Memory lane leads to win for Favinger and Vapenik at Lake McConaughy Presented by Mercury

Ogalalla, NE—May 20, 2019 — Major changes in weather can change bites and locations of fish within hours, as was the case at the 2019 Masters Walleye Circuit event at Lake McConaughy presented by Mercury. For Dustin Favinger (Bridgport, NE) and Zane Vapenik (Oshkosh, NE) those changes turned some memories of locations past into a win and over $11,500 in cash and prizes.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet” Dustin Favinger said shortly after the event ”Especially on our home lake where we have had some success, but also been very humbled.” Dustin’s partner, Zane Vapenik mentioned they went out and adjusted throughout the day. “We got to a few spots and when things just didn’t look right, we moved.

“As a guide, I have my notes of where fish have been caught before in what conditions, so we moved to some of those spots that we knew if we could keep the stick in the water, we could catch.” He continued giving credit where credit is due to his partner Zane for have the hot hand. “Hats off to Zane today, he had the right touch. It was a real spongy bite today, he had it figured out today.

Dustin and Zane started day-two in 13th place and with their 23-01 bag of (5) fish, it propelled them only 6 oz. over the 2nd place team, and 2018 champions, Ev Tarrell and John Miller.

With 43-08 of fish, Favinger and Vapenik take home $11,600 in cash and prizes, including the $9,400 first-place cash payout, $500 Lowrance Bonus, $500 AirWave certificate, $200 in Okuma reels and a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid entry into the Cabela’s NTC, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.


The rest of the top five teams:

2nd: Ev Tarrell and John Miller 43-02, $4,600 cash, $3,900 option pot cash, $1,000 Ranger Cup Bonus and $625 for Saturday Big Fish

3rd: James Miller and Jason Cooper 42-09, $2,800 cash, $2,500 option pot cash

4th: Jeff Synak and Jake Hammer 40-05, $2,300 cash, $1,800 option pot cash

5th: Robby Rowland and Scott Sundstrom 40-01, $2,000 cash, $1,300 option pot cash

All together the BPS/Cabela’s MWC awarded $46,673.50 in cash and prizes at Lake McConaughy.

255 fish weighed a total of 1203lbs- 04ozs during the event. JB Baker and Justin Debrie took the top “Big Fish” honors over the weekend with a 12-04 walleye. National Professional Angler Association member Ben Garver presented the NPAA’s Youth and Family Fishing Clinic for an enthusiastic group, Saturday afternoon, immediately following the weigh-in and gave away fishing rods to attendees.

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 35 years and is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. The 2019 schedule includes eight qualifiers in six states, plus the 2020 Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship.

Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s – The World’s Foremost Outfitters, are in their 18th season as title sponsor of the Masters Walleye Circuit. Official sponsors include: Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, Church Tackle, MotorGuide, Okuma, Power-Pole and T-H Marine. For more information, email, or call (580) 765-9031.