For Immediate Release –
Ponca City, Okla.—April 17, 2014—Midwestern walleye warriors have a chance to test their skills against the world’s finest competitive walleye anglers when the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit returns to the mighty Mississippi River May 2-4.
Headquartered at Hastings, Minnesota, the event offers two-person teams the chance to battle for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes in a professionally run setting. And in an exciting twist on traditional walleye tournament formats, the event is “artificial-only”—with extra winnings at stake as anglers ply their favorite crankbaits, spinners, Berkley Gulp!-type softbaits and other man-made presentations, while live bait such as minnows and nightcrawlers are off limits.
The artificial-only concept emerged thanks to a partnership between Berkley Gulp! and the Cabela’s MWC, with Berkley kicking in an additional $2,500 in prize money for the anglers. This will mark the Circuit’s second such event this season and the third since 2013. Both previous artificial-only formats yielded improved catches compared to past Cabela’s MWC tournaments on the same waters. At the 2014 Spring Valley artificial-only qualifier, for example, the winning weight was nearly 8 pounds heavier than the top catch at the same venue in 2013, when competitors were allowed to use live bait.
Two-person teams will be allowed to weigh five walleyes, saugers or saugeyes per day, and the team with the heaviest two-day total weight will be crowned the tournament champions. The event is scheduled for May 2-3, with May 4 reserved in case bad weather forces the cancellation of one of the first two days.
Cabela’s MWC payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. Plus, the MWC Big Fish Pot, along with sponsor bonuses including Ranger Cup, Berkley Baits, Lowrance Electronics, Optima True Blue and the Zippo Hot Hands Big Fish Award add thousands more to the total. As an added bonus, co-presenting sponsor Lowe Equipment Attachments will present a $200 gift card to the winners of this tournament.
The public is invited to the weigh-ins, which begin at 3 p.m. daily at the Hastings Public Launch at Jaycees’ 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 rods 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 2014 trail includes 10 stops spread across seven states in the Walleye Belt. Teams showcase their skills—and sponsor products—at world-class venues such as the Illinois, Detroit and Mississippi rivers, Green Bay, Big Stone Lake, Kinzua Reservoir, Cass Lake and Lake Erie.
Along with great payouts at each event, teams fishing three or more tournaments battle for coveted berths in the 2015 Cabela’s MWC Championship, set for October 2015 on Lake Erie out of Huron, Ohio. Teams fishing at least three qualifiers also compete for Team of the Year awards, including a $25,000 “Living the Dream” sponsorship package, which includes fully paid entries to the Cabela’s National Walleye Trail as a pro and co-angler, use of a 600 series Ranger boat, travel stipends and more.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its 12th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Ranger Boats, The Walleye Federation and Zippo Outdoor Brands. Associate sponsors include: Berkley Trilene, Church Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, Optima Batteries, Rockstar Hitch Mounted Mud Flaps, T-H Marine and Sea Grant.
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 closes at 10 a.m. on Monday prior to each tournament. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.