High Plains Shootout Up Next When Cabela’s Masters
Walleye Circuit Visits Devils Lake, North Dakota
Presented By Berkley
Ponca City, Okla.—July 29, 2016—Two-person teams from across the Walleye Belt will enjoy great walleye fishing while competing for thousands in cash and prizes when the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit returns to the High Plains paradise of Devils Lake, North Dakota, August 19-20 for a regular season tournament.
Based at scenic and historic Grahams Island State Park just outside the decidedly fishing-friendly hamlet of Devils Lake, the event offers two full days of competition on the legendary fishery, which is flush with walleyes of all sizes. Teams will be allowed to weigh five fish measuring 14 inches and over each day, and the duo with the heaviest two-day total weight will be crowned the Devils Lake champions.
Given the incredible health of the lake’s fishery and this summer’s hot bite, competitors can expect big fish and full livewells. At last year’s MWC Devils Lake qualifier, walleye warriors Troy Morris and Corey Heiser topped the field with a 10-fish basket weighing a whopping 57 pounds, 1 ounce.
A variety of presentations produce Devils Lake walleyes, allowing anglers to play to their strong suits. While live bait is perfectly legal in MWC events, Morris and Heiser took a vow to only use artificial lures. They won the event by vertically fishing hard-bodied swimming jigs at the base of large rocks along steep breaks in 25 to 32 feet of water on East Devils Lake. Overall, the pair parlayed artificial presentations to three top-10 MWC finishes in 2015; they finished fourth in the Team of the Year race and lead the field headed into the 2016 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship.
Over the years, a variety of techniques have paid off in MWC events on Devils Lake, from standard live bait tactics to trolling Berkley Flicker Shads along shoreline roadbeds and pulling Gulp! Minnows behind spinner rigs in deeper water.
“Devils Lake never disappoints,” said MWC Sr. Tournament Director Dan Palmer. “There are so many walleyes, and so many different ways to catch a lot of them this time of year, the anglers love coming here. Whether you like live bait or artificial presentations, trolling, jigging, casting or bobbering, you can do it here and have a chance to climb the leaderboard. Plus, the folks in Devils Lake and the surrounding area welcome MWC anglers with open arms.”
But make no mistake, the Devils Lake showdown isn’t all about savoring fine walleye fishing while showcasing your fishing skills on the nation’s largest and longest-running team trail. The Cabela’s MWC also offers lucrative payouts, which are based on the number of teams entered in each event. For example, Morris and Heiser took home more than $18,000 in cash and prizes for their 2015 Devils Lake MWC victory.
The MWC Big Fish Pot and MWC side pot payouts, along with sponsor bonuses including Ranger Cup, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics and Okuma add thousands to the total payout. Additional bonuses can push the tally even higher. And as an added incentive, the first-place team will win a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.
Adding to the winnings, excitement and potential bragging rights, Cabela’s MWC qualifiers serve as “State Championship Events.” All teams fishing the event are eligible for the State Champions title in that state, and any event with more than 10 teams registered from any state where the MWC is not holding a qualifier that year will offer a State Champions title for that state as well. State champs earn, at minimum, custom prizes and awards, a berth in the Cabela’s NTC and a spot on the MWC website’s Wall of Fame.
Walleye fans of all ages are invited to the weigh-ins, which begin at 3 p.m. daily at Grahams Island State Park. As a bonus to young tournament fans, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association and Pure Fishing 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.
Along with great payouts at each event, teams fishing three or more 2016 tournaments battle for berths in the 2017 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship, set for September on Minnesota’s Cass Lake out of Stony Point Resort. Teams fishing at least four qualifiers compete for Team of the Year awards, including thousands in cash and Cabela’s Cash cards, as well as paid entries into a full season of great walleye action.
Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. In all, the 2016 schedule includes seven qualifiers in six states on a diverse selection of the Walleye Belt’s finest rivers, inland lakes and big-water fisheries. Deadline to register for the Devils Lake tournament is Monday, August 15.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its 15th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.