Masters Walleye Circuit Rolling Through Escanaba
More than 550 of the world's top walleye anglers will battle in a tournament of epic proportions when the Cabela's National Team Championship and Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit Central Division Qualifier visit Big and Little Bays de Noc out of Escanaba, Michigan, August 5-7.
The Cabela's NTC is one of the most prestigious walleye tournaments in the country. Teams qualify by accumulating points through competition in local tournaments organized by more than 50 sanctioned grassroots walleye clubs across the United States. Now in its 27th season, the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit is the longest-running professional walleye tournament circuit in the United States.
This will be the tenth edition of the NTC and mark the fourth time that the Cabela's NTC and Cabela's MWC have paired up to host two tournaments in one. At press time, nearly 300 two-person teams were registered for the event, which offers more than $270,000 in cash, prizes and sponsor contingencies.
Two-hundred and twenty-one teams vying for top honors in the Cabela's NTC are competing for a $30,000 cash first-place check, plus a brand-new, custom-rigged, Evinrude-powered Ranger 621 valued at $60,000. A second, similarly decked-out Ranger will be awarded to the top Ranger Cup team in the Cabela's NTC.
On the Cabela's MWC side of the tournament, more than 130 teams will battle for over $70,000 in cash. Sponsor bonuses including Cabela's Angler Cash, Berkley Baits, Cabela's MWC Premier Team, Ranger Cup, Lowrance HDS, Worldwide Marine and U2 the Oxygenator add another $3,700 to the table. Plus, anglers have the option of entering the Big Fish Pot, which pays cash awards for the top three walleyes each tournament day, and could add at least $6,500 to the payouts. Teams fishing both events are in line for a payday of more than $100,000.
Weigh-ins are free and open to the public, and will be held beginning at 4:30 p.m. both days at the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds grandstand in Escanaba. The Cabela's MWC and National Professional Anglers Association will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the first day's weigh-in. The first 50 youths receive rods and reels donated by the NPAA, and tackle packages courtesy of Northland Fishing Tackle.