Eggers And Hepler Win Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit Sturgeon Bay Season Opener, Presented by Mercury Marine

Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.—May 13, 2017—David Eggers of Granger, Indiana, and Tad Hepler of Niles, Michigan, sacked a 5-fish limit weighing 26 pounds, 13 ounces to win the Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s 2017 season opener presented by Mercury Marine May 13th on Lake Michigan’s Sturgeon Bay.

“We’ve finished second twice at Sturgeon Bay before, so it feels really good to finally win one,” said Eggers. “It’s such an incredible fishery,” Hepler added. “If the NABC comes back, we’ll fish it for sure. We can make a pretty good vacation out of coming up and fishing here.”

Limited success during practice forced Eggers and Granger to fall back on a past hotspot. “We didn’t have much going, so we fished a transition line in 6 to 8 feet of water that had produced big fish in the past,” Eggers explained. The pair fished homemade soft-plastic craws and darters on leadhead jigs, and boated most of their bass before 9 a.m.

“Timing is everything,” Hepler noted. “These fish move around looking for warm water. The water temp was 52 degrees the day of the tournament. It dropped overnight and when we went back the next day, we didn’t catch a single fish in that spot, or even see one.”

The hefty catch of prespawn smallmouths propelled Eggers and Hepler past their rivals in the field and earned them the $5,054 first-place cash payout.

Rounding out the top five teams were:

2nd: Alan Neumann and Josh Crededio, 25-04, $2,520 cash

3rd: Trent Glover and Jim Lokken, 25-01, $1,400 cash plus another $950 in big fish money

4th: Troy Norman and Andrew Carlson, 24-09, $1,050 cash

4th: Adam Hermsen and TJ Maglio, 24-09, $1,050 cash plus another $510.00 for 2nd place big fish money

Eighth-place finishers Jason Corrao and Shaun Kruzitski collected $500 in payout earnings, plus $2,568 in cash for taking first place in the NABC option pot. Bob Ahrndt and Chad Kurowski along with Scott Bonnema and Mark Fisher tied for second in the option pot and split the $1,700 cash prize which settled out to be $850 per team.

In all, the Cabela’s NABC awarded a total payout of $19,902 in cash and prizes.

A total of 182 bass weighing 731 pounds, 11 ounces crossed the scale at Wave Point Marina and Resort and were returned to the Sturgeon Bay system in the Cabela’s NABC’s catch-and-release format. Big bass was a 7-pound, 3-ounce trophy smallmouth caught by Trent Glover and Jim Lokken, who won $850.00 from the big fish pot and another for the $100 Wave Pointe Big Fish Bonus.

This was the first of four 2017 Cabela’s NABC regular-season qualifiers. The remaining schedule includes Lake Vermilion, Minnesota, June 17; Bays de Noc, Michigan, July 29; and Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, August 19. A special NABC Open and the Tournament of Champions are set for September 9-10 on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its seventh season as title sponsor of the NABC. Other sponsors include: Ranger Boats, Stratos Boats, Mercury Marine, Garmin and G-Juice.

Based in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the Cabela’s NABC is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Entry fees are $400 per regular season tournament and for the NABC Open.

Along with an overall payback to anglers well in excess of 100 percent, a small donation is included in each entry fee and matched by the NABC and other conservation organizations up to 3-to-1 in support of bass conservation projects anywhere the NABC does business.

For more information, visit northamericanbasscircuit.com, email info@northamericanbasscircuit.com, or call (580) 765-9031.

 

Sturgeon Bay Bronzeback Factory Hosts Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s 2017 Season Opener May 13th Presented by Mercury

For Immediate Release –

Ponca City, Okla.—April 27, 2017—The Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit kicks off its 2017 tournament season with what many anglers are saying is the very best schedule in all of bass fishing circles this year and it all starts May 13th on the smallmouth bass paradise of Lake Michigan’s Sturgeon Bay.

 

The single-day event offers two-person teams a chance to win thousands in cash and prizes while competing on what is arguably the nation’s hottest destination for trophy bronzebacks. As a bonus, the tournament is timed to coincide with the prespawn bite, which each season produces numbers of bass over 5 and 6 pounds, along with a handful of behemoths topping 7 and even 8 pounds.

In 2015, when the NABC last visited Sturgeon Bay in the spring, Ontario’s Troy Norman and Andrew Carlson took top honors with a five-bass limit weighing 26 pounds, 9 ounces. And in May of 2014, Wisconsin’s Jason Stangel and Chris Cox put together an NABC record-setting five-bass limit weighing 30 pounds even to top the field.

As proof the fishery hasn’t faltered, it took a two-day, 10-fish limit of 53 pounds, 10 ounces for Wisconsin’s Bob Ahrndt and Chad Kurowski to win the NABC Championship on Sturgeon Bay last October. Ahrndt and Kurowski are signed up for the upcoming qualifier and are anxiously awaiting the chance to compete on Sturgeon again.

“We’re definitely coming back,” says Kurowski. “We enjoy how the NABC runs their events, and the list of lakes for the 2017 schedule is the best I’ve seen so far.” As for Sturgeon Bay itself, he says the fishery is unrivaled when the bite is on. “Hit it right and you can get your limit in five casts,” he says.

With a relatively normal spring in the making, Kurowski predicts it will take 27½ pounds to win the NABC season opener. “Guys will throw swimbaits and jerkbaits for reaction bites in search mode, then slow down with finesse tactics once they find a school,” he says. “If the fish are spawning, everybody’s going to catch fish. If they’re still in prespawn, you’ll have to look a little harder.”

The upcoming tournament is open to all two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Teams will be allowed to bring their best five large- or smallmouth bass to the scale, and the team with the heaviest total will be crowned the champions. Bass fans of all ages are invited to watch the action unfold at the weigh-in, which starts at 3 p.m. at scenic Wave Point Marina and Resort.

Besides world-class smallmouth bass fishing and the thrill of competing in a professionally run setting, teams will battle for serious winnings. Cabela’s NABC payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. Plus, the NABC Big Bass Pot and sponsor bonuses including Ranger Cup, Stratos 2X and Garmin Grand Giveaway add thousands more to the total.

At the 2015 Cabela’s NABC season opener on Sturgeon Bay, for example, Norman and Carlson collected $10,150 in cash and Cabela’s cash cards for their victory.

Teams competing in multiple events can reap even greater rewards. Those fishing at least three Cabela’s NABC tournaments have a shot at qualifying for the 2017 Tournament of Champions. Team of the Year titles will also be awarded to the top three teams, led by a Team of the Year prize package that includes paid entry fees to four 2018 qualifiers and the 2017 championship, plus $1,000 in Cabela’s gift cards and handsome trophies.

The 2017 Cabela’s NABC season includes four regular season qualifiers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, on a diverse selection of largemouth and smallmouth bass fisheries at peak fishing times. The remaining schedule includes Lake Vermilion, Minnesota, June 17; Bays de Noc, Michigan, July 29; and Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, August 19. A special NABC Open and the Tournament of Champions are set for September 9-10 on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering its seventh season as title sponsor of the NABC. Other sponsors include: Ranger Boats, Stratos Boats, Mercury Marine, Garmin and G-Juice.

Based in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the Cabela’s NABC is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Entry fees are $400 per regular season tournament and for the NABC Open. Registration for the Sturgeon Bay tournament closes at 4 p.m. (CST) Monday, May 8th.

Along with an overall payback to anglers well in excess of 100 percent, a small donation is included in each entry fee and matched by the NABC and other conservation organizations up to 3-to-1 in support of bass conservation projects anywhere the NABC does business.

For more information, visit northamericanbasscircuit.com, email info@northamericanbasscircuit.com, or call (580) 765-9031.

 

Dan Palmer Retires as Tournament Director; Northfield, Minnesota’s, Jack Baker Tapped to Fill that Role

Fisherman, a Fisherman’s friend and now an Entrepreneur!

Recently a pair of unique opportunities came along for Dan & Jen Palmer that required the industry veteran to make the very tough decision to retire from one dream job he loved in order to embrace another and then another as new business opportunities came along for him and his family.

Thank you for the honor of representing each and every one of you as a Tournament Official, Sponsor Rep, Co-worker, and most of all Friends! Dan Palmer stated. “It has been an incredible 11 years of Living The Dream in the Tournament Industry.”

Late in 2016, Dan and his family acquired the Original Eddie Bait Company that started making Muskie baits in Hayward Wisconsin in 1947.  Dan’s plan was to continue running tournaments and the bait company. Then in January 2017, another opportunity became available in his home town when a popular local pub called “Twin Lakes Tap” unexpectedly became available to them. This is where the tough decision came into play with a once in a lifetime opportunity at stake, Dan and Jen made the leap into the realm of fulltime business owners!

“Dan has a great love and passion for the outdoors and for the anglers he served.” According to Robert Cartlidge, President at the Federation National Office.  “I consider him and his family life-long friends and while we will certainly miss them at our events, we wish them all the best in their new endeavors as entrepreneurs. If you get close to Hayward, please stop by Twin Lakes Tap and say “hello”. I am sure Dan would enjoy it.” 

The leadership team underwent a nationwide search for the right person to fill the position by contacting a long list of clubs, anglers and industry partners for their recommendations. A number of qualified candidates were identified and interviewed.  In the end, Northfield, Minnesota’s Jack Baker was picked to fill the role.

Jack’s resume’ is impressive and he strikes me as a down to earth person who knows how to succeed and is no stranger to hard work,” Cartlidge stated. “Jack was selected to run our northern tournament operations because of his passion for the sport, his years of experience and his reputation in the industry. I’m sure there will be a learning curve between hard water and soft water events but I have no doubt that Jack will hit the ground running and serve our anglers well.” 

With 9 years of tournament operations experience as a business man, as a leader and as the current director of the premier ice fishing circuit in the US, the North American Ice Fishing Circuit, (NAIFC).  Baker also has past experience in managing the ICE MAN realty TV show, as a golf course pro and manager and as a young man he worked in the family’s lumber business.

Here is Jack’s take on his new role. “You don’t replace someone like Dan you build off his accomplishments and carry it forward. I am excited for this opportunity and to meet all the anglers, we are going to keep it fun.”

Baker is already on board with the national office as of Feb 1 working hard and prepping for the 2017 season openers. He can be reached via email for now jack@federationangler.com  and on the tournament hotline starting March 1 which is 580.716.4291

Welcome aboard Jack!

 

 

NABC Season Opener at Little Sturgeon Bay, Presented By Mercury is coming  up May 13th!   GET SIGNED UP TODAY COME AND MEET JACK!

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