May 9, 2010 Mobridge, SD—South Dakotans Corey Fiedler and Chad Schilling trolled their way to victory on legendary Lake Oahe against more than 80 of the West’s best walleye anglers in the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Western Division season opener.
The pair brought a 10-fish MWC limit weighing 26.56 pounds to the scale during the two-day event, good for a $10,200 payday and bragging rights on the fish-rich Missouri River impoundment. Their winnings included a $500 Cabela’s gift card courtesy of the circuit’s Cabela’s Angler Cash awards program, a $500 Lowrance HDS bonus, and $200 Oxygenator U2 bonus.
“It’s both a dream come true and a shock,” said Schilling, of Akaska. “The MWC anglers are remarkable, every one of these 44 teams could have won it.”
Like many of their competitors, they pulled crankbaits on leadcore line to tempt bottomhugging post-spawn walleyes. “Berkley Frenzy Flicker Shads were our most productive baits,” said Fiedler, of Sioux Falls. “We trolled 1.7 mph in depths of 19 to 24 feet where the fish were coming up to feed.”
Their top fishing area was a 55-mile run up the lake near the North Dakota border. Schilling credited their Lowrance HDS high-definition sonar system with StructureScan for revealing walleyes tucked into the brushy remains of flooded cover on the reservoir bottom. “They were laying in what’s left of the brush from last year; we could see the fish with Structure Scan, and it was amazing how often we’d mark a fish, troll past it and
get smacked,” he said.
Teams faced a rollercoaster weather ride marked by high winds that hampered prefishing, then a balmy Day One followed by a wet and windy Day Two. Still, given Oahe’s worldclass walleye fishery and an abundance of fishing options to choose from, it’s no surprise that weigh-in fans were treated to a steady display of walleye gold.
Close behind in second were Brian Woodward and Rick Walter, both of Casper, Wyoming, with a 10-fish limit weighing 25.38 pounds good for $4,200 plus a $500 Cabela’s gift card for being the top-placing Berkley Premier team—an honor designating teams that signed on for all three of the MWC’s 2010 Western Division tournaments.
Nebraskans Jeff Gottbreht, of Lincoln, and Mike Clark, of Raymond, finished third with six fish weighing 22.12 pounds. Gottbreht and Clark also dominated the big-fish honors, taking first place both days in the Big Fish Pot with a 6.3-pound walleye on Day One and 8.90-pounder Day Two. The pair pocketed $3,560 for their efforts. In all, $28,390 in cash and prizes were awarded.
A total of 136 fish weighing a total of 380.20 pounds were weighed in the MWC’s catchand-release format. The vast majority were returned to Oahe unharmed thanks to the circuit’s state-of-the-art fish-handling system featuring Oxygenator U2. The Mobridge Chamber of Commerce and Northeast South Dakota Walleye Club hosted the event and assisted with tournament operations; in appreciation, $660 from the Cabela’s MWC Walleye Conservation Fund was awarded to the chamber to aid fisheries improvements on Lake Oahe.
The MWC and National Professional Anglers Association partnered to present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic after Saturday’s weigh-in. More than 60 youths crowded the infield for fishing tips plus free rods and reels donated by Cabela’s and Berkley, and tackle packages courtesy of Northland Fishing Tackle.
Next up, the Cabela’s MWC heads to the Lake Winnebago system at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on June 5-6, for a combined event with the Cabela’s National Team Championship.
The rest of the season is as follows:
June 5-6, Oshkosh, Wisconsin (Lake Winnebago) combined with Cabela’s NTC
September 11-12, Escanaba, Michigan (Bays de Noc)
June 18–20, Sandusky, Ohio (Lake Erie)
August 6–8, Au Gres, Michigan (Saginaw Bay)
August 21-22, Devils Lake, North Dakota (Devils Lake)
September 18-19, Webster, South Dakota, (Waubay Lake)
October 14 – 16 – Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin (Mississippi River – Pools 9 & 10) – Invitation Only
The Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit is the longest running professional walleye tournament circuit in the United States and now in the 26th year of operations. For more information on the Cabela’s MWC, visit: www.masterswalleyecircuit.com. Questions – email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cabela’s, the world’s foremost outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in their ninth season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors of the MWC include: Mercury, Ranger Boats, MotorGuide, Lowrance, Fishouflage, Berkley, Versus (Vs.) Television Network and North American Fishing Club. Associate Sponsors include: Abu Garcia, Fin-tech, O2 Marine Technologies, Northland Fishing Tackle, 3-IN-ONE No Rust Shield, Ryjus and Reflections Printing.