MWC Ends 2006 on Mississippi River in Lake City
Sep 8th, 2006 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Sep 8th, 2006 at 12:00 AM
Minnetonka, MN – September 16th and 17th will host the grand final of the regular season for the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit, returning to Minnesota/Wisconsin Border Waters on Lake Pepin, Pool 4 of the Mississippi River. The community of Lake City, Minnesota, and the local Frontenac Sportsmens Club will host the event, currently at 191 registered teams. Two-hundred teams is considered a full roster, although regulations do allow up to 10% over, for a maximum of 220 teams. The anglers will travel from several states to compete, with the majority of the field from Wisconsin and Minnesota, but also Illinois, Iowa and the rest coming from Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Indiana, Ohio and Colorado.”Even though this tournament isn’t full, we are quite pleased with the size of the roster,” indicated Kristine Houtman, Director of the MWC. “The last tournament of the year usually lags in size, and most years we’ve seen rosters in the 160 to 170 range – so 191 is a substantial increase.”With low-water conditions heading into the tournament, anglers are aware that anything is possible – and that the bite will not be predictable. “Somebody will probably put that nice 5-fish basket together, and I hope it’s us,” chuckled Jim Trow, a very good river fisherman. He and partner Scott Aydelotte, both from Iowa, won the World Walleye Championship last year on Pools 9 and 10 of the Mississippi River; and they are sitting in first place for Central Division Team of the Year Points. “The bite will probably be tough. There won’t be the current flow we usually hope for, which means the wing dam bite will probably suffer. And the fish are migrating because of the unseasonable conditions. The teams that are versatile and ready to change up from the wing-dams, to trolling lead-core and 3-way live bait rigs will be in the best position to bring in a 5-fish basket,” shared Champion Trow.The race for points is heating up. At stake are both the Central Division Team of the Year as well as the MWC Challenge overall Team of the Year. Greg Yarbrough of Port Clinton, OH and Jeff Manz of Vanderbilt, MI captured the East Division Team of the Year title at Saginaw Bay last month with a 10th place finish. With that, they put themselves in a near shoe-in for MWC Team of the Year. Because that race is based on “lowest” points (like golf); it doesn’t look like anyone in the Central Division has the chance to unseat them.Manz and Yarbrough have already fished 5 of the 6 events of the year; and done quite well in all of them. However, they could be working toward a trifecta; looking to grab the Central Division Team of the Year title as well. Aydelotte and Trow are in the lead with a 2nd place finish at Spring Valley and a 9th place finish at Bays de Noc, but they know that with a big field, anything can happen. “It’s gonna be a dog fight!” shared Trow. “We know some of the teams nipping at our heels and they are good fishermen . and they have notified us that they are ready to do battle.” Manz and Yarbrough are only ranked 3 places behind Aydelotte and Trow in the standings, with a 36th at Spring Valley and 4th at Bay de Noc. Their East division finishes were 9th at Detroit River/Lake Erie, 3rd at Henderson Harbor and 10th at Saginaw Bay. In second place are Don Solis and Bert Wilson and 3rd place Brad Bull and Wes Rose. Based on 191 teams the first place prize money will be $24,754; paying out 33 places to the field totaling $92,274. Additionally, sponsor prizes and bonus money will be paid accordingly:Ranger Boats Ranger Cup: Top finishing Ranger Cup Boat owners receive $1,000Tommy Docks Comeback Award – for the team that moves up the most from day 1 to day 2 — $500Ice Armor: Two new Ice Armor outwear gear suits; plus if the lucky team that is drawn for the new suits wins the tournament; $1000 bonus.Lindy Drift Control Award: $200 cash plus two new Lindy Drift Control socks for the team that finishes the highest and uses any drift sock during the tournament.Food Source Lures & Cabela’s have onsite games that anglers and fans can win cool prizes including cash and Cabela’s gift cards.The Inhibitor Tough Times Award: $100 bonus to the team that weighs the smallest basket of fish (but not a zero.) Panther Marine Tech: $100 cash bonus for top finishing team with Panther or ElectroSteer productsThe last stop for the MWC is the 2006 World Walleye Championship, October 4-7 in Prairie du Chien, WI. The sixty teams that earned their way to the World Walleye Championship last year will fish for $100,000 in prize money. Boundaries are Pools 9 and 10 on the Mississippi River and the weigh-in festivities will be in the Cabela’s Store, North parking lot.Cabela’s is the title sponsor for the Masters Walleye Circuit. Official Sponsors are Lindy Legendary Tackle, Mercury Motors, Outdoor Life Network (OLN), Ranger Boats, MotorGuide, Lowrance Electronics and the North American Fishing Club. Associate sponsors are Salmo Performance Lures, Panther Marine-Tech Products, Tommy Docks, The Inhibitor, Food Source Lures, Ice Armor, Pennzoil Marine, Farm and City Insurance Services and Walleye Central.