A full field of 200 boats would yield more than $100,000 in cash payouts at the event, which is being presented by Berkley Gulp! Plus, sponsor contingencies from Cabela’s, Ranger Boats, Lowrance, Berkley, Worldwide Marine Insurance, U2/The Oxygenator and the Big Fish Pot add thousands more to the total.
The Cabela’s MWC’s proven team format lets competitors choose their partner and double their fun, all while splitting expenses. Plus, the May time frame—requested by the Circuit’s Angler Advisory Panel—is expected to see schools of trophy walleyes just offshore from Sandusky’s scenic Shelby Street Boat Launch, where take-offs and weigh-ins will be held.
MWCers can “expect good walleye fishing again this year, with a phenomenal average size,” according to Jeff Tyson, fisheries supervisor at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Sandusky Fisheries Research Unit. The big lake’s walleye population is riding a strong year-class in 2003, with survivors of the 2001, 2005 and 1999 hatches adding giant fish to the mix.
Judging by the recent Cabela’s MWC tournament on the Detroit River, which saw many limits, big baskets and walleyes to 11 pounds brought to the stage (along with a 14-pounder photographed in practice), Sandusky should produce a great bite as well. According to Tyson, the timing is perfect for numbers of hungry post-spawn walleyes to be staged within a long cast of the harbor, awaiting the MWC. Last season, Ben Sobieray and Craig Gushow (above) took first place with 76.10 pounds, worth $14,800 in cash and contingencies.
The public is invited to the weigh-ins, which begin at 4 p.m. (EST) daily. The MWC and National Professional Anglers Association will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic following the Day One weigh-in. The first 50 youths will receive rods and reels courtesy of the NPAA, and tackle packages from Northland Fishing Tackle.
Teams will launch at 7 a.m. and return at 4 p.m. A built-in “bad-weather day” allows for two full days of competition even if foul weather prevents teams from getting out either Friday or Saturday. For details, highlight the “Tournaments” tab above and click on “Sandusky.” To register, highlight the “Registration” tab and choose from a printable form or registering online. Questions? Email:firstname.lastname@example.org. Be forewarned, a $100 late fee kicks in May 1st and registration closes at midnight May 15.
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.