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Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit Heads to Big Stone Lake on Minnesota/South Dakota Border for Exhibition Tournament

Minnetonka, MN -- The Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit will travel to Ortonville, Minnesota for an exhibition tournament on Big Stone Lake, slated August 18th and 19th of 2007. While the tournament roster is down in numbers, the town is expected to burst at the seams with attendees. The weekend is also the annual Cornfest Days which traditionally draws over 10,000 visitors to the community. Thousands will watch the weigh-ins by the lake on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, beginning at 4 o’clock next to the boat launch. The Cabela’s MWC stage will host other Cornfest festivities as well.

“Unfortunately, the roster size is down for this event, just twenty one teams,” shared Kristine Houtman, director of the MWC. “Last year we tried our first West exhibition tournament at Devils Lake and had just over 60 teams. We had hoped to be somewhere in that ball park for this event, but it hasn’t quite panned out.” The exhibition format means that the tournament is a stand-alone event, and not part of the Central Division which averages between 160 and 200 boats per tournament each year.

By having an exhibition tournament, MWC officials can see what kind of interest there is in a future division of three stops. The 2008 schedule has been announced with another West Division exhibition tournament back to Devils Lake in August. “We hope the anglers that want to see an MWC tournament in their neck of the woods step up to show us their interest,” added Houtman.

Payout for a 21-boat field will be $7,184 for 1st place, $3,094 for 2nd place and $1,482 for 3rd place for the Big Stone Lake event. Some teams have picked up this tournament for points as much as for the cash prize. For example, Terry Mayhall and Tony Dowiatt of Wisconsin placed 5th at Spring Valley this year and went on to capture 4th place at Green Bay. That means they have a great shot at Team of the Year come September at Dubuque – however, all candidates for that honor must pick up a fourth tournament. And the exhibition tournament qualifies.

“Terry and I have done well in past MWC seasons – but we’re really within striking distance for Team of the Year honors,” shared Tony Dowiatt, who fishes with best friend Terry Mayhall. Mayhall and Dowiatt hold the Cabela’s MWC Circuit record big fish at 12.65 pounds from 2006 on Lake Erie. “With a twenty-plus year history of cranking out quality Teams of the Year – the honor being within our reach is one any fisherman would work hard to achieve.”

“Once we got within striking distance we knew we needed to give it a shot,” added Mayhall. “You’d be filled with coulda’s and shoulda’s if you didn’t give it a try!”

The MWC along with the NPAA will sponsor a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic at Ortonville on Saturday, August 18th – immediately following the weigh-in. The weigh-in will begin at about 4 o’clock and the clinic should start between 4:30 and 5:00. The public is invited to come watch the weigh-ins and stay for the clinic. Sponsors such as Cabela’s, Lowrance Electronics, North American Fishing Club and Ranger Boats have donated rods and reels so that a lucky number of kids will get their own to take home with them. Toyota has donated three bikes that will be rigged up with rod holders for the kids to win in a drawing, too.

Parents are encouraged to attend with young children (under 6th grade) as the anglers will instruct them on tying on real hooks and/or jigs to their lines. Basic slip bobber fishing is encouraged as many of the MWC anglers grew up dreaming over a bobber – and want to pass that on to the next generation as well.

A conservation fund of $15 per boat, totaling $315 will be awarded to the Big Stone Lake Walleye Club.

Openings exist in future MWC tournaments. The remaining schedule is:

MWC Central

Sept 8 & 9 – Dubuque, IA – Mississippi River

MWC West (Exhibition Tournament)

August 18 & 19 –Ortonville, MN – Big Stone Lake

World Walleye Championship (invitation only)

Oct 4-6 -- Dundee, MI -- Detroit River and Lake Erie

For more information contact circuit headquarters by email at: events@masterswalleyecircuit.com or toll-free by phone at 877-893-7947.

Cabela’s is the title sponsor for the Masters Walleye Circuit. Official Sponsors are MotorGuide, Toyota Trucks, Mercury Motors, Ranger Boats, Lowrance Electronics, North American Fishing Club and Versus (Vs.) television network. Associate sponsors are Tommy Docks, The Inhibitor, Food Source Lures, Ice Armor and Farm & City Insurance Services.

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