Presented by Zippo Outdoors
For Immediate Release –
Trenton, Mich.—April 14, 2013—After taking the lead on the first day of competition with a record-breaking 49-pound, 10-ounce basket, Iowans Marty Stuefen and Carl Holten hung on to win the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Detroit River and western Lake Erie tournament at Trenton, Michigan.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Holten, of Harpers Ferry. “We were in first place on Day One and managed to bring it home.” The team’s monstrous first-day catch made MWC history, eclipsing the Circuit’s all-time single-day basket record of 48.95 pounds, set by Jason Kopf, of Avon Lake, Ohio, and Mike Miller, of Brunswick, Ohio. On Day Two of the two-day, team-format event they brought in 36 pounds, 8 ounces for a total weight of 86 pounds, 2 ounces.
The victory earned them the $16,300 first-place cash purse, plus a $1,000 Cabela’s gift card from the Cabela’s Angler Cash Program, $1,000 Ranger Cup contingency, $500 Lowrance Electronics award for being the highest-finishing team using a Lowrance HDS Gen2, HDS Gen2 Touch or Elite-7 unit, and $500 Berkley Tackle Package. They also claimed a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package that includes paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.
“It doesn’t get any better than this,” added Stuefen, also of Harpers Ferry. He explained that their go-to tactic was fishing 3/8-ounce jigs tipped with Berkley PowerBait Twitchtail Minnows in six- to 12-foot depths in the Detroit River. He said that as water clarity worsened during the event, finding the cleanest conditions possible was also key.
Holten noted that adding a shiner minnow to the jig atop the PowerBait bulked up the presentation. “We used 10- and 14-pound-test Berkley FireLine mainline, and a two-foot leader of Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon,” he added. “Slow jigging was also critical. We lifted the jig about eight inches off bottom, and then slowly dropped it.”
Canadians Shane Turcotte, of Goulais River, Ontario, and Ivan Misevic, of Longford, Ontario, finished a close second with 84 pounds, 9 ounces, worth $6,700. In all, the top 20 percent of the field shared more than $62,000 in cash, plus sponsor bonuses and Big Fish Pot winnings.
Despite foul weather and water temperatures hovering in the 40s, a total of 1,011 walleyes crossed the stage and were quickly returned to the river in the catch-and-release format. The 122 teams racked up 187 five-fish MWC limits during the two days, including numerous trophy walleyes. “The fishing was incredible,” said MWC Tournament Director Dan Palmer. “This is the best big-fish river in the country.”
Two Michigan teams shared the honor of catching the biggest fish of the tournament. Dave Adamczyk, of Grosse Ile, and Mark Barry, of Frasier, weighed in a 12-pound, 1-ounce behemoth, as did Jeffrey Snellgrose, Jr., of New Lathrop, and teammate Chris Berent, of Saginaw. The teams each earned $1,125 from the MWC Big Fish Pot for their catches.
As in seasons past, the Downriver Walleye Federation supplied volunteers to assist with tournament operations. Weigh-ins were held riverside at Elizabeth Park in Trenton. The Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association, Pure Fishing and Zippo Outdoor Brands presented a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after Saturday’s weigh-in. Youths attending the clinic received rod-and-reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.
Teams were scheduled to fish Friday and Saturday, with Sunday reserved in case foul weather caused a cancellation on either of the first two days. When poor river conditions forced a cancellation on Saturday, the teams returned to action on Sunday to finish the tournament.
This was the second of 10 Cabela’s MWC qualifying tournaments in 2013. The remaining schedule includes Lake Pueblo at Pueblo, Colorado, May 17-19; Lake Erie at Huron, Ohio, May 17-19; Green Bay of Lake Michigan at Oconto, Wisconsin, May 31-June 2; Lake Oahe at Spring Creek, South Dakota, June 7-9; Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, June 28-30; Devils Lake, North Dakota, August 2-4; the St. Mary’s River at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, August 22-23; and Cass Lake, Minnesota, out of Stony Point Resort, Sept. 13-15.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering its 11th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Ranger Boats, The Walleye Federation and Zippo Outdoor Brands. Associate sponsors include: Berkley Trilene, Church Tackle, Optima Batteries, O2 Marine Technologies and Sea Grant.
Based in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the Cabela’s MWC is oldest running national walleye circuit in America. Cabela’s MWC is owned by The Walleye Federation and is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. 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 remains open through the Sunday night prior to each tournament. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.