Decisions, Decisions: Teams Choose Their Battle Plans For Final Day Of Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship

Leaders Randall Gaines and Mike Rhoades discuss day-three strategies in an interview for Federation Angler Television.

Leaders Randall Gaines and Mike Rhoades discuss day-three strategies in an interview for Federation Angler Television.

Green Bay, Wisc.—Oct. 8, 2016—With the Wisconsin waters of Green Bay of Lake Michigan back in play for day three of the 2016 Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s World Walleye Championship, two-person teams were faced with choosing between a near-certain limit of keepers on the Fox River or rolling the dice for big fish offshore.

For leaders Randall Gaines and Mike Rhoades, the decision was easy.

“We’re glad to be back on the big lake,” said Gaines, of Salem, Ohio.

The pair plucked a 27-pound, 11-ounce limit from the bay on day one to top the 48-boat field competing in the championship, which offers more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, including $15,000 cash for first place, plus a shot at thousands more in sponsor bonuses from Ranger Boats, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics and Okuma.

When tournament boundaries were reduced to the Fox River on day two due to gale force winds, Gaines and Rhoades, of South Bend, Indiana, sacked a 5-fish limit weighing 7-02 to retain their grip on the lead with a 34-13 two-day total.

The event is far from a blowout, however, as Wisconsin’s Michael Lenarduzzi and Douglas McDonough are nipping at their heels in second place with 33-15, followed by Greg Whitson and Mark Campeau of Ontario with 30-14.

While the leaders welcomed a chance to fish the bay, they were less enthusiastic about the weather. “We’re not so glad the temperature dropped 30 degrees,” Gaines laughed.

“Our run is substantial today,” he continued. “Our big fish are about 40 miles away, maybe a little farther. And it’s still rough out there, but the wind is supposed to lay down around noon, and we do have spots along the way. Hopefully we can fish our way out to our main spot.”

“Win lose or draw, no matter where we end up, just being invited to fish the MWC Championship and having led the field for two days is very special,” added Rhoades.

A number of teams chose the Fox River option, including MWC veterans Tommy Skarlis and Jeff Lahr, who are currently in 11th.

A number of teams chose the Fox River option, including MWC veterans Tommy Skarlis and Jeff Lahr.

The final weigh-in starts today at 4 p.m at Green Bay’s Metro Park landing. It is open to the public, and will also be streamed live worldwide at masterswalleyecircuit.com.

For a recap of current standings, CLICK HERE.

To view this morning’s image gallery, CLICK HERE.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. The 2017 schedule includes qualifiers on the Illinois River March 17-18, the Detroit River April 7-8, Big Stone Lake April 28-29, the Bay of Green Bay out of Green Bay May 19-20, Lake Winnebago June 2-3, Devils Lake July 21-22, and the St. Marys River Aug. 25-26.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is concluding its 15th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official Circuit sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate MWC sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.

Gaines And Rhoades Rock The Fox To Retain Cabela’s MWC Championship Lead

 

Randall Gaines and Mike Rhoades held onto their lead on day two.

Randall Gaines and Mike Rhoades held onto their lead on day two.

Green Bay, Wisc.—Oct. 7, 2016—Day one leaders Randall Gaines and Mike Rhoades didn’t miss a beat when high winds dictated reduced boundaries that restricted anglers to the Fox River on day two of the three-day Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit 2016 World Walleye Championship.

The hard-fishing pair sacked a 5-fish limit of 7-02 to retain their reign atop the leaderboard with 34-13 headed into the final day of competition out of Green Bay.

Gaines and Rhoades weren’t the only competitors in the 48-boat field to hold steady when the playing field was trimmed to the river. Incredibly, the top six teams all held their positions from day one.

Wisconsin’s Michael Lenarduzzi and Douglas McDonough held second place with 33-15, followed by 2015 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Champions Greg Whitson and Mark Campeau of Ontario with 30-14.

Mike Lenarduzzi and Doug McDonough are in second with 33-15.

Mike Lenarduzzi and Doug McDonough are in second with 33-15.

A great crowd gathered riverside at Green Bay Metro Park’s boat launch to witness the festivities, which along with exciting walleye tournament action included a youth and family fishing clinic presented by the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association and Pure Fishing.

Young walleye fans got to meet MWC anglers, learn about fishing and conservation, and received a free rod-and-reel combo courtesy of the NPAA.

Walleye fans of all ages enjoyed the weigh-in.

Walleye fans of all ages enjoyed the weigh-in. Some even took a hands-on approach to the show.

Adding to the fun, the event is being filmed for national television airing on Federation Angler TV, which appears on the Pursuit Channel.

The action continues tomorrow morning on the final day of the tournament, which pits the top teams from the Cabela’s MWC’s 2015 tournament season against one another for more than $100,000 in cash and prizes.

The bump line offered fans a chance to meet the anglers and get a sneak peek at their catches.

The bump line offered fans a chance to meet the anglers and get a sneak peek at their catches.

Championship teams are fighting for their share of more than $100,000 in cash and prizes , including a cool $15,000 in cash for first place.

For complete day two results, CLICK HERE.

To view the complete afternoon image gallery, CLICK HERE.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. The 2017 schedule includes qualifiers on the Illinois River March 17-18, the Detroit River April 7-8, Big Stone Lake April 28-29, the Bay of Green Bay out of Green Bay May 19-20, Lake Winnebago June 2-3, Devils Lake July 21-22, and the St. Marys River Aug. 25-26.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is concluding its 15th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official Circuit sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate MWC sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.

River Dance: Gale Force Winds Keep MWC Championship Teams In Fox River For Day Two

Cabela's MWC teams motor up the mighty Fox River on day two.

Cabela’s MWC teams motor up the mighty Fox River on day two.

Green Bay, Wisc.—Oct. 7, 2016—With strong winds from the southeast shifting to gale force gusts from the west in the afternoon, senior tournament director Dan Palmer made the call to keep the 48 teams competing in day two of the three-day Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit 2016 World Walleye Championship off of Green Bay and in the Fox River.

Anglers overwhelmingly supported the decision. “It was a no-brainer,” said veteran MWCer Mark Meravy of Shorewood, Illinois.

Day one leaders Randall Gaines and Mike Rhoades agreed. “Of course we would have liked to get out to our spot on the bay, but you have to err on the side of safety, and that puts us all in the river,” said Gaines, of Salem, Ohio.

He and Rhoades, of South Bend, Indiana, put together a 27-pound, 11-ounce limit of hefty Green Bay beauties to pace the pack on day one. While those fish came from the bay, the leaders had a contingency plan for the Fox River.

“This is a three-day event and you can’t plan on three days being the same,” said Gaines. “You have to be prepared for everything. We did a little fishing in the river and did put a plan together. I don’t believe it will yield as dramatic results as we enjoyed yesterday, but we’re going to give it a whirl and see where we end up at the end of the day.”

“I think it’s going to be a little tougher, but I think we’ll be all right,” added Rhoades.

With a TV camera person aboard to record the action for national airing, Gaines and Rhodes tested the waters of the Fox River.

With a TV camera person aboard to record the action for national airing, Gaines and Rhodes tested the waters of the Fox River.

As for what kind of catches walleye fans can expect to see cross the MWC stage at weigh-in, which begins at 4 p.m. at Green Bay’s scenic Metro Park landing, Gaines predicted, “There could be the rogue basket come in with big fish, but I think we’ll see a lot of 10- to 12-pound bags. Hopefully ours is on the upper end of that, but we’ll take what we can get.”

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While many teams fished flats and channel edges downriver, others headed straight for the dam.

The weigh-in is open to the public, and will also be streamed live worldwide at masterswalleyecircuit.com. As a bonus for young walleye anglers, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association and Pure Fishing will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after today’s weigh-in. The first 50 youths will receive rod and reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.

Adding to the excitement, on-the-water and weigh-in action is being filmed for national television airing on Federation Angler TV, which appears on the Pursuit Channel.

Championship teams are fighting for their share of more than $80,000 in winnings, including a cool $15,000 in cash for first place.

For complete day one results, CLICK HERE.

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After rising for the morning invocation, MWC anglers honored the flag during the national anthem.

 

To view this morning’s photo gallery, including take-off and on-the-water images, CLICK HERE.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. The 2017 schedule includes qualifiers on the Illinois River March 17-18, the Detroit River April 7-8, Big Stone Lake April 28-29, the Bay of Green Bay out of Green Bay May 19-20, Lake Winnebago June 2-3, Devils Lake July 21-22, and the St. Marys River Aug. 25-26.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is concluding its 15th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official Circuit sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate MWC sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.

Gaines And Rhoades Grab Day One Lead At Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship

Randall Gaines and Mike Rhoades

Randall Gaines and Mike Rhoades

Green Bay, Wisc.—Oct. 6, 2016—Randall Gaines of Salem, Ohio, and Mike Rhoades of South Bend, Indiana, sacked an impressive 27-pound, 11-ounce 5-fish limit to top the 48-team field on day one of the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s 2016 World Walleye Championship.

Wisconsin’s Michael Lenarduzzi and Douglas McDonough are in second place with 26-07, followed by 2015 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Champions Greg Whitson and Mark Campeau of Ontario with 23-01.

A total of 154 walleyes weighing 441 pounds, 11 ounces crossed the scale today.

For complete results, CLICK HERE.

To view the afternoon photo gallery, CLICK HERE.

The championship runs Oct. 6-8 on the Fox River and Wisconsin waters of Green Bay out of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The action continues tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.

 

 

Battle On The Bay Begins As Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s 2016 World Walleye Championship Kicks Off

South Dakota's Mike Dorris and Brian Tordsen blast off onto Green Bay.

South Dakota’s Mike Dorris and Brian Tordsen blast off onto Green Bay.

 

 

Green Bay, Wisc.—Oct. 6, 2016—Forty-eight two-person walleye fishing teams from across the country set off onto the uncharacteristically calm waters of Lake Michigan’s famed Green Bay this morning in search of walleye gold, as day one of the three-day Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s 2016 World Walleye Championship kicked off out of Metro Park landing.

Presented by Cabela’s, the championship pits the top teams from the circuit’s 2015 schedule, which spanned eight states and included 11 qualifying events. Anglers are fighting for their share of more than $80,000 in winnings, including the first-place payout of $15,000 in cash. Plus, sponsor contingencies including Ranger Cup, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics and Okuma bonuses add thousands more to the total payout.

The field reads like a who’s-who in tournament walleye fishing, and is led by the Cabela’s MWC’s 2015 Team of the Year Ryan Dempsey and Adam Adler. It also includes newly crowned 2016 Cabela’s MWC Team of the Year Steve VandeMark and Jerry Fox, Jr.

Teams are fishing the Fox River and Wisconsin waters of Green Bay, and allowed to bring their best five walleyes to the daily weigh-ins, also held at Green Bay Metro Park, which begin at 4 p.m. At the end of the three days, the team with the heaviest total will be crowned World Walleye Champions.

Reigning 2015 MWC Champions Greg Whitson and Mark Campeau score an early keeper.

Reigning 2015 MWC Champions Greg Whitson and Mark Campeau score an early keeper.

2013 Cabela’s MWC Team of the Year and 2014 MWC World Walleye Champions Derek Navis and Korey Sprengel would love to reclaim the title this time around, but predict challenging conditions will put each one of the teams’ talents to the test.

“Water temperatures have dropped 10 degrees in the last week and the daytime bite is really tough,” says Sprengel, of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. “Not a lot of fish were being caught in practice, and with multiple weather patterns expected to move through during the tournament, it’s going to be interesting. True champions will be crowned at the end of this one.”

“It’s going to be a grind,” added Navis, of Brandon, Wisconsin. “We’re going to bust our butts and hopefully put a few fish in the box.”

Fishing his 12th MWC Championship, Tommy Skarlis foresees an on-the-water chess match where teams face big decisions on where and how to fish.

“It’s pretty interesting out there,” says Skarlis, of Waukon, Iowa, who is fishing with partner Jeff Lahr. “We’ve had a lot of northeast winds which doesn’t bode well for the deep bite. The fish are everywhere right now, they’ve got lots of food, and the bite hasn’t been right.”

While many teams are expected to focus on Green Bay, Skarlis won’t be surprised to see a few  boats head up the Fox River. “The river is going to be a factor, especially for teams that want to get into the top 10 or 20,” he said. “And if the wind is blowing, river fish could take it all.”

Some teams are predicting three 20-pound bags could take the tournament, but Skarlis has faith in the MWC field’s potential to score big catches. “You have 48 top teams of the greatest walleye anglers in the nation. It’s going to take a big weight to win this one. Jeff and I are thinking you’ll need anywhere from 75 to 90 pounds to pull it off.”

On the tactical front, Skarlis believes a variety of shad- or banana-style crankbaits could be key on the bay. “Any of the baits from Berkley are hot,” he says. “Flicker Shads, Flicker Minnows, even some of the new multi-species lures like the Warpig could be major players.”

In the river, he notes, “A cornucopia of presentations come into play. Jigging, dragging three-way rigs, casting crankbaits or spoons, you can catch walleyes a lot of different ways.”

The public is invited to attend the weigh-ins and cheer on their favorite teams. Adding to the excitement, on-the-water and weigh-in action will be filmed for national television airing on Federation Angler TV, which appears on the Pursuit Channel.

As a bonus for young walleye anglers, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association and Pure Fishing will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after Friday’s 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. The 2017 schedule includes qualifiers on the Illinois River March 17-18, the Detroit River April 7-8, Big Stone Lake April 28-29, the Bay of Green Bay out of Green Bay May 19-20, Lake Winnebago June 2-3, Devils Lake July 21-22, and the St. Marys River Aug. 25-26.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is concluding its 15th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official Circuit sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate MWC sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.

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