Will Pappa and Austin Felix sacked an impressive 16.98-pound, 5-largemouth limit to win top honors and $10,000 in cash at the Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s second 2012 qualifier against 98 anglers from six states competing on the Madison Chain.
“It’s a shock, because we had a tough practice – but when it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be,” said Austin Felix, of Eden Prairie, MN. “It feels great!” added Will Pappa, of Lonsdale, MN, explaining that the winning program hinged on finesse. They had to hone in by deadsticking a YUM Dinger along 8- to 16-foot weed lines, and also drop shotting with Trigger X Hodads.
The win earned them the $10,000 first-place check, along with an additional $500 Cabela’s gift card through the Cabela’s Angler Cash program, $160 in Oxygenator and U2 Pro Formula contingencies, a $100 prize package from Trigger X and Sufix, and a $250 PRADCO baits package for being the highest-finishing team using Bomber, Booyah, XCalibur and YUM products. The pair also pocketed $1,075 in extra winnings for a 5.51-pound bruiser, which was the biggest fish brought in by teams participating in the Big Bass Pot.
Second-place finishers Keith Tuma, of Baxter, MN, and Jim Smith, of Brainerd, MN, weighed 16.91 pounds, worth $3,400 plus $250 for the Optima Batteries contingency.
In all, the top nine teams shared a $19,800 payout plus Big Fish Pot and sponsor contingencies.
The Madison Chain yielded 238 bass weighing a total of 587.83 pounds in the Circuit’s catch-and-release format. On a charitable note, the Cabela’s NABC donated $15 per boat, for a total of $735, to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s collegiate Bass Fishing Team. To date, the Cabela’s NABC and its sister trail, the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit, have donated more than $300,000 to fisheries conservation and outreach projects, including the Outdoor Adventure Foundation, which takes combat-wounded veterans and children battling life-threatening diseases on fishing and hunting adventures.
After the weigh-in, the Cabela’s NABC called kids age 12 and under to the stage, to present them with rod-and-reel combos courtesy of the National Professional Anglers Association and Pure Fishing and share some fishing tips. To the delight of the crowd gathered along the shore of scenic Lake Waubesa, the youngsters offered their thoughts on fishing, and shared dreams of one day joining the ranks of the Cabela’s NABC’s tournament anglers.
This was the second stop on the NABC’s 2012 season. The remaining tournaments are August 4 on Gull Lake, Minnesota, out of Cragun’s Resort, and September 8 at Leech Lake, Minnesota, out of Trappers’ Landing Lodge near Walker. Teams fishing two or more of these NABC tournaments compete for berths in the NABC World Bass Championship, set for Oct. 5-6 on Pools 4 and 5 of the Mississippi River. The event offers a $30,000 cash purse plus sponsor bonuses, and carries a $20,000 first-place paycheck plus ultimate bassin’ bragging rights.
The NABC is open to all anglers regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. And its popular team format lets you choose your partner and cut your costs. Payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event, not including sponsor bonuses from Cabela’s, Stratos Boats, Ranger Boats, Bomber, Booyah Bait Co., Optima, Oxygenator, Sufix, Trigger X, XCalibur and YUM.
Entry fees are $500 per team, and anglers may register by mail, fax or online. Full details and printable registration forms are available at northamericanbasscircuit.com. Or call toll-free (877) 893-7947, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is title sponsor of the North American Bass Circuit. Official sponsors include Ranger Boats, Stratos Boats and North American Fisherman. Supporting sponsors include Mercury Marine, Bomber Lures, Booyah Bait Co., Rapala, Sufix, Trigger X, XCalibur, YUM, Angler’s Pal-MarineTech Products, Wave Fishing, O2 Marine Technologies, Gemini Sport Marketing, Reflections and Optima Batteries.