May 7, 2012—Minnetonka, MN—Epic walleye fishing and thousands in cash and prizes are on tap when the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit visits Lake Erie out of Huron, Ohio May 18-20.
The tournament offers two days of competition on Erie’s world-class walleye fishery, with one day reserved in case of bad weather. The circuit’s time-tested team format lets anglers choose their favorite fishing partner to share the excitement. Plus, the May time frame—requested by the Cabela’s MWC’s Angler Advisory Panel—should yield schools of trophy walleyes just offshore from the Huron River Boat Ramp, where take-offs and weigh-ins will be held.
Indeed, last year’s Lake Erie Cabela’s MWC tournament turned out to be a big-fish bonanza that drew national media coverage as a parade of walleyes topping 10 pounds crossed the stage, including a 13.25-pound behemoth caught by the father-and-son team of John and John Murphy (above) that broke the circuit’s all-time big-walleye record. In the end, Greg Yarbrough and Jeff Seyka topped the field with a 10-fish limit weighing a whopping 84.54 pounds—good for a $13,400 first-place check.
Again this season, two-person teams will be allowed to weigh five walleyes per day, and the team with the heaviest two-day total weight will be crowned the Lake Erie champions. Cabela’s MWC payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. At last count, the payout was already over $34,000 in cash, with first place a minimum of $11,500 cash, not including sponsor contingencies.
Bonuses include a $1,000 Cabela’s gift card through the Cabela’s Angler Cash program, $1,000 Ranger Cup contingency, $500 Lowrance HDS/Elite DSI award, $500 Berkley Baits incentive, along with the U2/Oxygenator and Okuma Premier Awards. Plus, anglers have the option of participating in the MWC Big Fish Pot, which could add thousands more to the tally.
The event is open to all anglers regardless of sponsor or club affiliation, with an entry fee of $650 per team. However, registration closes at midnight Sunday, May 13. For details or to register, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected].
Walleyes are winners in the equation as well. Since 1984, the Cabela’s MWC has donated more than $300,000 to fisheries conservation efforts through the MWC Conservation Fund, and will continue that tradition at Lake Erie, donating $15 per boat from the catch-and-release tournament to benefit conservation projects on the big lake.
The public is invited to the weigh-ins, which begin at 4 p.m. daily at the Huron River Ramp. The Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association, Pure Fishing and Zippo Outdoor Brands will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the first day’s weigh-in. The first 50 youths will receive rods and reel combos, and one lucky family will win a Zippo Outdoor Family Camping Package.
This is the fourth of nine Cabela’s MWC qualifying tournaments on the 2012 schedule, which includes the Illinois River at Spring Valley, Illinois March 24-25; Detroit River at Trenton, Michigan, April 13-15; Lake Pueblo at Pueblo, Colorado, April 27-29; Lake Erie at Huron, Ohio, May 18-20; Mille Lacs Lake at Isle, Minnesota, May 31-June 1 (in conjunction with the Cabela’s NTC); Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, June 29-July 1; Lake Oahe at Pierre, South Dakota, July 28-29 (in conjunction with the Cabela’s Regional Walleye Championship); the St. Mary’s River at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, August 24-26; and Cass Lake, Minnesota, out of Stony Point Resort, Sept. 14-16.
Teams fishing three or more tournaments compete for berths in the no-entry-fee 2013 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship. That event offers more than $100,000 in cash, including $25,000 for first place.
Founded in 1984, the Cabela’s MWC is the oldest team tournament circuit in the walleye world. It has a rich history of intense competition on top destinations, plus youth outreach and a lasting legacy of conservation. Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering its 11th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Lowrance, Zippo Outdoor Brands, NBC Sports Television Network and the North American Fishing Club. Associate Sponsors include: Berkley Trilene, Okuma, O2 Marine Technologies, Reflections, The Walleye Federation, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Gemini Sport Marketing and RPM Outdoor Sports.