For Immediate Release -
Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.—May 10, 2014—Wisconsin’s Jason Stangel and Chris Cox put together a record-setting five-bass limit weighing 30 pounds even to win the Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s North Region season opener on Sturgeon Bay of Lake Michigan out of Wave Pointe Marina & Resort May 10.
“It’s fantastic,” Cox, of Dodgeville, said of the win. The victory earned he and Stangel the $10,000 first-place purse, plus a pair of $500 Cabela’s gift cards and $1,050 from the Big-Bass Pot for catching the tournament’s second-biggest bass. “I grew up around here and fished a lot of events,” added Stangel, of Two Rivers. “To win this is a special accomplishment.”
The victors explained that finding pockets of 47- to 48-degree water surrounded by cooler water temperatures was key to locating the mother lode of Sturgeon Bay smallmouths. Once in the hot zone, they fished jerkbaits and tubes in depths of one to eight feet.
The combination helped them crush the existing Cabela’s NABC single-day basket benchmark of 27 pounds, 15 ounces—set by fellow Wisconsinites Jason Corrao, of Sauk City, and Matt Stefan, of Junction City at the 2013 Circuit stop on Sturgeon Bay. For their part, Corrao and Stefan raised the bar on the Circuit’s big-fish record with a 7-pound, 2-ounce giant that bested the 6-pound, 15-ounce previous record, which they’d also set last year on Sturgeon Bay.
Second-place finishers, Wisconsin’s Joe Kaminski, of Sturgeon Bay, and David Kruck, of Neenah, weighed 28 pounds, 9 ounces, worth $4,750 in cash plus two $250 Cabela’s gift cards. Close behind in third place with 28 pounds, 8 ounces, Scott Ourada, of Little Suamico, and John Allen, of Green Bay, collected $2,400 in cash plus a pair of $100 Cabela’s gift cards and the $200 Optima Batteries True Blue contingency. In all, the top teams shared more than $35,000 in cash and prizes.
The team-format tournament offered one day of competition on the bay’s world-class smallmouth fishery, with a second day reserved in case of bad weather. The weigh-in was held at Wave Point Marina. Sturgeon Bay yielded 311 bass weighing a total of 1,283 pounds, 12 ounces in the Circuit’s catch-and-release format. Fifty-four teams brought limits to the stage.
This was the first of four NABC North Region qualifiers of 2014. The remaining schedule includes Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin, June 14; Leech Lake, Minnesota, July 26; and Lake Vermillion, Minnesota, August 22-23 (two-day bonus filmed for television event). The North Region Championship is set for Oct. 4-5 on the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin. In addition, the Cabela’s NABC Southeast Region has a qualifier remaining on Lake Russell, South Carolina, June 1. The Southeast Region Championship will be held on Lake Lanier, Georgia, Aug. 9-10.
Cabela’s NABC payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. Qualifying tournaments with 75 teams or more offer a guaranteed first-place cash purse of $10,000 plus payout to the top 20 percent of the field. Plus, the NABC Big Bass Pot, along with sponsor contingencies including Ranger Cup, Stratos 2X and Optima True Blue add thousands in cash and prizes to the total.
Teams competing in multiple events can reap even greater rewards. Those fishing at least three NABC tournaments have a shot at qualifying for the prestigious, high-stakes championship for their respective NABC Region, which offers $15,000 cash for first place based on a full field. Regional Team of the Year titles will also be awarded to the team from each region with the highest point total from any three NABC qualifiers. Each title is worth $2,000 in Cabela’s gift cards, plus trophies and paid entry into their 2014 regional championship and 2015 regional qualifiers. In all, Team of the Year races will award more than $7,000 in cash and prizes to the top five teams in each region.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its fourth season as title sponsor of the NABC. Other sponsors include: Ranger Boats, Stratos Boats, Mercury Marine, MotorGuide, Optima Batteries, G-Juice and Sea Grant.
Based in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the Cabela’s NABC is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Entry fees are $500 per regular season tournament and $600 for each two-day region championship. The Circuit offered more than 100 percent payback to anglers in 2013 and will do so again in 2014. In addition, a small donation is included in each entry fee and matched by NABC and other conservation organizations up to 3-to-1 in support bass conservation projects anywhere the NABC does business.
Registration closes at 10 a.m. on Monday prior to each tournament. For more information, visit northamericanbasscircuit.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (580) 765-9031.