Walleye tournament comes to AuGres
AUGRES — The Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit is coming to AuGres Aug. 6-8.
The walleye-fishing tournament will be held out of the AuGres Boating Access Site on the Saginaw Bay, where around 70 teams, equaling 150 anglers, will compete for an $11,900 first-place prize.
“We have a long history with the Saginaw Bay,” MWC senior event coordinator Dan Johnson said. “I have always been impressed with the bay, and I look forward to coming back.”
Johnson said that the MWC has been in existence for 26 years and last visited the Saginaw Bay in 2008 when the tournament was held in Bay City.
“We are excited to come to the area,” he said. “Everyone has welcomed us with open arms.”
Johnson added that the best quality the bay has to offer is its diversity.
“Anglers can fish the Saginaw River, weed beds, sand bars, troll in deep water — there’s walleye wherever you go,” Johnson said. “(The anglers) can play to their strong suit.”
The five best fish from each team will be weighed each day and totaled to select a winner. An extra day is built into the schedule to allow for two full days of competition in case of bad weather.
Johnson said that teams will launch at 7 a.m. and return for weigh-in at 4 p.m. each day. He added that based on a 70-team field, the top 14 teams will share a $36,450 cash purse, with the winning team collecting an $11,900 first-place check. Other sponsor bonuses add another $3,700 in prize money.
“We always make certain that there will be good fishing wherever we go,” Johnson said. “For us to have a tournament, it has to been fun for the fisherman,”
City Manager Pat Killingbeck said the tournament is great for the community.
“With the economy the way it is, it’s important to welcome any additional activities to the area,” she said. “(The fisherman) will eat at restaurants, buy gas, stay in motels — they will fill everything.”
Killingbeck said local businesses are always grateful for additional business.
“Visitors are always welcome to our area,” she said.
Along with the tournament, the MWC and the National Professional Anglers Association will be hosting a youth and family fishing clinic after fish are weighed in. Kids who are in the clinic receive a free rod and reel.
Johnson said that $15 from each team’s entry fee will be used to fund fisheries projects in the local area where tournaments are held. He added that based on 70 teams entering the competition, a donation of $1,050 to will be used benefit the Saginaw Bay walleye fishery.
Registration for teams to enter the tournament ends Monday Aug. 2. For more information on the tournament, contact Dan at 952-988-7247.