World-class walleye fishing and nearly $50,000 in cash and prizes will be on hand when the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit visits Lake Erie, Huron, Ohio, May 17-19.
The team-format tournament offers two days of competition on Erie’s legendary walleye fishery, with one day reserved in case of bad weather. The circuit’s time-tested team format lets anglers choose their favorite fishing partner to share the excitement. Plus, the May time frame promises to provide schools of trophy-sized walleyes just offshore from the Huron River Boat Ramp, where take-offs and weigh-ins will be held.
Two-person teams will be allowed to weigh five walleyes per day, and the team with the heaviest two-day total weight will be crowned the Lake Erie tournament champions. Cabela’s MWC payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. Plus, the MWC Big Fish Pot, along with sponsor contingencies including Cabela’s Angler Cash, Ranger Cup, Lowrance HDS Gen2/Elite-7, Berkley Baits and Optima True Blue add thousands in cash and prizes to the total. For this event, presenting sponsor Lowes Equipment Attachments has added additional contingency prize money as well. And as an added incentive, the first-place team wins a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.
The Lake Erie event marks the third tournament under new management for the MWC, which was founded in 1984. New owner Robert Cartlidge extended his gratitude to the teams that have made the first months of the new season a rousing success. “We want to thank all walleye anglers for showing their support of the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit during this transition year,” said Cartlidge.
“We invested heavily in all-new equipment, and in promotions to the angling world outside of the ‘normal’ walleye areas,” he continued. “These efforts are already paying off. We have a record number of premier teams signed up this year; the Detroit River tournament saw a record number of teams for that event; and with 12 days yet to go before registration closes, the Lake Erie MWC qualifier out of Huron, Ohio, is on track to break the 79-team mark set for the same event, hosted on the same weekend last year.” Registration for that tournament closes at midnight on Sunday, May 12th (Mothers Day).
Besides great payouts, the tournament promises world-class walleye action as well. At last year’s Lake Erie MWC tournament, South Dakotans Rick Olson and Tom Wiehoff topped a field of 158 anglers from 13 states and one Canadian province with a 10-fish, 85.74-pound total weight. Big fish was a 12.89-pound behemoth brought in by Mark & Richard Bretz of Newark, Ohio—worth $1,175 from the Big Fish Pot.
Walleye fans of all ages are invited to the weigh-ins, which are free and open to the public. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. daily at the Huron River Ramp. The Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association, Pure Fishing and Zippo Outdoor Brands will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the first day’s weigh-in. The first 50 youths will receive rod-and-reel combos courtesy of the NPAA. Fans are also encouraged to come to the boat basin to see the anglers off and wish them luck at the 7 a.m. boat parade prior to each morning’s takeoff.
While the MWC’s eastern anglers compete on Lake Erie May 17-19, the Circuit will also hold a qualifier on Lake Pueblo, Colorado, on the same dates. These are the third and fourth of 10 Cabela’s MWC qualifying tournaments in 2013. The remaining schedule includes Green Bay of Lake Michigan at Oconto, Wisconsin, May 31-June 2; Lake Oahe at Spring Creek, South Dakota, June 7-9; Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, June 28-30; Devils Lake, North Dakota, August 2-4; the St. Mary’s River at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, August 22-23; and Cass Lake, Minnesota, out of Stony Point Resort, Sept. 13-15.
Logo courtesy Cabela's