With more than 70 teams already registered for the event, hard-fishing teams from across the Midwest will clash for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes when the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit returns to north-central Minnesota’s iconic Cass Lake Chain September 12-14 for a regular-season qualifying tournament.
The event is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation, and entries are accepted through Monday, September 8. It is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, with Sunday reserved in case bad weather forces the cancellation of one of the first two days. Two-person teams will be allowed to weigh five fish per day, and the team with the heaviest two-day total weight will be crowned tournament champions.
Based on the Circuit’s recent visits to Cass Lake, the event should offer competitors fine early-fall walleye fishing on a variety of patterns. At the 2013 Cabela’s MWC qualifier on Cass, South Dakotans Travor Diegel and Paul Steffen topped a 76-team field to claim their third-straight Circuit victory on Cass and collect more than $15,000 in winnings. Their 32-pound, 2-ounce two-day catch—taken on spinner rigs sweetened with live bait and Berkley Gulp! Crawlers—showcased the system’s abundant walleye population, as did the catch-and-release event’s overall total of 498 walleyes weighing 966 pounds, 10 ounces.
Cabela’s MWC payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. Plus, the MWC Big Fish Pot, along with sponsor bonuses including Ranger Cup, Berkley Baits, Lowrance Electronics, Optima True Blue and the Zippo Hot Hands Big Fish Award add thousands more to the total.
The public is invited to the weigh-ins, which begin at 3:30 p.m. daily at Stony Point Resort just east of the town of Cass Lake. 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 rods and reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.
Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. The 2014 trail included 10 stops spread across seven states in the Walleye Belt. Teams showcased their skills—and sponsor products—at world-class venues such as the Illinois, Detroit and Mississippi rivers, Green Bay, Big Stone Lake, Kinzua Reservoir, and wind down the regular season on the Cass Lake Chain and Lake Erie.
Along with great payouts at each event, teams fishing three or more tournaments battle for coveted berths in the 2015 Cabela’s MWC Championship, set for October 2015 on Lake Erie out of Huron, Ohio. Teams fishing at least three qualifiers also compete for Team of the Year awards, including a $25,000 “Living the Dream” sponsorship package, which includes fully paid entries to the Cabela’s National Walleye Trail as a pro and co-angler, use of a 600 series Ranger boat, travel stipends and more.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its 12th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Ranger Boats, The Walleye Federation and Zippo Outdoor Brands. Associate sponsors include: Berkley Trilene, Church Tackle, Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle, Optima Batteries, Rockstar Hitch Mounted Mud Flaps, T-H Marine and Sea Grant.
Entry fees are $650 per tournament, of which more than 100 percent is returned to anglers at the qualifiers, World Championship and Team of the Year races. Registration closes at 10 a.m. on Monday prior to each tournament. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (580) 765-9031.
Logo courtesy Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit