Keller, Leagjeld Win Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit Leech Lake Regular Season Finale

Category: npaa

 Sep 27th, 2013 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Sep 27th, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Walker, Minn.-Sept. 20, 2013-Minnesotans Connor Leagjeld andChad Keller flipped their way to a hard-fought victory at the Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s North Region season finale on Minnesota’s mighty Leech Lake out of Horseshoe Bay Lodge.

“This was a little bit of a shock,” said Keller, of St. Cloud. After bagging a 5-pound beauty on their third cast of the morning, the team battled tight-lipped largemouths the rest of the day, and returned to the weigh-in convinced they were out of range of the winners’ circle. But in the end, their 19-pound, 6-ounce five-bass basket was enough to claim top honors.

The win was worth $8,700 in cash plus another $900 in coveted Cabela’s gift cards and the $200 Optima Batteries True Blue contingency. Fourth-place finishers Jason Corrao, of Madison, Wisconsin, and Matt Stefan, of Junction City, Wisconsin, earned the $500 Cabela’s Angler Cash contingency for being the highest-placing team registered in the Cabela’s Angler Cash program. In all, the top 20 percent of the field shared more than $25,000 in cash and prizes.

“It hasn’t sunken in yet,” added Leagjeld, of Pequot Lakes. He explained the team pitched jigs tipped with soft-plastic craws to shallow reeds, wood, rice and other bass-holding cover. “With all of the weather changes, and an 8-degree drop in the water temperature within the past week, we knew the fish were going to slow down,” he added. “But I still thought it would take a bigger basket than ours to win.”

A total of 189 bass weighing 583 pounds, 4 ounces crossed the stage at Horseshoe Bay Lodge, and a full 100 percent were returned to the lake in the Circuit’s catch-and-release format. Second-place finishers William Baker, of Winnebago, Illinois, and Ricky Martin, of Winter, Wisconsin, collected $1,050 from the Big Bass Pot for catching big fish of the tournament, a 5-pound, 2-ounce beauty.

This was the fourth and final Cabela’s NABC North Region qualifying tournament in 2013. The North Region Championship is set for Oct. 11-12 on Wisconsin’s Chippewa Flowage. In addition, the NABC will kick off its South Region with an open tournament on Lake Lanier, Georgia, in December.

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Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its third season as title sponsor of the NABC. Other sponsors include: Ranger Boats, Stratos Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Optima Batteries, O2 Marine Technologies and Sea Grant.

Based in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the Cabela’s NABC is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Entry fees are $500 per regular season tournament and $600 for the two-day regional championship. Payback is 80 percent at the event, with the balance to support the championship and angler of the year prizes. In addition, a small donation is included in each entry fee and matched by NABC and other conservation organizations up to 3-to-1 in support bass conservation projects anywhere NABC does business. For more information, visit northamericanbasscircuit.com, email [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.

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