Illinois River Hosts Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit 2017 Season Opener March 17-18 Presented by Mercury Marine



Ponca City, Okla.—March 3, 2017—The fish-rich, swirling currents of the Illinois River at Spring Valley, Illinois, will once again be the stage for another Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit regular season opener.

Set for March 17-18 out of the Spring Valley Boat Club, the qualifying tournament offers two-person teams the opportunity to compete for thousands in cash and prizes in the MWC’s professionally run format, which has stood the test of time since 1984.

The tournament is also timed to coincide with great fishing on the legendary waterway, and MWC Tournament Director Jack Baker expects a stellar bite. “I’m excited,” he says. “The river was already producing great fishing until a major storm hit. Water levels are on their way down again and barring any more storming, the locals say it will be clear and in great shape for the tournament.”

The event marks Baker’s debut at the MWC helm. He replaced retiring director Dan Palmer earlier in 2017 and is eagerly anticipating the circuit’s regular season kick-off, which has become a rite of spring for walleye anglers from across the Midwest. “I’m looking forward to carrying on the rich MWC tradition,” he says.

The Illinois River is flush with saugers and offers ample chances at walleyes as well, giving MWC anglers plenty of options in location and presentation. Over the years, a variety of tactics from vertical jigging to trolling jerkbaits have taken top honors. In 2016, Joe Perez and Troy Tregoning won the event fishing jigs and floater rigs in a shallow-water riprap area that had the right combination of current and baitfish.

The Cabela’s MWC offers lucrative payouts, which are based on the number of teams entered in each event. Plus, the MWC Big Fish Pot, MWC side pot payouts, along with sponsor bonuses including Ranger Cup, Lowrance Electronics, Okuma and AirWave add thousands more to the total. As an extra incentive, the first-place team will win a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.

Inspections and weigh-ins will be held at the Spring Valley Boat Club. Teams will be allowed to weigh five walleyes, saugers or saugeyes measuring 14 inches and over each day in the circuit’s catch-and-release format. As part of its ongoing support for fisheries conservation, the MWC is assisting Illinois Department of Natural Resources through this event. DNR biologists will be on site collecting fish caught during the tournament for stocking programs that benefit anglers on the Illinois River and across the state.

Weigh-ins are free, open to the public and begin at 4 p.m. As a bonus to budding tournament fans, the Cabela’s MWC, National Professional Anglers Association will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic immediately after the day-one weigh-in. The first 50 youths will receive rods and reel combos courtesy of the NPAA.

Adding to the excitement at Spring Valley, the MWC will announce the dates and location of the 2018 Cabela’s National Team Championship. The Cabela’s NTC is widely considered the walleye world’s premier grassroots championship. It is comprised of teams that qualify through local tournaments organized by walleye clubs sanctioned by The Walleye Federation (TWF), and annually draws hundreds of avid walleye anglers from across the U.S. and Canada.

Along with great payouts at each MWC event, teams fishing three or more tournaments in 2017 will battle for coveted berths in the 2018 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship, set for October 2018 on Lake Michigan’s Bays de Noc out of Escanaba, Michigan. Teams fishing at least four qualifiers compete for Team of the Year awards, including a $10,000 sponsorship package and thousands more in cash and Cabela’s Cash cards, as well as fully paid entries into a full season of great walleye action.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Cabela’s MWC is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. Deadline to register for the Illinois River tournament is Monday, March 13 at 4 p.m.

The 2017 schedule includes seven qualifiers in five states and includes a diverse selection of rivers, inland lakes and Great Lakes fisheries representing North America’s top walleye destinations.

Cabela’s, the World’s Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is entering its 16th season as title sponsor of the MWC. Official sponsors include: Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, Bagley Baits, Church Tackle, G-Juice, MotorGuide and Okuma. For more information, email, or call (580) 765-9031.


LOWE® Announces Special Purchase Incentive Program for TWF Members

February 10, 2017 – LOWE® Equipment Attachments is announcing a special purchase program for members of The Walleye Federation (TWF).

LOWE® will offer TWF members a 25 percent discount off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on all its auger, trenching, and grapple products.  This special program will be in effect for the calendar year 2017 and is only available through Midwest Attachments, LLC.

The special offer does not include taxes or transportation costs from LOWE® to the destination.  A valid copy of the TWF membership card showing name, membership number, and current membership qualifies a member for this special offer.  There is no specified limit to the number of items a member may wish to purchase.  LOWE® reserves the right to verify any information provided.

Midwest Attachments is an internet-based company that promotes the sale of LOWE® attachments worldwide.  For more information regarding Midwest Attachments, please visit their website at  or contact them at 1-715/254-1776.

LOWE® Equipment Attachments is an official sponsor of the Cabela’s Master’s Walleye Circuit and is a strong supporter of many organizations that support fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities.  LOWE® is an independent, family owned business that produced its first auger attachment in 1971.  With the pride of being made in the USA, LOWE® products have an excellent reputation for Productive, Durable, Value®.

For more information on LOWE® Equipment Attachments, please visit our website at or call 1-608/538-4000.


Dan Palmer Retires as Tournament Director; Northfield, Minnesota’s, Jack Baker Tapped to Fill that Role

Fisherman, a Fisherman’s friend and now an Entrepreneur!

Recently a pair of unique opportunities came along for Dan & Jen Palmer that required the industry veteran to make the very tough decision to retire from one dream job he loved in order to embrace another and then another as new business opportunities came along for him and his family.

Thank you for the honor of representing each and every one of you as a Tournament Official, Sponsor Rep, Co-worker, and most of all Friends! Dan Palmer stated. “It has been an incredible 11 years of Living The Dream in the Tournament Industry.”

Late in 2016, Dan and his family acquired the Original Eddie Bait Company that started making Muskie baits in Hayward Wisconsin in 1947.  Dan’s plan was to continue running tournaments and the bait company. Then in January 2017, another opportunity became available in his home town when a popular local pub called “Twin Lakes Tap” unexpectedly became available to them. This is where the tough decision came into play with a once in a lifetime opportunity at stake, Dan and Jen made the leap into the realm of fulltime business owners!

“Dan has a great love and passion for the outdoors and for the anglers he served.” According to Robert Cartlidge, President at the Federation National Office.  “I consider him and his family life-long friends and while we will certainly miss them at our events, we wish them all the best in their new endeavors as entrepreneurs. If you get close to Hayward, please stop by Twin Lakes Tap and say “hello”. I am sure Dan would enjoy it.” 

The leadership team underwent a nationwide search for the right person to fill the position by contacting a long list of clubs, anglers and industry partners for their recommendations. A number of qualified candidates were identified and interviewed.  In the end, Northfield, Minnesota’s Jack Baker was picked to fill the role.

Jack’s resume’ is impressive and he strikes me as a down to earth person who knows how to succeed and is no stranger to hard work,” Cartlidge stated. “Jack was selected to run our northern tournament operations because of his passion for the sport, his years of experience and his reputation in the industry. I’m sure there will be a learning curve between hard water and soft water events but I have no doubt that Jack will hit the ground running and serve our anglers well.” 

With 9 years of tournament operations experience as a business man, as a leader and as the current director of the premier ice fishing circuit in the US, the North American Ice Fishing Circuit, (NAIFC).  Baker also has past experience in managing the ICE MAN realty TV show, as a golf course pro and manager and as a young man he worked in the family’s lumber business.

Here is Jack’s take on his new role. “You don’t replace someone like Dan you build off his accomplishments and carry it forward. I am excited for this opportunity and to meet all the anglers, we are going to keep it fun.”

Baker is already on board with the national office as of Feb 1 working hard and prepping for the 2017 season openers. He can be reached via email for now  and on the tournament hotline starting March 1 which is 580.716.4291

Welcome aboard Jack!




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