Epic Comeback Vaults Kobriger And Zwick To Victory At Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Detroit River Tournament
Masters Walleye Circuit
"It’s an unbelievable feeling," said Zwick, of Wrightstown, adding that the chance to catch trophy-class walleyes made the experience even sweeter. "These are the biggest walleyes I’ve ever caught jigging," he said. "There’s nothing like getting bit by fish so huge they don’t even budge when you set the hook."
"This is awesome," added Kobriger, of Chilton. He explained that they focused on the Detroit River, where their go-to tactic was fishing ˝-ounce jigs tipped with 3-inch Berkley Gulp! Alive! Ripple Shads on both sides of a rocky point in 14 to 17 feet of water.
After bringing a five-walleye limit weighing 39 pounds, 1 ounce to the Cabela’s MWC stage at scenic Elizabeth Park in Trenton on Day One, they added a 48-pound, 2-ounce limit on Day Two for an 87-pound, 3-ounce total that not only won the event, it shattered the Circuit’s longstanding two-day basket record of 86.38 pounds. It also marked Kobriger and Zwick’s fourth MWC Circuit victory. They won the Green Bay qualifier out of Oconto in 2013, the Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in 2011 and the Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship a second time in 2013 at Escanaba, MI.
For their latest win, the team collected the $14,400 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. In second place, the Gibraltar, Michigan, team of Charlie and Nicholas Borg pocketed $6,600 for their 86-pound, 2-ounce total. Grosse Ile, Michigan’s Michael and Gary Rahn claimed the $200 Optima True Blue award in third place. In all, the top 20 percent of the field shared $68,560 in cash and prizes, with last place in the money receiving $1,000 as will be the case for the final place in the money for all 2014 MWC events.
The Detroit River and western Lake Erie produced 1,050 fish weighing a total of 6,970 pounds, 6 ounces during the catch-and-release event. Big fish was a 13-pound, 4-ounce behemoth caught by Jerry Fox, Jr. and Kenneth Fox, both of Algonac, Michigan.
Besides earning them the $250 Zippo Hot Hands Big Fish Award and $1,375 from the Big Fish Pot, the giant fish tied the Circuit’s all-time walleye record held by the father-and-son team of John and John Murphy of Imlay, Michigan.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (580) 765-9031.