Braaten, Swenson Win Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Cass Lake Tournament
Sep 27th, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 27th, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Cass Lake, Minn.-Sept. 13, 2014-Consistency was the key for Minnesotans Jay Braaten and Dan Swenson, who put together a pair of equally solid baskets to claim top honors at the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Cass Lake qualifier September 12-13.
“It’s really exciting,” Swenson, of Deer River, said of the win seconds after topping the 80-team field in front of a roaring crowd gathered at Stony Point Resort. “This was a great day,” beamed Braaten, of Blackduck. The event was Swenson’s second Circuit competition, and Braaten’s first. “It’s a good way to start out on the MWC,” he added.
After landing in fourth place on day one with a five-fish limit weighing 15 pounds, 9 ounces, Braaten and Swenson stormed the leaderboard with an identical day two weight for a 31-pound, 2-ounce total.
They relied on rigging creek chubs and redtails in 20 to 30 feet of water on Cass Lake and Pike Bay for many of their fish, and credited their Lowrance HDS sonar for revealing bottom-hugging walleyes, especially along steep breaks. “We also cast jigs tipped with 4-inch Berkley Gulp! Smelt in depths of 15 feet,” Swenson added.
They collected $10,600 in cash for the win, plus the $1,000 Ranger Cup contingency, $500 Berkley Baits Award and $500 Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch and Elite 7 contingency. They also claimed a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.
Rounding out the top 5 were:
2nd: Troy and Wes Loeckle, 30-13
3rd: Darrell Peters and Christopher Lewis, 28-10
4th: Bill Lundy and Bill Lundy, Sr., 28-05
5th: Sean Colter and Dave Hernesman, 28-00
In other contingencies, Peters and Lewis won the $200 Optima True Blue bonus; Mike Dorris and Brian Tordsen claimed the $250 Zippo Hot Hands Big Fish Award for catching big fish of the tournament, an 8-pound, 2-ounce walleye; and Ryan and Jerry Lagodinski won the $500 Rockstar Hitch Mounted Mud Flaps award for climbing from last place on day one to 38th on day two. In all, the Cabela’s MWC awarded $47,600 in cash and prizes.
The Cass Lake Chain yielded 567 walleyes weighing a total of 1,220 pounds, 2 ounces in the catch-and-release event. The Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association, Pure Fishing and Zippo Outdoor Brands presented a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the first day’s weigh-in. Participating youths received rod-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, Cass Lake, and finish the regular season at Lake Erie Sept. 26-28.
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 [email protected], or call (580) 765-9031.