2023 Masters Walleye Circuit Team of the Year Race Comes to a Finish
Presented by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s
Ponca City, Oklahoma – Nov. 1, 2023 – Seasoned walleye pros Sam Cappelli (Poland, OH) and Tony Karrick (Elgin, IL) came to fish the very first Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC) event in March of 2023 in Spring Valley, IL in hopes that they could get a good start to their tournament season and learn something new away from their home waters of Lake Erie and the rest of the Great Lakes. Little did they know on their drive over in March that they would come away from that tournament as victors and start a new challenge with traveling across the country and chasing points while competing against the “Toughest Anglers on Planet Earth” in search of that coveted Team of the Year (TOY) trophy and the title of 2023 MWC TOY champions.
Cappelli and Karrick fished a total of five regular season events. They finished 1st in Spring Valley, 10th in Monroe, 13th in Lorain, 2nd in Oconto, and 46th in Cass Lake. Combined, they totaled 614 points from their top four finishes in the 2023 MWC season.
“We didn’t know what to expect coming into the season. Tony lives in Illinois and we thought that this would be a good time to knock the dust off and get a jump-start on the season. We never dreamed we’d win the first tournament of the season, let alone go on to win Team of the Year against some of the best walleye teams in the country.” said Cappelli.
Cappelli and Karrick are no strangers to competitive walleye fishing. The duo also competes in multiple other Walleye Federation (TWF) events on the Great Lakes each year and can be seen on various social media outlets with big walleyes during almost every month of the year out on Lake Erie and on other waters around the Midwest.
Teams fishing at least four MWC qualifiers compete for Team of the Year awards. The top prize is a $10,000 MWC Living the Dream package that includes paid entry fees into four 2024 MWC tournaments, lodging, cash stipends and more. Cappelli and Karrick also earned a berth in the 2024 Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship in Alpena, MI on Lake Huron. The next four finishers in the Team of the Year Race each received a paid entry in the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s National Team Championship (NTC); plus, teams fishing second through 10th divided up $10,000 in cash and Bass Pro Shops gift cards.
Rounding out the rest of the top five teams:
2nd: Adam Hume and Mike Karner 610 points
3rd: Wayne Butz and Joseph Sommers 606 points
4th: Peter Mart and Dave Lester 579 points
5th: Tom and Scott Albrecht 565 points
Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit is North America’s longest running and undisputed leader in team walleye tournaments and as an inductee into the freshwater fishing hall of fame, has set the standard for competitive walleye fishing for the past 39 years and has directly donated hundreds of thousands and helped raise millions of dollars to support walleye & conservation programs nationwide. The MWC is open to walleye anglers from all walks of life and always pays back more than 100% of entry fees in cash and prizes each season. The 2024 schedule has been announced and includes seven qualifiers in six states, including events at Spring Valley, IL. Chamberlin, SD, Oshkosh, WI, Au Gres, MI, Geneva, OH, and Cass Lake, MN, plus a berth into the 2025 Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship, make plans now to fish the MWC in 2024!
Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s – The World’s Foremost Outfitters, are in their 22nd season as the title sponsor of the Masters Walleye Circuit. Official sponsors include: Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats, and Dakota Lithium Batteries. Associate sponsors include: The Walleye Federation, Church Tackle, FishLab, Okuma, Power-Pole and T-H Marine. For more information, or to sign-up visit the MWC website at www.masterswalleyecircuit.com or call the national office at 580-765-9031 or email email@example.com.