gehm and Apitz also earned the title of Wisconsin State Walleye Champions. Besides bragging rights, they claimed custom state champions’ prizes and awards, a berth in the Cabela’s 2017 NTC, and a spot on the MWC website’s Wall of Fame.

Rounding out the top five were:

2nd: Bill Osterman, Kevan Kokkonen, 45-14, $5,000

Oconto 2 w fish

3rd: Kevin Dahl, Steve Stack, 44-12, $3,400 plus $3,350 from the option pot

4th: Adam Sandor, Steve Sandor, 44-11, $2,550 plus $2,520 from the option pot

5th: Troy Nelson, Benjamin Kehoe, 44-06, $2,100 plus $2,550 from the option pot

In all, the Cabela’s MWC awarded $49,890 in cash and prizes.

A total of 415 walleyes weighing 1,516 pounds, 8 ounces crossed the scale at Breakwater Park during the catch-and-release event. Adding to the fun, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association and Pure Fishing presented a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the day-one weigh-in, with participating youths receiving rod-and-reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. The 2016 schedule includes seven qualifiers in six states on a diverse selection of the Walleye Belt’s finest rivers, inland lakes and big-water fisheries. Up next on the 2016 Cabela’s MWC qualifier circuit is the Devils Lake, North Dakota, qualifier August 19-20.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its 15th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.

 

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