April 18, 2010 Trenton, MI—A strong finish lifted Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit veterans Steve and Dan Bodinger to victory in a big-basket shootout featuring more than 200 of the world’s finest walleye anglers.
Both of Chilton, Wisconsin, the Bodinger brothers brought a10-fish MWC limit weighing 72.59 pounds to the scale during the two-day event, good for $17,400 in cash and prizes.
Their total included the $15,700 payout, $1,000 in Cabela’s gift cards courtesy of the circuit’s Cabela’s Angler Cash and Berkley Premier Team awards programs, a $500 Lowrance HDS bonus, and $200 Oxygenator U2 bonus.
It was the hard-fishing brothers’ first MWC win in a stellar 16-year circuit career. “It means the world to me,” said Dan. Ever humble, the Bodingers were quick to credit fellow anglers Kevin Dahl, Steve Stack, Wayne Butz, Don Frederick, Tony Kobriger and Dan Zwick for helping put together the winning program.
Like many teams, the Bodingers pulled spinner rigs in the Michigan waters of Lake Erie. Their go-to weapons were size 5 and 6 Colorado blades on Mr. Walleye Crawler Haulers from Northland Fishing Tackle, in perch-imitating patterns. “We ran our rigs 1 to 1.2 mph at 9 to 10 feet in 16 to 18 feet of water in Brest Bay,” said Steve. “Finding dingy—not dirty—water was key.”
The tournament was marked by big fish and heavy baskets, as 20 teams topped the 60-pound mark and 60 teams broke the 50-pound barrier. The incredible action was a testament to system’s world-class fisheries, and explained why the MWC has visited Trenton five times in the past seven years. Making the fish fest even more remarkable was the fact that MWC teams faced a 40-degree downward daytime temperature swing the day before the tournament.
Lowrance’s Capt. Ron Hunter, on hand to provide anglers electronics support, noted that some savvy MWC trollers were using Lowrance’s new HDS units with advanced GPS and StructureScan not only to plot successful trolling runs, but to mark and intercept roaming schools of Erie ‘eyes.’ “They’re marking the fish off the side of the boat, determining where the fish are headed, and looping around to put their baits in front of them,” he explained.
The tournament was filmed for television by North American Media Group to air on the VERSUS Network. Coverage airs Monday, May 17 at 10:30 a.m. and Tuesday May 18 at 12:30 p.m. (both times EST).
The father-and-son team of Thomas and Thomas Nordyke of South Rockwood, Michigan, cashed the second-place check of $6,500 for their 71.16-pound tally in their first MWC appearance. Justin Champagne and Josh Gordon, both of Au Gres, Michigan, placed third with 68.62 pounds, good for $4,400.
In all, $61,480 in cash and prizes were award to the top 20 finishers. Biggest fish of the tournament was a 10.27-pound behemoth brought in by the Michigan team of Nathan Seiferlein, of Chesterfield, and Jason Kaniszewski of Au Gres.
Dan Johnson ( Fayetteville, OH) & Larry Rhoads III (Oregonia, OH) with 10.23-pound walleye worth $1,000
Dave Truett ( Marblehead, OH) & Dan Stier (Clearwater, MN) with 9.77-pound walleye worth $700
Mark Lemke (Dexter, MI) & John Oreily (Lincon Park, MI) with 9.71-pound walleye worth $400
Nathan Seiferlein (Chesterfield, MI) & Jason Kaniszewski (Au Gres, MI) with 10.27-pound walleye worth $1,000
Jim Ballor III (Lanse, MI) & Mike Hinkens (Michigamme, MI) with 10.18-pound walleye worth $700
Tom Brunz (Madison Lakes, MN) & Mark Meravy (Shorewood, IL) with 9.11-pound walleye worth $400
A total of 913 walleyes weighing 4,867.75 pounds were weighed in the MWC’s catchand-release format, and its state-of-the-art fish-handling system featuring Oxygenator U2 produced better than a 90 percent survival rate, according to co-tournament director Dan Palmer. The Downriver Walleye Federation assisted with tournament operations; in appreciation, $1,560 from the Cabela’s MWC Walleye Conservation Fund was awarded to the club to aid its fisheries improvements on the Detroit River.
The MWC and National Professional Anglers Association partnered to present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic after Saturday’s weigh-in where 2009 Team of the Year and World Walleye Champions Matt Davis and Dan Gies taught kids how to tie a slip-bobber.
Youths received rods and reels donated by Cabela’s and Berkley, and tackle packages courtesy of Northland Fishing Tackle. Next up, the Cabela’s MWC heads west to mighty Lake Oahe at Mobridge, South Dakota
on May 8-9, where improved lake levels and water clarity bode well for another great bite. The rest of the season is as follows:
June 5 & 6 – Oshkosh, Wisconsin (Lake Winnebago) combined with Cabela’s NTC
September 11 & 12 – Escanaba, Michigan (Bays de Noc)
June 18 – 20 – Sandusky, Ohio (Lake Erie)
August 6 – 8 – Au Gres, Michigan (Saginaw Bay)
May 8 & 9 – Mobridge, South Dakota (Lake Oahe)
August 21 & 22 – Devils Lake, North Dakota (Devils Lake)
September 18 & 19 – Webster, South Dakota, (Waubay Lake)
October 14 – 16 – Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin (Mississippi River – Pools 9 & 10) Invitation Only
The Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit is the longest running professional walleye tournament circuit in the United States and now in the 26th year of operations. For more information on the Cabela’s MWC, visit: www.masterswalleyecircuit.com. Questions – email: [email protected]
Cabela’s, the world’s foremost outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering their ninth season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors of the MWC include: Ranger Boats, Mercury, MotorGuide, Lowrance, Fishouflage, Berkley, Versus (Vs.) Television Network and North American Fishing Club. Associate Sponsors include: Abu Garcia, Fin-tech, O2 Marine Technologies, Northland Fishing Tackle, 3-IN-ONE No Rust Shield, Ryjus and Reflections Printing.