Bodinger Brothers Win Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Saint Clair and Detroit River Tournament
Presented by Ranger Boats
St. Clair Shores, Mich.—April 18, 2015—Hard-fishing brothers Steve and Dan Bodinger sacked a two-day, 10-fish limit weighing an incredible 90 pounds, 11 ounces to win the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Detroit River qualifying tournament presented by Ranger Boats on April 17-18.
The Bodingers, both of Chilton, Wisconsin, brought in 47 pounds, 8 ounces on day one and 43 pounds, 3 ounces on day two for their epic total, which broke the circuit’s all-time two-day basket record of 87 pounds, 3 ounces, and pushed them to the top of the 70-boat leaderboard, just one ounce ahead of second-place finishers Curtis Olivier and Doug Galant, who weighed in 90 pounds, 10 ounces.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Steve said of the brothers’ second MWC Detroit River victory in a stellar 20-plus-year circuit career, having won the event in 2010 with 10 fish weighing just over 72½ pounds. The Bodingers collected the $10,000 first-place cash payout, plus $3,900 in cash from the option pot, a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package, including paid entry into the 2016 NTC, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques. They also won two Okuma Dead Eye rods worth $200.
“This is unbelievable,” Dan added, noting that having friends and family at the event made it doubly rewarding. He explained that their winning tactics hinged on fishing ¾- to 1-ounce jigs tipped with 3- to 4-inch, shad-tailed Berkley PowerBait. “Green was our hot color,” he said. “I snap-jigged while Dan fished more slowly on bottom, and both approaches caught fish.”
The Bodingers also credited their Lowrance HDS-10 electronics for revealing their go-to fishing spot, a rocky straight-away lying in 22 to 25 feet of water on the Canadian side about a mile from Lake Erie. “We didn’t catch a lot of fish, but we saw them on our Lowrance sonar so we kept working the area and it paid off,” he explained.
In second, Olivier, of Yankton, South Dakota, and Galant, of Pleasant Hills, Missouri, claimed $5,000 in cash, plus $2,900 from the option pot and the $500 Lowrance Electronics contingency.
Rounding out the top five were:
3rd: Kevin Dahl and Steve Stack, 87-11, $3,400 cash plus $1,950 from the option pot and the $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus
4th: Ryan Dempsey and Adam Adler, 86-07, $2,550 cash plus the Abu Garcia reel bonus and $200 Zippo Hot Hand Award for big fish of the event, a 13-pound, 4-ounce walleye. The enormous ’eye also tied the circuit’s all-time big-fish record.
5th: Jim Passo and Rob Crowe, 83-11, $2,100 cash plus $1,500 from the option pot
In all, the Cabela’s MWC awarded a total payback of $42,140 in cash and prizes.
All 2015 Cabela’s MWC tournaments are designated as “State Championship Qualifying Events.” In states hosting two events, teams must fish both tournaments to be in the running. The Bodingers now lead the points race for the Michigan title, which will be decided at the Escanaba event in July. Besides bragging rights, state champions claim a $1,000 prize package including custom marble plaques, decals, a spot on the MWC website’s Wall of Fame and a bid to the Cabela’s NTC.
Weigh-ins were held at the Chapton Harbor 9 Mile Ramp on the famous Nautical Mile in St. Clair Shores. A total of 635 walleyes weighing 4,377 pounds, 8 ounces—taken from legendary Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie—crossed the stage during the event, including 120 five-fish daily limits. The Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association, Pure Fishing and Zippo Outdoor Brands 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 2015 schedule spans nine states and includes 11 regular-season qualifiers plus the 2015 World Walleye Championship.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering its 14th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats, The Walleye Federation and Zippo Outdoor Brands. Associate sponsors include: Yellow Bird Fishing Products, Okuma, T-H Marine and Tight Line Jewelry. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.