A pair of fun fishermen--new Plano mayor Bob Hausler and Chris Clemmons of Newark--won Cabela's National Team Champions honors on Devils Lake in North Dakato.
Yes, as a matter of fact, they were sporting Plano Molding shirts.
Here's the complete release from the MWC:
Cabela's National Team Champions win $30,000 and new Ranger Boat at Devils Lake
-- presented by Cabela's
Sunday, July 26, 2009 -- Devils Lake , North Dakota --Two guys that just love to fish for fun captured a National honor in the world of walleye tournaments, the title of Cabela's National Team Champions. The Illinois duo, Chris Clemmons ( Newark ) and Bob Hausler ( Plano , mayor of...actually) bested a field of 215 teams for the coveted title. Day two brought in the largest basket of the tournament at 28.59 pounds for a $30,000 pay-day and a brand new Ranger Boat. Their total weight was 48.12 pounds for ten fish. "This is one of the best things that ever happened in our lives," shared an exuberant Clemmons. The winning team was a bit humble in accepting this prestigious honor. "Thirty-thousand dollars plus a new boat - against some of the best walleye anglers in the world?" questioned Clemmons. "This is a phenomenal honor, we're truly blessed to have accomplished something like this."
The key to the winning strategy was just applying their fishing knowledge going in to their pre-fish. "We did a few different things - mostly in the trees to get our fish," shared Hausler. Bottom-bouncers with floaters and spinners, but they snagged up a lot. They also slip bobbered leech-tipped Aberdeen hooks and at times pitched 1/32 ounce weedless jigs with their leeches. They had two spots over the two days that produced their fish. Dubbed the "magic bush" by these two, they found a ...well, bush....off of Military Point that was spot-on-spot productive. It was adjacent to deep water which they thought was important and held an abundance of freshwater shrimp. Their second spot was very near the boat launch at Graham's Island State Park , which gave them their largest fish of an already good basket. "We took really good care of our leeches," shared Clemmons when asked if there was anything special that they did for their live bait rigs. "We kept changing them into fresh water during the week and kept them plenty cold. They were lively and I think that helped quite a bit."
Also winning a new Ranger Boat in this National event was the second-place team of Eric Everhart of Salina , Kansas and Larry Spaeny of Assaria , Kansas . In addition to the $12,500 payout for second, they were the top finishing Ranger Cup team in the Cabela's NTC and for this honor won a brand new 619 Ranger Boat.
Third place in the Cabela's NTC was a brothers team from Nebraska , Scott and Marc Willis. Scott and Mark were in 1st place after day one but just couldn't put the big basket together on Sunday. They cashed in $10,000 for 3rd place.
The top twenty-five teams are considered Cabela's All-American. See attached roster for complete results.
The Cabela's NTC was co-located and run along with the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC) West Division qualifying tournament. Two unique purses, two unique rosters, although teams could be in both tournaments and weigh the same basket for either event.
Guy Ryan and Troy Ethridge of Salina, Kansas won the Cabela's MWC tournament with their first place finish at 46.93 pounds. The winners cashed in $15,120 plus a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats for being the top finishing team in Ranger Cup. Plus a $100 bonus from the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) for a total of $16,220. Ryan and Ethridge are having a fantastic 2009 season. A second place finish at Mobridge (Lake Oahe) in early May, a 14th place finish at Marinette/Menominee (Bay of Green Bay) earlier July and now this win have the two quite pumped for their shot at Cabela's MWC Team of the Year. Just one more tournament for them at Webster , South Dakota ( Lake Waubay ) in September will determine the outcome.
"We sure are having a better year this year," chuckled Ethridge, who lamented that last year they really struggled in their tournament fishing. "I guess when you do this long enough you see the good days and bad days kind of average out over time. We're just stringing some good tournaments together right now and it's a lot of fun. We're having a good time!"
According to Ethridge their tournament technique was basic Walleye Fishing 101. "We simply used the old-school method of vertical live bait rigs tipped with a leech," shared Troy . "We pretty much just stayed put in our spots and waited for the fish to come to us. It took patience but it worked out." Their two productive spots were Creel Bay by the power line weeds and the #5 and #6 towers on the Main Bay which secured their first Cabela's MWC circuit victory.
Home town North Dakota anglers Rick Darling of Leeds and Jeff Trana of Devils Lake cashed in $6,200 for their second place finish in the MWC with 35.66 pounds.
Third place honors went to the Pennsylvania team of Doug Yohe (Bradford) and Tim Waltz ( Williamsport ) with 34.94 pounds. Third place paid $4,200. Yohe and Waltz were the top finishing team that fished in both the NTC and MWC. They finished in fifth place in the NTC.
Anglers were quite enthusiastic about the welcome and experience of the large TWO tournaments and all the logistics that surrounded 268 teams on the water. Many anglers commented on stage that everything was so well organized and all the volunteers and community members were warm and welcoming. It was smooth sailing for such a large program.
The event was filmed for Versus Television Network and will air Monday, August 31st at 8:30 am and Tuesday, September 1st at 9:30 am. All times Central.
A Walleye Conservation Fund of $5,000 was donated by the two events for the local efforts on lake access and walleye conservation.
This was the eighth edition of the NTC and marked the second time that the NTC and MWC have paired up to host two tournaments in one. Cabela's National Team Championship sponsors include: Ford Trucks, Ranger Boats, Yamaha, Pepsi Cola and Geico Powersports.
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, Fishouflage, 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. This season there are three qualifying tournaments in each division (Central, East & West) and the World Walleye Championship. For more information on the Cabela's MWC or to view the 2009 schedule, visit: www.masterswalleyecircuit.com. Questions - email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 877-893-7947.