Peters And Leuthner Tap Backwater Bronzeback Bounty To Win Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit Rainy River Tournament, Presented by Mercury
Baudette, Minn.—July 15, 2018—Tough conditions on the main channel couldn’t stop competitive bass fishing veterans Matt Peters and Brad Leuthner from finding the mother lode of smallmouths to win the Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s regular season tournament on the Rainy River out of Baudette, Minnesota, July 15.
When water clarity on the legendary border water tanked the night before the tournament, the pair turned to overlooked tributaries in their quest to load the livewell. In these slightly clearer off-channel areas, they dialed in a deadly finesse softbait program that produced a 5-fish limit of backwater bronzebacks weighing a total of 16 pounds, 12 ounces to capture their first NABC victory and a cool $3,000 in cash—plus $1,000 in Ranger Cup winnings.
“I’m sure there’s a bunch of bass in the main channel and we had a few spots going in practice, but the river turned to chocolate milk for the tournament,” said Peters, of Waconia, Minnesota. “So we looked for the clearest water we could find.”
“Finding the right color water was the main key to our success today,” added Leuthner, of Victoria, Minnesota. “Once we found it, we slowed down and looked for the best spots within the area.”
Although they tried topwaters, soft-plastic jerkbaits turned out to be the ticket. “You had to fish the bait really slow,” Leuthner added. “Most bites came as the bait was sitting there, or when you popped it off structure and triggered a reaction strike.”
Presented by Mercury Marine and based at Willie Walleye Park in Baudette, the event pitted two-person bass fishing teams from the U.S. and Canada against one another in a battle for border water bragging rights and a share of the NABC’s lucrative payout.
Perennial contenders in numerous NABC events over the years, both Peters and Leuthner were elated at the victory. “Brad and I have been after this for a long time,” said Peters. “It’s nice to finally win one and bring home the hardware.”
“It feels good,” added Leuthner. “We’ve knocked on the door and landed in the top five a number of times but never won one until now.”
The off-color water challenged the field to find members of the Rainy River’s legendary smallmouth population. As trophies in the 5- and 6-pound class played hard to catch, big bass of the event was a 4-pound, 7-ounce beauty that earned Adam Bachynski of Keewatin, Ontario, and Andrew Beernaert of Winnepauge, Manitoba, $200 in cash from the NABC Big Bass Pot.
The Rainy River tournament was the third NABC event of the season, coming on the heels of exciting shootouts on the world-class bass fisheries of Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota, and Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. An equally impressive destination is up next, when the NABC travels to the hallowed waters of Bays de Noc, Michigan, August 18 for a taste of yet another one of North America’s finest bass fisheries.
Based in Ponca City, Oklahoma, the Cabela’s NABC is open to two-person teams from all walks of life, regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Entry fees are $500 per regular season tournament. 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.
The 2018 NABC season includes five events on a mix of the Midwest’s finest largemouth and smallmouth bass destinations. Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is enjoying its eighth year as title sponsor of the NABC. Other sponsors include: Bass Pro Shops, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Motor Guide, Garmin, T-H Marine, Blackfish and Faculty of Fishing. For complete details, visit northamericanbasscircuit.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (580) 765-9031.