PONCA CITY, Okla. — The country's top walleye anglers will gather in Escanaba, Mich. this weekend to battle for the ultimate title in team walleye fishing at the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit's 2013 World Walleye Championship.
Held on mighty Lake Michigan's Big and Little Bays de Noc, the Championship pits 47 elite two-person teams against one another for $100,000 in cash and prizes, plus thousands more in sponsor contingencies, including Cabela's Angler Cash, Ranger Cup, Lowrance HDS Gen2/Elite-7, Berkley Baits and Optima True Blue.
Teams qualified for the 2013 World Walleye Championship by earning points during the 2012 Cabela's MWC season at world-class walleye destinations from the Great Lakes to Pueblo, Colo. Each spot in the field is by invitation only, carries no entry fee and is coveted amongst tournament anglers.
Rich in fishing talent, the field is led by the 2012 Cabela's MWC Team of the Year David Kolb, of Rockford, Mich., and Jason Kopf, of Avon Lake, Ohio. Teams will compete three days for the largest total weight. They are allowed to bring their five best walleyes to the Cabela's MWC stage each day, and under the Circuit's catch-and-release format, the fish will be released back into Bays de Noc.
Adding to the excitement, on-the-water and weigh-in action will be filmed for national television airing on Federation Angler, on the NBC Sports Network.
The Cabela's MWC World Walleye Championship is the final Cabela's MWC tournament of 2013. The season included 10 qualifiers: the Illinois River at Spring Valley, Illinois, March 23-24; the Detroit River at Trenton, Michigan, April 12-14; Pueblo Reservoir, Colorado, May 17-19; Lake Erie out of Huron, Ohio, May 17-19; 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.
Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is concluding its 11th season as title sponsor of the Masters Walleye Circuit. Official sponsors include: Berkley Gulp!, Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Ranger Boats, The Walleye Federation and Zippo Outdoor Brands. Associate sponsors include: Berkley Trilene, Church Tackle, Optima Batteries, O2 Marine Technologies and Sea Grant.
Based in Ponca City, Okla., the Cabela's MWC is oldest running national walleye circuit in America. Cabela's MWC is owned by The Walleye Federation and is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. 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.
Next season, the MWC World Championship tournament will take place on Devils Lake.