Monday, November 5, 2012

FLW Walleye Tour Ends, Cabelas National Walleye Tour Begins

For the past 12 years, FLW Outdoors has been the one constant professional Walleye Series in America.  Over these past 12 years the sport has had its ups and downs, but nobody expected things to end so abruptly.  Many anglers have committed their careers to this circuit, running tournament sponsored equipment to qualify for cash contingencies, as well as traveling the country hoping to qualify for the annual FLW Championship and hope to claim the coveted Angler of the Year Title.  It is a sad time in the Walleye Industry as we say goodbye to a circuit that has played a key role in growing the sport so many Midwesterners live for.  Despite the sadness and uncertainty of what the future will bring, a new professional Walleye Circuit hopes to rise from the ashes and continue right where FLW has left off.

Cabelas has been a long time sponsor of Masters Walleye Circuit, which is the largest team format Walleye series in the country, so its not too surprising to see them take on the National Walleye Tour.  There is still a fair amount of uncertainty about this new series, especially since all of the details have not yet been released.  Here are a few of the things we do know.

The tentative schedule has been released for 2013, beginning with a stop on the Mississippi River out of Red Wing, MN April 26-27.  The next stop will be on Lake Erire out of Port Clinton, OH June 14-15.  The third stop of the series comes to Sturgeon Bay, WI on the waters of Green Bay July 26-27.  Anglers that fish all 3 events will automatically be qualified to fish the NWT Championship on Devils Lake, ND September 12-14.  The championship will also have an entry fee, which is a change from the FLW format.

Major sponsors of this circuit already include; Cabelas, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Triton, and Stratos, with more sponsorship announcements to follow.  Contingencies will also play a big role in determining winnings, like they did in the FLW.  Another major difference with the NWT, is the fact that all sponsorships unique to each angler will be allowed for all days of the tournament, and will recieve fair media attention.  This was slowly becoming an issue with the FLW events, as anglers weren't allowed to wear their sponsors apparel during the final day of events due to conflicts with FLW sponsors.

Entry fees have also changed a bit from the FLW format.  Pros will pay $1500 an event, while co-anglers will pay $350 an event.  This is a slight increase in entry fees from the FLW, which corrolates into higher purses in the events.  Based on a 125 boat field, the winning pro can expect to earn $15,000 cash, and a fully rigged brand new Ranger Angler 1860.  If this winning pro qualifies for the Ranger contingency, he/she will automatically get the boat and engine upgraded to a Ranger 620VS powered by a 250 horsepower Evinrude!  Second place would earn $20,000, third $15,000, and 31st would earn $3000. 

On the co-angler side, the first place angler would recieve $6,000, second $3,000, third $2,000, down to 31st earning $400.  Co-anglers can also qualify for contingencies, bagging up to $3,000 in contingecy money for the winner if they have a qualifying boat and motor!

The fine details of the contingency money have yet to be finalized, so look for more details to follow on those specifics. 

As for the fishing format, expect to see a live weigh-in and most likely a 5 fish limit, which are both similar to the FLW format.  Tournament hours, prefishing rules, and many other fine details are still being created, so if you have an opinion of what you would like to see feel free to send your ideas to, or call (612)-424-0708.  To get more infomation on this new circuit, check out there website at

1 comment:

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