May 5, 2011—Minnetonka, MN—Hefty payouts and a wealth of world-class walleye and sauger fishing await when the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit visits the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers June 3-5.
By all accounts, the tournament—presented by MotorGuide—is shaping up to be quite a show. With Pools 3 and 4 of the mighty Mississippi in play, along with the Lower St. Croix up to Stillwater, anglers have thousands of acres of prime walleye and sauger sweet spots to ply with rigs, jigs, cranks and other pet presentations.
“The walleye and sauger fisheries are in very good shape right now,” reports Minnesota Department of Natural Resources area fishery manager Kevin Stauffer. With walleye populations pushing well past historical averages and sauger numbers also up, Stauffer expects MWC anglers to enjoy fast action. “Plus, this spring’s cooler-than-normal weather really bodes well for excellent fishing come tournament time,” he adds.
Of course, great fishing is only part of the MWC’s appeal. There’s a $30,000 first-place paycheck and more than $100,000 in cash up for grabs (based on full field)—along with thousands more in sponsor contingencies from Cabela’s, Ranger Boats, Lowrance, Berkley, Worldwide Marine Insurance and U2/The Oxygenator—plus the Big Fish Pot.
The MWC is open to all anglers. The Circuit’s popular team format—which lets you choose your partner and cut your costs—has stood the test of time for 26 tournament seasons. Teams enjoy testing their skills against the best walleye sticks on the planet in a professionally-run yet friendly competition that creates a unique camaraderie among anglers, and fosters friendships that last a lifetime.
Plus, walleyes and saugers are winners in the equation as well. Since 1984, the MWC Conservation Fund has donated more than $275,000 to fisheries-enhancement projects in states where our tournaments are held. At the Red Wing event, a $15-per-boat donation from each team’s entry fee—made via our non-profit affiliate Wildlife Forever—will benefit the Frontenac Sportsman’s Club’s efforts to help the DNR protect local fisheries.
Anyone interested in competing at Red Wing should keep in mind that a $100 late fee kicks in May 16 and registration closes May 29. For details click on the “Tournaments” tab above; to register, click on “Registration.”
The tournament is scheduled for two full days of competition beginning Friday, June 3, with a built-in “bad-weather day” in case foul weather prevents teams from getting out either Friday or Saturday. Teams launch at 7 a.m. and return at 3 p.m.
The public is invited to the weigh-ins, which will be held at the Treasure Island Resort and Casino Marina just north of Red Wing, Minnesota, starting at 3 p.m. (CST). The MWC and National Professional Anglers Association will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the first day’s weigh-in. Besides hands-on instruction from MWC anglers, the first 50 youths will receive rods and reels thanks to the NPAA, and tackle packages courtesy of Northland Fishing Tackle.
This is the second stop on the MWC Central Division’s 2011 season. The remaining Central tournament is August 5-7 at Bays de Noc, Michigan, in conjunction with the Cabela’s National Team Championship. The MWC’s 2011 trail is comprised of nine qualifiers in three divisions. Anglers fishing at least three events (from any division) accumulate points toward a berth in the no-entry-fee, $100,000 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship; teams fishing four events are in the running for overall MWC Team of the Year honors and a $13,000 cash prize.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering its tenth season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Ranger Boats, Mercury, 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, Sea Grant and Wildlife Forever. Now heading into its 27th season, the Cabela’s MWC is the oldest team circuit in walleye fishing.