Big Fish – Small Changes Await Anglers at the Detroit River for the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Presented Ranger Boats

Big Fish – Small Changes Await Anglers at the Detroit River for the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit

Presented by Ranger Boats

Ponca City, Okla.—March 26, 2019 —The 2019 stop at the Detroit River, launching from Elizabeth Park in Trenton, MI, will provide the MWC anglers with another quality opportunity for big, pre-spawn bites and they won’t have to leave the river to do so.

Dan (Left) and Steve (right) Bodinger , 2018 Detroit River Champions.

Presented by Ranger Boats, the “Toughest Walleye Anglers on Planet Earth” will see a small change to the boundary locations for this event. The BPS/Cabela’s MWC fishermen will be kept in the river for the duration of the event. This change is, in large part, due in response from anglers polled over the course of previous MWC seasons.

Long-time MWC angler and 3-time Detroit River champion Steve Bodinger is excited for the change. “Yeah, I like it, Dan and I won all three of our events from the river, one trolling, one jigging and one doing a mix of both. The river gives everyone the chance to fish just about any way they want, live rigging, trolling or jigging. You can catch in so many places and in so many ways, it really can give you lots of confidence in your plan, confidence is key.”

Each MWC event has a lucrative payout which is based on the number of teams entered into that event, and is awarded to 20% of the field, providing more inspiration to sign up and join the fun. In addition, to a hefty check, the first-place team also earns a $1,000 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s National Team Championship (NTC) prize package including paid entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques. Additionally, the big-fish pot, option pot and sponsor bonuses from Ranger Cup, Lowrance, Okuma, AirWave and T-H Marine Atlas Awards add thousands more for distribution among the field.

Teams earning points in at least three qualifiers each season compete for coveted berths in a World Walleye Championship. Qualified teams from 2019 will fish the 2020 World Walleye Championship, set for October 2020 on the mighty Mississippi River in the Quad Cities. Those earning points in at least four qualifiers compete for Team of the Year honors, including a $10,000 sponsorship package and thousands more in cash and prizes to the top 10 teams in the final “best of 4” final standing each year.

As a bonus benefit to all MWC anglers as well as all TWF members nationwide, Official Sponsor Lowe Equipment Attachments offers a 20 percent discount off the MSRP on all its auger, trenching and grapple products available through Midwest Attachments, LLC. For information on that program, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com/tournaments/contingencies.

And finally, this event will serve as our “Last Chance” qualifying events for the 2019 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s NTC at Sault Ste Marie, MI. in May 30-June 1, 2019. The top 10 teams at the Detroit River not already qualified can earn a spot in the 2019 NTC!

Daily live weigh-ins at Elizabeth Park, Trenton, MI are free and open to the public beginning at 3:00pm both days April 12, 13.  If you can’t make it in person you can watch the weigh-ins live, online, at masterswalleyecircuit.com or on our Facebook page.

For the area youth, there is something for you immediately after the day-one weigh-in on Friday, we offer a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic in conjunction with the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA). The first 50 youth will receive a free rod-and-reel combo!

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. Registration is now open for all events, and the registration deadline for the Detroit River tournament is close of business Monday,  April 8. Visit masterswalleyecircuit.com for full details.

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: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s. 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 info@masterswalleyecircuit.com, or call (580) 765-9031.

5-fish Limits Gives Johnson and Rhoads Illinois River Win, Presented Lowe Equipment Attachments – Kick-off’s MWC’s 35th Season

Spring Valley, IL — March 24th, 2019 — Dan Johnson, Fayetteville, OH. and Larry Rhoads, Milford, OH. sat in 22nd place at the start of the second and final-day of the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit, presented by Lowe Equipment Attachments, on the Illinois River. If you ask them, it’s right where they wanted to be.

“We came into this event with an “every day is a pre-fishing day” mentality, it helped us to not get set on any one way and be blinded, the bite changes everyday” said Rhoads. “This is a special event, so much history here and now we have two MWC wins on this river in the last seven years.”

“As a team, we just keep a cool head,” mentioned Johnson. “We moved around a lot, fishing places we knew had not been fished in the last couple days. Where we fished today wasn’t even close to where we fished yesterday and then we upgraded from a 17” female to an 18” female in the last ten minutes.”

It took a combination of hand-lining and pole-lining for the MWC premier team along with subtle speed changes, while getting away from the crowd to find needed bites and a MWC rule on tie breakers sealed  up win. This is the second MWC event they have won at Spring Valley, the first back in 2012 where they sat in 82nd place after the first day and came from behind that time as well for the win.

Both the first and second place teams weighed 23lbs – 3ozs for the event. Scott Geitgey, Canton, OH. and David Kolb, Grand Blanc, MI. brought 5 fish to the scales Friday and only 4 fish Saturday while Johnson and Rhoads handed in a 5-fish tournament limit both days, winning the tie breaker.

Johnson and Rhoads walk away from Spring Valley, with $16,401 in cash and prizes including: $10,800 first-place cash payout, $3,901 cash from the option pot, $500 AirWave certificate, $200 Okuma reel bonus and a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid entry into the 2020 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s NTC, with travel stipends, team jerseys and plaques. While Geitgey & Kolb took home a cool $10,000 in cash and prizes including; $5,650 cash for 2nd place, a $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus, $2,850 cash from the option pot and a $500 cash Lowrance bonus.

Rounding out the top 5 were:

3rd Place: Robert Hausler, Plano, IL, & Chris Clemmons, Newark, IL, 22lbs -02oz, $3,850 cash.

4th Place: Max Wilson, Lomira, WI., &  Isaac Lakich, Richfeild, WI., 22-01, $2,750 cash and a

additional $1,900 from the option pot.

5th Place: Witold Niemiec, & Wojciech Czykier, of West Milford, NJ.,  21-8, $2,200 cash

Jeff and Jared Franta took the top “Big Fish” honors for the weekend with a 7-07 walleye out of the river. All together the BPS/Cabela’s MWC awarded $60,871 in cash and prizes at the Illinois River event.

984lbs- 12ozs of Sauger and Walleye were weighed in 100% alive from the 498 fish that graced the scales during the event. In an annual cooperative conservation program between MWC and the Illinois DNR all the fish were taken by the IDNR for brood stock to spawn out in the hatchery this spring and continue to restock the Illinois River with Sauger.

National Professional Angler Association member Max Wilson hosted a slew of kids at the MWC and NPAA’s Youth and Family Fishing Clinic Friday afternoon, immediately following the weigh-in and gave away a number of fishing rods to attendees.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit is North America’s longest-running, undisputed leader in team walleye tournaments. A proud member of the freshwater fishing hall of fame, MWC 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 including: Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio and North Dakota, 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: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s. 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 info@masterswalleyecircuit.com, or call (580) 765-9031.

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Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Launches into the Illinois River to Begin Its 35th Season Presented Lowe Equipment Attachments

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Launches into the Illinois River to Begin Its 35th Season

Presented by Lowe Equipment Attachments

Ponca City, Okla.—February 11, 2019 — Fast-action sauger and walleye fishing, awaits MWC anglers on the Illinois River as the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit celebrates thirty-five years and kicks off its season March 22-23 at the Spring Valley Boat Club in Spring Valley, IL.

Presented by Lowe Equipment Attachments, the two-day, team-format event will also mark the thirty-third year in a row that Spring Valley is an annual stop on the circuit. That history will set the stage for an anniversary-season filled with quality venues and the “Toughest Walleye Anglers on Planet Earth.”

“I love arriving at Spring Valley to see the many faces who have supported the MWC for years, along with the excitement of the new anglers joining and winning with MWC.” said tournament director Jack Baker. “Whether we are greeted by teams who have fished all 33 events here or someone on their first trip to Spring Valley, it really means a lot to us. Plus, the Illinois River provides a great bite for that time of year and the Spring Valley Boat Club is accommodating to both tournament staff and teams. This is a unique conservation event too, as we work with the Illinois DNR, annually, to collect egg-laden sauger for hatchery spawning and restocking into the Illinois River, to help do our part to keep it thriving.”

Each MWC event has a lucrative payout which is based on the number of teams entered into that event, and is awarded to 20% of the field, providing more inspiration to sign up and join the fun. In addition, to a hefty check, the first-place team also earns a $1,000 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s National Team Championship (NTC) prize package including paid entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques. Additionally, the big-fish pot, option pot and sponsor bonuses from Ranger Cup, Lowrance, Okuma, AirWave and T-H Marine Atlas Awards add thousands more for distribution among the field.

Teams earning points in at least three qualifiers each season compete for coveted berths in a World Walleye Championship. Qualified teams from 2019 will fish the 2020 World Walleye Championship, set for October 2020 on the mighty Mississippi River in the Quad Cities. Those earning points in at least four qualifiers compete for Team of the Year honors, including a $10,000 sponsorship package and thousands more in cash and prizes to the top 10 teams in the final “best of 4” final standing each year.

As a bonus benefits to all MWC anglers as well as all TWF members nationwide, Official Sponsor Lowe Equipment Attachments offers a 20 percent discount off the MSRP on all its auger, trenching and grapple products available through Midwest Attachments, LLC. For information on that program, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com/tournaments/contingencies.

And finally, this event will serve as one of our “Last Chance” qualifying events for the 2019 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s NTC at Sault Ste Marie, MI. in May 30-June 1, 2019. The top 5 teams at Spring Valley not already qualified can earn a spot in the 2019 NTC!

Daily live weigh-ins at the Spring Valley Boats Club are free and open to the public beginning at 4:00pm both days March 22, 23.  If you can’t make it in person you can watch the weigh-ins live, online, at masterswalleyecircuit.com or on our Facebook page.

For the area youth, there is something for you immediately after the day-one weigh-in on Friday, we offer a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic in conjunction with the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA). The first 50 youth will receive a free rod-and-reel combo!

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. Registration is now open for all events, and the registration deadline for the Illinois River tournament is close of business Monday, March 18. Visit masterswalleyecircuit.com for full details.

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: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s. 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 info@masterswalleyecircuit.com, or call (580) 765-9031.

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Skarlis, Lahr Win BACK to BACK World Walleye Championship Titles on the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Presented by Cabela’s

Skarlis, Lahr Win BACK to BACK World Walleye Championship Titles on the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Presented by Cabela’s

Escanaba, Mich.—Oct. 6, 2018—Iowa’s Tommy Skarlis and Jeff Lahr rallied on the final day to win the elite national walleye event, the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s 2018 World Walleye Championship Oct. 4-6 on Bays de Noc out of Escanaba, Michigan.

In doing so they have secured their position as some of the world’s most elite walleye anglers by placing their names in the walleye records books as the only team of win back to back World Walleye Championships in the last 25 years. Not since walleye legends Gary Gray and Bill Klotzbuecher accomplished that feat back in the 92 and 93 seasons has anyone been able to retain their crowns as MWC World Walleye Champions in back to back years.

Skarlis and Lahr won the 2017 MWC World Walleye Championship on Minnesota’s Cass Lake Chain, then started the 2018 year off with a win for their team at the MWC season opener at Spring Valley and closed it out with their second world title at Escanaba last weekend.

“The feeling is surreal,” said Skarlis, of Denver. “We are so blessed. I’ve fished the MWC for almost 30 years and this is where you hone your skills and make the best friends of your life. Winning a second MWC World Walleye Championship is going to take a while to sink in.”

“It’s pretty amazing,” added Lahr, of Dubuque. “I’m blessed to have such an awesome partner. Once he finds the fish he will figure out a way to catch them.”

Lahr and Skarlis brought a 14-pound, 3-ounce, 5-fish limit to the scale on day one. They followed up with a 17-pound, 4-ounce limit on day two and 23-pound, 7-ounce limit on day three for a 54-pound, 14-ounce total weight that lifted them 4 ounces over their nearest rivals.

They boated their winning walleyes by vertical jigging and casting in depths ranging from 18 down to 50 feet. “Most of the big fish came in 22 feet of water,” Skarlis said, noting the team’s mapping software was key in positioning their boat in the perfect spot to execute their presentations.

Presented by Cabela’s and hosted by the Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau, the three-day event featured the top 32 teams from the 2017 MWC season, which spanned five states and included seven qualifiers on world-class walleye waters including the Illinois, Detroit and St. Marys rivers, Green Bay, Big Stone Lake, Lake Winnebago and Devils Lake. Championship anglers were battling for a share of more than $103,000 in cash and prizes.

Lahr and Skarlis collected $17,598 in winnings, including a $16,598 prize package comprised of $10,000 in cash, a Power-Pole Pro Pole II, MotorGuide XI5, Lowrance HDS 7 Carbon electronics, AirWave seat pedestal and $200 T-H Marine gift pack, along with a pair of custom trophies and Cabela’s MWC champions’ rings. They also won the $1,000 Ranger Cup contingency.

Rounding out the top five were:

2nd: Larry Rhoads, Dan Johnson, 54-10, $5,000 cash

3rd: Kevin Dahl, Steve Stack, 49-01, $3,000 cash

4th: Chris and Joe Kujawa, 43-02, $2,500 cash plus $500 Lowrance Electronics bonus

5th: Sam Capelli, Erick Williams, 42-04, $2,000 cash

All teams shared in the remainder of the payout, cashing $1,500 checks all the way out to 32nd place. In all, the Cabela’s MWC awarded $103,899 in cash and prizes.

A total of 241 walleyes weighing 830 pounds, 12 ounces were brought to the scale during the championship and returned to Bays de Noc in the Circuit’s time-tested and research-proven catch-and-release format.

Escanaba Harbor hosted takeoffs and weigh-ins, which drew enthusiastic crowds to cheer on the MWC anglers. The action was also broadcast live online via streaming video coverage and an updated leaderboard, both at masterswalleyecircuit.com. On-the-water and weigh-in footage was also filmed for national television airing on Federation Angler TV. For details and episode schedules, visit federationangler.com.

As a bonus for budding walleye anglers, the Cabela’s MWC and National Professional Anglers Association presented a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately following Friday’s weigh-in, offering fishing, safety and conservation advice plus free rod-and-reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.

The MWC World Walleye Championship is the only national walleye event that you must qualify to get into, you must perform or you don’t get in only the best of the best are invited.  For Skarlis and Lahr, they have already qualified for the 2019 World Championship next on Lake Winnebago in Oct 2019 which means they have the once in a lifetime shot at making it three in a row, a feat that has never been accomplished by anyone, anywhere in any major competitive fishing event of any kind, if they can pull off another World Walleye Championship win in 2019.

North America’s longest-running and undisputed leader in team walleye tournaments, the Cabela’s MWC has set the standard for competitive walleye fishing since 1984. Operated under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life.

The Cabela’s MWC’s 2019 schedule has already been announced and features eight qualifiers.

Locations include the Illinois River, Detroit River (river only), Big Stone Lake, Lake McConaughy, Lake Erie, Sturgeon Bay, Devils Lake and Leech Lake. Visit masterswalleyecircuit.com for tournament dates, official rules and registration information.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is wrapping up its 17th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Bass Pro Shops, 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 info@masterswalleyecircuit.com, or call (580) 765-9031.

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