Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Returns To Illinois River
Presented by Cabela’s
Ponca City, Okla.—Feb. 27, 2015— One of competitive walleye fishing’s oldest rites of spring continues March 20-21 as the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit returns to the Illinois River for a qualifying tournament at Spring Valley, Illinois.
The tournament offers winter-weary walleye and sauger fans the chance to compete for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes in a professionally run team format. Part of an expanded lineup of A-list destinations for the 2015 season, the event also is timed to allow competitors to enjoy great fishing. “The Illinois is a world-class fishery, and this is prime time to be there,” says Cabela’s MWC Senior Tournament Director Dan Palmer. “I’ve long maintained we’ll see the next Illinois state record sauger from this stretch, and I still think it will happen. I’ve seen fish weighing up to 5-9 in tournaments, very close to the record of 5-12½.”
Long a must-fish destination for serious sauger junkies, the Illinois produces fish on a variety of patterns, including jigging or trolling channel edges and other structural sweet spots. Scott Rhodes and Jeff Koester won the 2014 Cabela’s MWC tournament with a 10-fish limit weighing 26 pounds, 4 ounces, caught by hand-lining crankbaits laced with walleye-formula Berkley PowerBait Attractant.
The Cabela’s MWC offers lucrative payouts. For example, in 2014 the Circuit rewarded anglers with a total payback of more than 127 percent. Payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. Plus, the MWC Big Fish Pot and sponsor bonuses from Ranger, Lowrance, Abu Garcia, Zippo Outdoor Brands and Okuma add thousands more to the total. 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.
New for the Cabela’s MWC Illinois River event the 2014, inspections and weigh-ins will be held at the Spring Valley Boat Club. Take-off is 7 a.m. and weigh-ins begin at 3 p.m. Two-person teams will be allowed to weigh five walleyes, saugers or saugeyes measuring 14 inches and over each day, and the team with the heaviest two-day total weight will be crowned the tournament champions. Weigh-ins are free and open to the public. As a bonus to budding tournament fans, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association, Pure Fishing and Zippo Outdoor Brands will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the day-one 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. Deadline to register for the Illinois River tournament is Monday, March 16. In all, the 2015 schedule spans nine states and includes 11 regular-season qualifiers plus the 2015 World Walleye Championship.
Adding to the excitement, all Cabela’s MWC tournaments will be designated as “State Championship Qualifying Events.” Teams from the state where the event is held are eligible, along with teams from a state not hosting an MWC event in 2015 (provided at least 10 teams from their state are competing in the event). Besides bragging rights, state champions will earn, at minimum, custom trophies, decals, a berth in the Cabela’s NTC, and a spot on the MWC website’s Wall of Fame.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering its 14th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Abu Garcia, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats, The Walleye Federation and Zippo Outdoor Brands. Associate sponsors include: Yellow Bird Fishing Products, Okuma, and T-H Marine. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.