Ponca City, Okla.—Sept. 11, 2015—Hard-fishing two-person teams from across the Midwest will descend on the Mississippi River at Dubuque, Iowa, to compete in the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s final regular-season qualifier presented by Lowe Equipment Attachments Sept. 25-26.
The two-day tournament, open to all anglers regardless of club or sponsor affiliation, promises plenty of world-class competition as teams battle for thousands in cash and prizes on the walleye-rich waterway.
Payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. In 2014 the Circuit rewarded anglers with a total payback of more than 127 percent, including the World Walleye Championship and Team of the Year payouts, and that trend continues this season. Plus, the MWC Big Fish Pot and sponsor bonuses from Ranger Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Abu Garcia, Zippo Outdoor Brands and Okuma add thousands more to the total.
The first-place team will also win a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques. And new this season, the creation of an option pot adds even more chances to cash in. At the recent Devils Lake qualifier, for example, tournament champions Troy Morris and Corey Heiser added $3,400 in option pot cash to their total winnings.
To commemorate the Cabela’s MWC’s last regular-season event of 2015, sponsors and the Circuit decided to celebrate with an appreciation party that showers the anglers with more than $11,000 in extra prizes. “We wanted to thank our anglers for making this another great season,” explained MWC owner Robert Cartlidge. “The added prizes will push the payback for this event to one of the highest, if not the highest, return on entry fees in MWC qualifying history.”
Presenting sponsor Lowe Equipment Attachments got the ball rolling by offering an additional $2,100 in prizes to the first-place team, including a Lowe 750 Classic auger drive attachment package complete with 12-inch auger, hose kit and universal mounting.
In addition, the following prizes will be awarded by random drawing to all registered teams as a thank you for supporting the MWC this year: a Lowrance HDS 7 Gen 2 Touch valued at $1,299; two Abu Garcia line-counter reels valued at $200; a pair of $100 Cabela’s gift cards; two Ranger Boats Clothing Packages valued at $200; TH Marine Juice Package valued at $100; and a Mercury Prize Package valued at $100.
Plus, every angler who signs up for the Dubuque end-of-the-season event will receive a custom IM7, 7-foot Federation Angler jigging rod valued at $69.99 apiece. If the event fields 80 boats, that means the Circuit will hand out 160 custom rods valued at $11,198.40
Teams that have fished multiple events will also vie for points toward team of the year honors and invitations to the 2016 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship, which is set for October 2016 on Wisconsin’s legendary Green Bay.
Adding to the excitement, the Circuit designated the Dubuque event as a World Walleye Championship wildcard qualifier. Teams that have fished a minimum of two additional 2015 MWC tournaments have the option to compete for coveted berths in the championship, and one WWC spot will be allocated for each 10 wildcard entries. Full details are posted in the “New For 2015” section of the MWC website.
As if that weren’t enough high-stakes walleye-fishing drama, all Cabela’s MWC tournaments are designated as “State Championship Qualifying Events.” Teams from the state where the event is held are eligible, along with teams from a state not hosting an MWC event in 2015 (provided at least 10 teams from their state are competing in the event). Besides bragging rights, state champions will earn a $1,000 prize package including custom trophies, custom State Champions rings by Tight Lines Jewelry, decals, a berth in the Cabela’s NTC, and a spot on the MWC website’s Wall of Fame.
Teams will be allowed to weigh five walleyes, saugers or saugeyes measuring 15 inches and over each day; all fish from 20 to 27 inches long must be released, and one fish over 27 inches is allowed daily per angler.
When the dust settles, the team with the heaviest two-day total weight will be crowned the winners. Weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public, will be held at Ice Harbor Marina beginning at 4 p.m. daily. As a bonus to budding tournament fans, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association, Pure Fishing and Zippo Outdoor Brands 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.
Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. Deadline to register for the Mississippi River tournament is Monday, Sept. 21.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in 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 Lines Jewelry. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.