Skippers Win Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Lake Sharpe, South Dakota, Tournament
Masters Walleye Circuit
"We’re ecstatic," said Justin Skipper, of Wolsey, minutes after scoring the win in front of a cheering crowd gathered to watch the festivities at Oahe Dam Marina. "It’s an incredible experience," added Lorin Skipper, of Belle Fourche.
The brothers collected the $7,400 first-place cash payout, plus the $1,000 Ranger Cup contingency, $500 Berkley Baits bonus, $500 Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch and Elite 7 contingency, and a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques. They also claimed the $250 Zippo Hot Hands Big Fish Award for their 11-pound, 12-ounce Day 1 walleye that proved to be big fish of the event.Held April 4-5, the tournament offered two full days of competition. Two-person teams were allowed to weigh their best five walleyes each day. The Skippers came out swinging on Day 1 with a 20-pound, 7-ounce limit. Although their Day 2 catch was less at 8 pounds 11 ounces, they held on for the win with 29 pounds, 2 ounces. One of their hottest tactics was pitching jigs tipped with minnows and Berkley Gulp! softbaits to current breaks and backwater areas teeming with hungry ’eyes.
Hot on the Skippers’ heels with 28 pounds, 7 ounces, fellow South Dakotans Mike Dorris, of Madison, and Brian Tordsen, of Sioux Falls, collected $3,900 in cash for second place. In fourth place, the South Dakota team of Dan Stier, of Mina, and Gerrick McComsey, of Fort Pierre, won the $200 Optima True Blue award. In all, the top 20 percent of the field shared $26,660 in cash and prizes with last place in the money receiving $1000 as will be the case for the final place in the money for all 2014 MWC events.
Lake Sharpe produced 431 fish weighing a total of 860 pounds, 15 ounces during the catch-and-release event with three fish over 10 pounds weighed in. The Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association, Pure Fishing and Zippo Outdoor Brands presented a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after Friday’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 includes 10 stops spread across seven states in the Walleye Belt. Teams showcase 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 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 each year at the qualifiers, World Championship and Team of the Year races. Registration remains open through 10 a.m. Monday prior to each tournament. For more information, visit masterswalleyecircuit.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (580) 765-9031.