OUTDOORS

Cabela’s events tap into region’s walleye wonders

4/22/2014
BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE OUTDOORS EDITOR

Anglers are hitting the water hard as two different circuits competing under the Cabela’s banner are working the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie on successive weekends.

The biggest catch at the Cabela's Master Walleye Circuit tournament was 13 pounds, 4 ounces, entered by Jerry Fox, Jr., and Kenneth Fox, above, of Algonac, Mich.
The biggest catch at the Cabela's Master Walleye Circuit tournament was 13 pounds, 4 ounces, entered by Jerry Fox, Jr., and Kenneth Fox, above, of Algonac, Mich.

This past Friday and Saturday, the Cabela's Master Walleye Circuit sent 113 two-person teams out of Trenton, Mich., which sits in the Downriver area, on the west bank of the Detroit River, across the channel from Gross Ile.

Wisconsin anglers Tony Kobriger and Dan Zwick won the tournament with a two-day, 10-fish total of 87 pounds, 3 ounces. Their Saturday catch of slightly more than 48 pounds for five fish allowed them to slip past Friday’s leaders, Charlie and Nicholas Borg of Gibraltar, Mich., who had averaged just better than 10 pounds per fish for their five walleyes on the opening day. The Borgs slipped to 35 pounds, 12 ounces on Saturday and finished second.

Toledo pro Joe Whitten and his teammate Ronnie Rhodes of Sheffield Lake, Ohio, finished 19th in the huge field, with just more than 38 pounds on Friday, and nearly 40 pounds for their five-fish limit Saturday.

The Master Circuit format allowed the anglers to fish the river, and the Michigan and Canadian sections of Lake Erie. For the two-day event, the 226 anglers checked in 1,050 fish, which were all released. The catch weighed a total of 6,970 pounds, 6 ounces. The biggest fish of the tournament went 13 pounds, 4 ounces.

This was the third of 10 stops on the Master Walleye Circuit in the 2014 season. They will be back on Lake Erie in late September, fishing out of Huron.

This weekend, the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour — a pro-am event — will open its season fishing the same Detroit River/​Western Lake Erie waters. On this circuit, pros are matched randomly with an amateur partner each day. The tournament launches from Elizabeth Park in Trenton at 7 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with the weigh-in at the park each day at 3 p.m.

The National Professional Anglers Association will also host a NPAA “Future Angler” program for children after Saturday’s weigh-in, at around 4:15 p.m. Free rod-and-reel combos or free T-shirts will go to the first 100 kids attending the program. If weather forces a cancellation, the youth event will run on Sunday.

The Cabela’s National Walleye Tour has three stops on its 2014 schedule. The Missouri River and Lake Oahe provide the setting for a late June event, while Bay de Noc in Escanaba, Mich. hosts a stop in late August. The season wraps up with a championship tournament on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin in September.

EARTH DAY EVENTS: The Sanger Library on West Central Avenue is the site for the Toledo-area chemists Earth Day event beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday that includes a talk by UT professor Patrick Lawrence entitled the “Ottawa River & You”, and Dr. Earl Campbell Jr.’s “Lake Erie Waterkeepers — Microcystin & You” talk. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required due to limited seating. Reserve a seat by writing to ToledoSectionACS@gmail.com.

MICHIGAN SENIOR LICENSE: The Michigan DNR is offering a hunt/​fish combo license to seniors age 65 and older for $43. The license allows the holder to fish for all species, and it serves as a base hunting license and two deer licenses. Without the senior discount, this combo option would have cost $76. Michigan resident seniors who have already paid the higher $76 fee for their 2014 license should receive a letter from the DNR offering a refund of $33.

SAFE BOATING CLASS: The American Legion Post No. 320 on Illinois Avenue in Maumee will be the site of a safe boating class offered on Saturday by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. The class runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the registration fee is $30 per individual or $45 for two students sharing one text book. Lunch will be provided. For information and registration contact Dale Steinfurth at 419-464-1719 or Terry Cleary at 419-367-0222 or at terrytcleary@aol.com.

BOATING EDUCATION CLASS: The final basic boating class offered by the Toledo Sail & Power Squadron before the boating season gets rolling will take place on May 10 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. “America’s Boating Course” is a one-day instructional session at the Perrysburg Township Fire Dept., 26609 Lime City Road. This class meets the Ohio/​Michigan boater education requirement and participants receive a certificate upon the successful completion of the course. Ohio law requires that any person born after Jan. 1, 1982 show proof of having completed a basic boating safety course in order to lawfully operate a boat powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or greater. The recommended minimum age to take this class is 12.

The fee for the course is $50, and $25 for a second person in the same family who shares a text. The registration fee includes lunch, and there is a $5 discount for firefighters. Registration is available by contacting Christopher Hoover at 419-343-0251 or at cshoover@yahoo.com.

Contact Blade outdoors editor Matt Markey at: mmarkey@theblade.com or 419-724-6068.