Wilterdink Brothers Win Cabela’s NABC Lake Winnebago Qualifier

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Wilterdink Brothers Win Cabela’s NABC Lake Winnebago Qualifier


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Oshkosh, Wisc.—June 14, 2014—Wisconsin’s Matt and Eric Wilterdink sacked an impressive 17-pound, 1-ounce, five-fish limit to win the Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s North Region Lake Winnebago qualifier out of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, June 14.


“It feels really good,” said Eric, of Sherwood. “My brother Matt and I have been fishing tournaments together for a long time and this is our first big win in a major regional event.” It wasn’t their first solid showing in a Cabela’s NABC qualifier, however. They finished in ninth place both previous times the Circuit stopped at Lake Winnebago, in 2012 and 2011.


1904113_764513793609254_2783367329376890359_nThe third time was definitely the charm, and Eric credited the 2014 event’s the post-spawn time frame for their better finish this season. “We saw more of a summer pattern, with the bass feeding again,” he said, explaining that they pitched tubes and jig-and-craw presentations into emerging weedbeds in three feet of water along Winnebago’s west shore for the win.


“Our day didn’t start out well,” noted Matt Wilterdink, of Neenah. “We tried for smallmouths at first. But when we only caught one 14-incher during the first hour and half of the tournament, we decided that our smallie program wasn’t working and switched gears.” The brothers claimed $7,000 in winnings for their first-place finish, including $6,400 in cash plus a pair of $300 Cabela’s gift cards. They also pocketed $1,050 from the Big Bass Pot for catching big fish of the tournament, a 4-pound, 11-ounce largemouth.

1908343_764514780275822_3727304639970465468_nFellow Wisconsinites Jim Barczak, of Osceola, and Mike Mayan, of Rosendale, collected $3,200 in cash, two $150 Cabela’s gift cards and the $200 Optima True Blue contingency for finishing second with 16 pounds, 7 ounces. Wisconsin’s Nathan Kawlewski, of Genoa City, and Nick Tislau, of Delavan, finished third with 15 pounds, 9 ounces, worth $1,800 in cash plus two $75 Cabela’s gift cards. In all, the top teams shared $21,920 in cash and prizes.


The catch-and-release event offered one day of competition on the bass-rich system, with a backup day in case of bad weather. The weigh-in was held at Rainbow Park on the Fox River. Lake Winnebago yielded 206 bass weighing a total of 511 pounds, 12 ounces.


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.


This was the second of four NABC North Region qualifiers of 2014. The remaining schedule includes Leech Lake, Minnesota, July 26; and Lake Vermillion, Minnesota, August 22-23 (two-day bonus event). The North Region Championship is set for Oct. 4-5 on the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Southeast Region Championship will be held on Lake Lanier, Georgia, Aug. 9-10.


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 info@northamericanbasscircuit.com, or call (580) 765-9031.