For Immediate Release – Ponca City, Okla.—July 29, 2013
The walleye world will be watching when the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit holds a special “artificial-only” qualifying tournament on North Dakota’s legendary Devils Lake August 2-4.
In a bold departure from walleye tournament norms, the Circuit made natural baits such as leeches, minnows and nightcrawlers off-limits to two-person teams competing for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes at Devils Lake. Only man-made baits will be allowed, including Berkley Gulp!-type softbaits, crankbaits, spinners and other artificial presentations.
The idea evolved thanks to a partnership between Berkley Gulp! and the Circuit. So convinced was Berkley in the concept, the company kicked in an extra $3,000 in cash to the payout, to be divided among the top 15 places. “I’m very excited about this format,” said Cody Roswick, field marketing manager for Berkley and Pure Fishing. “It levels the playing field for all of the anglers, because nobody has to search for hard-to-find bait such as jumbo chubs or leeches. The same artificial baits are available to everyone. Plus, anglers don’t have to worry about transporting or caring for expensive live bait.”
A longtime Devils Lake angler, Roswick believes the fertile fishery is the perfect proving ground for an artificial-lures-only tournament. He also expects the ever-innovative competitors to put new and creative riggings into play. “It will be fun seeing what they come up with to out-do the competition,” he said.
Anglers responded to the artificial-only opportunity in droves, as registration jumped by more than 26 percent over the last time the MWC visited Devils Lake, in 2011. Seventy-seven teams signed up for this season’s tournament, pushing the regular payout to more than $42,000 in cash and prizes. First place includes over $11,000 in cash plus a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques. The MWC Big Fish Pot, along with sponsor bonuses including Cabela’s Angler Cash, Ranger Cup, Lowrance HDS Gen2/Elite-7, Berkley Baits and Optima True Blue boost the total in cash and prizes to nearly $48,000.
The MWC has a rich history on Devils Lake. In 2011—a dual event combining the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce Tournament with a Cabela’s MWC qualifier—David Harmon, of Omaha, Nebraska, and Scott Busteed, of Windsor, Colorado, trolled up a nine-fish total weighing 33.01 pounds on Berkley Flicker Shads to claim victory.
In 2010, Jon Dircks, of Devils Lake, and Curtis Blake, of Grand Marais, Minnesota, brought a monster 19.70-pound basket to the scale to win a weather-shortened, single-day walleye fest at Devils Lake.
For 2013, the tournament offers two days of competition on the system’s incredible walleye fishery, with one day reserved in case of bad weather. Teams will be allowed to weigh up to five walleyes per day, and the team with the heaviest two-day total weight will be crowned the Devils Lake tournament champions.
Walleye fans of all ages are invited to the weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public. The festivities begin at 3 p.m. daily at Graham’s Island State Park. 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 rod-and-reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.
This is the eighth of 10 Cabela’s MWC qualifying tournaments in 2013. The remaining schedule includes the St. Mary’s River at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, August 22-23; and Cass Lake, Minnesota, out of Stony Point Resort, Sept. 13-15.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its 11th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Ranger Boats, The Walleye Federation and Zippo Outdoor Brands. Associate sponsors include: Berkley Trilene, Church Tackle, Optima Batteries, O2 Marine Technologies and Sea Grant.
Based in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the Cabela’s MWC is oldest running national walleye circuit in America. Cabela’s MWC is owned by The Walleye Federation and is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Entry fees are $650 per tournament, of which more than 100 percent is returned to anglers at the qualifiers, World Championship and Team of the Year races. Registration remains open through the Sunday night prior to each tournament. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.
For a list of Teams entered CLICK HERE
For a copy of the event fact sheet CLICK HERE