–Presented by Fishouflage
July 23, 2011—Mobridge, SD—David Harmon and Scott Busteed trolled Berkley Flicker Shads to victory against more than 90 anglers from 12 states competing in the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Lake Oahe West Division Qualifier.
Harmon, of Omaha, Nebraska, and Busteed, of Windsor, Colorado, jumped from 15th place on Day One into the winners’ circle with 16.65 pounds on Day Two for a 30.01-pound, 10-fish total. Remarkably, it was the team’s second straight Cabela’s MWC victory, after winning the Devils Lake event June 25 against 228 veteran walleye anglers. Even Circuit veterans could not recall another team winning two straight, and tournament officials are checking on the potential milestone in the Circuit’s 27-year history.
“It’s incredible,”said Harmon. “I’ve always dreamed of winning a major walleye tournament—and winning two back-to-back is something I’ll never forget.”
“It feels great,” added Busteed. “After a tough season last year it’s nice to see our hard work rewarded. We bought a Ranger in the off-season and have won two straight in it!”
The team trolled size 7 Flicker Shads on Berkley’s 100 Percent Fluorocarbon behind planer boards primarily in 11 feet of water. As at Devils Lake, they used their Lowrance HDS electronics to guide them to structural sweet spots. On Oahe, key areas were points and rocks offering walleyes shelter from strong current in the Missouri impoundment.
Harmon and Busteed earned $13,360 in cash and prizes, including $9,160 for first place, plus a $1,000 Cabela’s gift card through the Cabela’s Angler Cash program, $1,000 through the Ranger Cup program, $500 Lowrance Electronics HDS/Elite DSI contingency, a $500 Berkley Baits Prize Package, $500 first-place Cabela’s MWC Premier Team award, $300 from Worldwide Marine Insurance, $160 Oxygenator/U2 bonuses and $240 for second place in the Day Two Big-Fish Pot.
North Dakotans Eric and Bill Hanson, both of Lisbon, finished a close second with 29.97 pounds, good for $4,150 in cash. Spencer and Ron Deutz, of Fargo, North Dakota, placed third with 29.95 pounds, worth $2,700 plus a $300 Cabela’s MWC Premier Team Award. In all, the top 9 MWC teams shared a $23,920 cash payout plus the Big Fish Pot and thousands in sponsor contingencies.
With mighty Lake Oahe’s world-class walleye fishery firing on all cylinders, the teams enjoyed great fishing, and the large crowd of weigh-in spectators gathered in downtown Mobridge were treated to a steady stream of walleyes as 400 fish weighing a total of 961.76 pounds crossed the Cabela’s MWC stage. Limits were the rule, and many anglers commented on catching 60 to 100 fish per day looking for the best five to weigh in.
Oahe walleyes were winners in the equation as well, with a $15-per-boat donation to benefit local fisheries conservation. Since 1984, the MWC Conservation Fund has donated more than $300,000 to fisheries-enhancement projects and aided in the stocking of well over 300 million walleye and saugers in states where MWC tournaments are held.
Following Friday’s weigh-in, the Cabela’s MWC and National Professional Anglers Association presented a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic, giving away free rods and reels courtesy of the NPAA, MWC and Berkley, along with tackle packages courtesy of Northland Fishing Tackle, NPAA/Cabela’s MWC “Future Pro” T-shirts and a bike donated by the Mobridge Chamber of Commerce.
This is the second of three stops in the MWC West Division’s 2011 season. The circuit heads for legendary Cass Lake, Minnesota, out of Stony Point Resort September 16-18. The MWC’s 2011 trail is comprised of nine qualifiers in three divisions. Anglers fishing at least three events (from any division) accumulate points toward a berth in the no-entry-fee, $100,000 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship; teams fishing four events are in the running for overall MWC Team of the Year honors and a $13,000 cash prize.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering its tenth season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Ranger Boats, Mercury, MotorGuide, Lowrance, Fishouflage, Versus (Vs.) Television Network and North American Fishing Club. Associate Sponsors include: Berkley Trilene, Energizer, O2 Marine Technologies, Northland Fishing Tackle, Ryjus, Reflections, Worldwide Marine Insurance, The Walleye Federation, Sea Grant and Wildlife Forever. Now heading into its 27th season, the Cabela’s MWC is the oldest team circuit in walleye fishing. For more information, visit: www.masterswalleyecircuit.com; email: [email protected].