-Presented by Cabela’s
Oct. 15, 2011—Prairie du Chien, WI—Dan Zwick and Tony Kobriger weighed a total of 40.89 pounds from Pools 9 and 10 of the Mississippi River Oct. 13-15 to capture top honors at the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s 2011 World Walleye Championship.
“This is a dream come true,” Kobriger, of Chilton, Wisconsin, said moments after the final weigh-in came to a dramatic close in front of a roaring crowd at the Winneshiek Marina. “It’s going to take awhile to sink in,” added Zwick, of Wrightstown, Wisconsin.
He and Kobriger capped their third Circuit season by collecting the $25,000 first-place check, plus a $5,000 Cabela’s gift card through the Cabela’s Angler Cash program, $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus, $500 Lowrance Electronics HDS/Elite DSI contingency, $500 Berkley Baits Prize Package, $300 from Worldwide Marine Insurance, and incentives from U2 Pro Formula and RPM Outdoors.
Zwick and Kobriger led the tournament all three days, and were the only boat in the 34-team field to break the 40-pound barrier. The go-to tactic was positioning their Ranger 621 VS over a main-channel break dropping from 10 to 12 feet, where they fished 3/8-ounce jigs tipped with 3-inch, Pearl White Berkley PowerBait Ripple Shad. “Our Lowrance HDS 10 with StructureScan was critical to finding and fishing our top spot—a small point jutting into the channel,” Kobriger noted.
Wyoming anglers Brian Woodward and Rick Walter rocketed from 11th up to second place on the wings of a 20.02-pound Day Three basket, worth $13,000 cash plus the Oxygenator bonus. In all, the field shared more than $110,000 in cash and bonuses. Teams qualified for the no-entry-fee event during the circuit’s 2010 season.
A total of 194 walleyes and saugers weighing 616.07 pounds crossed the Cabela’s MWC stage during the event, which was streamed live on Walleye Central and filmed for airing on the Versus Network later this fall. Big fish of the tournament was an 8.42-pound walleye caught on Day One by 2010 Cabela’s MWC team of the year, Ohioans Mike Knippenberg and Ryan Buddie.
The event was co-hosted by the Prairie du Chien Cabela’s store and Falling Rock Walleye Club. Following each day’s weigh-in, teams trailered to the store to visit with fans in the Fishing Department, and hold a free drawing for Cabela’s gift cards—courtesy of Cabela’s. On Friday, the MWC, Cabela’s and National Professional Anglers Association held a free Youth and Family Fishing Clinic at the MWC tent outside the Cabela’s store. Youngsters received rod-and-reel combos from the NPAA, tackle kits courtesy of Northland Fishing Tackle, and participated in a free drawing for Cabela’s gear. In addition, MWC anglers showed the youngsters how to tie a slip bobber rig, and helped get their new rods ready for fishing.
Walleyes were winners in the equation as well. Since 1984, the MWC Conservation Fund has donated more than $300,000 to fisheries-enhancement projects in states where our tournaments are held. At the Championship, a $15-per-boat donation from each team’s entry fee will benefit efforts to protect the local fishery.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is wrapping up its tenth season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, 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, RPM Outdoor Sports, Sea Grant and Wildlife Forever.
Concluding its 27th season, the Cabela’s MWC is the oldest team circuit in walleye fishing. The Circuit’s proven team format lets competitors choose their partner and double their fun, all while splitting expenses. For more information, email [email protected], or visitwww.masterswalleyecircuit.com.