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Kansas MWC Rookies Perry & Wagner Grab Win on Lake Oahe out of Mobridge, South Dakota

May 3, 2009 -- Mobridge, South Dakota – One of the most challenging bites the MWC has faced in its 25 year history was part of the experience on Lake Oahe in South Dakota this weekend. High muddy water, a late spring delaying the spawn and the smelt run all contributed to the unique conditions that challenged the 61 team field. But persevere and tough it out -- they did! Twenty-one teams caught at least one fish with a total of 54 fish caught. The winning weight was 15.72 pounds for 3 fish by the Kansas team of Jim Perry and Aaron Wagner. This was their first Cabela’s MWC tournament, and obviously their first MWC victory, cashing in a total of $13,188. Included in these winnings are sponsor bonuses from the Oxygenator for $200 and the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) for $100.

“It’s unbelievable,” shared Jim Perry. “It still hasn’t sunk in.” These two Kansas boys, Jim from Mclouth and Aaron from Oskaloosa go way back as family. Jim is married to Aaron’s cousin and introduced Aaron to fishing at the age of 8. Aaron is 39 years old now – that’s how long they’ve been fishing together.

The team had a spectacular day one considering the pre-fish week was a huge challenge. They caught the biggest fish of the tournament at 8.52 pounds netting a bonus of $488 in big fish cash. It came about 2pm on Saturday. Check-in time was 3pm. “We got our first fish about 1 o’clock and then the 8-and-a-half pounder about an hour later,” shared Perry. “That’s the biggest walleye I’ve ever caught in my life – it was a thrill.” With the South Dakota regulation of only two ‘overs’ (over 20 inches) allowed per team, their third fish about 2:30 had to get thrown back as they already had their two maximum. It was a heart-break but they went back on Sunday in hopes to find it again.

They stayed close to Mobridge and fished just past the Highway 12 bridge on the railroad rip rap. Their strategy was to troll as shallow as they could get. The boat was in 5’-6’ water and the #7 stick baits were in 2’-3’ water. The water was dirty, only 3 inches of visibility and they trolled at 1.6 miles per hour. Blue/white and a black/silver smelt-look lure produced the fish. Blue/white for the big fish on Saturday. “Getting shallow was the key for us,” shared Perry. Jim and Aaron honored their Kansas teammates Guy Ryan and Troy Ethridge, both of Salina, for finding the spot early in the week. “We just stayed off it and hoped it was still going to hold fish come the weekend,” shared Perry. “Made us sweat, though, since we didn’t get our fish either day until after 1 o’clock,” added Aaron.

The winners only boated one small fish on Sunday for 1.8 pounds, but it was enough with 1.4 pounds to spare over their friends Ryan & Ethridge. The Salina, Kansas team boated 3 fish for 12.72 pounds on day one and one fish for 1.6 pounds on day two for a total of 14.32 pounds. Second placed netted $5,700 plus $1,000 for the Ranger Cup bonus for a total of $6,700.

Third place, and second biggest fish from day one was the team of Randy Hallock of Sturgis, South Dakota and Vern Shilhanek of Britton, South Dakota. Their 8.44 pound walleye on Saturday brought in $292, plus third place paid $3,600 for a total of $3,892.

Fourth place honors went to Shannon Grismer and Colin Beitelspacher, both of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Grismer and Beitelspacher caught the most fish of the tournament, 3 fish on day one for 6.39 pounds and 4 fish on day two for 6.52 pounds. They also cashed in $500 from Lowrance Electronics for running the new HDS system, winning $3,500 in total.

Fifth place went to locals Cory Jueneman of Mobridge and Brent Beitelspacher of Gettysburg. They brought in six fish total, four on day one for 7.82 pounds and 2 on day two for 4.22 pounds for a two-day total of 12.04 pounds. Fifth place paid $2,800.

Additional sponsor contingency bonuses were paid to Chad Maloy and Donovan Denning of Fargo, North Dakota. They were the top finishing team with Ranger Cup/Mercury combination and received $500 from Mercury Motors. Maloy and Denning finished in 7th place with two fish (one each day) for a total of 10.34 pounds, paying $2,200. Add third place cash of $195 each day and Maloy/Denning cashed in $3,090.

David Atkinson of Sault Saint Marie, Michigan and Bob Propst, Jr., of Pierre, South Dakota were awarded the $100 bonus from Farm and City Insurance Services for Team FCIS. Atkinson and Propst also cashed in first place for big fish on Sunday with a 4.73 pound walleye worth $488. They earned $588 in total.

Corey Fiedler of Sioux Falls, SD and Jess Schilling of Akasko, South Dakota grabbed second place for big fish for their 4.59 pound walleye on Sunday, paying out $292.

On Saturday 27 fish were caught for 100.17 pounds by seventeen teams. Another 27 fish were caught on Sunday totaling 58.95 pounds by sixteen teams. In all, 54 fish were caught – a 2.95 pound average.

On Saturday the MWC and NPAA co-hosted a youth and family fishing clinic for the kids of Mobridge. “The attendance was great,” shared Johnnie Candle, of Devils Lake, North Dakota, who led the clinic with partner Dave Noble of Dixon, Illinois. A number of rods, reels, tackle boxes, terminal tackle and fishing magazines were handed out to the kids. One lucky five year old, Trapper Miklos, son of Joe and Melissa Miklos of Selby, South Dakota, won a new bike courtesy of the Mobridge Chamber of Commerce. “We’re happy to contribute to the kids clinic and share the joy of fishing with the kids of Mobridge,” shared Cindy Melcher, director of the Mobridge Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber was the host of the Cabela’s MWC tournament and assisted the staff with tournament operations, along with the North East South Dakota Walleye Club (NESDWC). The $15 per boat walleye conservation fund, totaling $915, will go to support local Lake Oahe conservation efforts.

Next up for the Cabela’s MWC is the second Central Division tournament out of Lake City, MN on Lake Pepin & the Mississippi River taking place May 16th & 17th.

MWC 2009 Tournaments

May 16/17 – Lake City, Minnesota (Lake Pepin & Mississippi River)

May 29/30/31 – Sandusky, Ohio (Central Lake Erie)

July 11/12 – Marinette, Wisconsin/Menominee, Michigan (Bay of Green Bay)

July 25/26 – *Devils Lake, North Dakota (Devils Lake)

August 21/22/23 – Dunkirk, New York (Eastern Lake Erie)

September 12/13 – Webster, South Dakota (Waubay Lake)

World Walleye Championship – by invitation only

October 8/9/10 – Dundee, Michigan (Lake Erie & Detroit River)

*The Devils Lake tournament will be run in conjunction with the Cabela’s NTC.

Cabela’s, the world’s foremost outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering their eighth season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Ranger Boats, Mercury, MotorGuide, Lowrance Electronics, Versus (Vs.) Television Network and North American Fishing Club. Associate Sponsors include: Farm & City Insurance Services, O2 Marine Technologies, 3-IN-ONE No Rust Shield, Fin-tech, Ryjus and Reflections.

The Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit is the longest running professional walleye tournament circuit in the United States and is celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2009. For more information on the Cabela’s MWC or to view the 2009 schedule, visit: Questions – email: or call: 877-893-7947.


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