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  • Updated: 10/25/04


    Prairie du Chien, WI-Eric Eichorn and Dan Felber outlasted fierce
    competition and some of Mother Nature's challenges to claim top honors and
    $26,000 at the 20th annual Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit (MWC) World
    Walleye Championship.
    Eichorn and Felber of Red Wing, MN brought 55.31 lbs. to the scale during
    the three-day event, held October 14-16 on pools nine and ten of the
    Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, WI.  The champs were also awarded
    customized trophies and gold rings for their crowning achievement.
    Though the competition was intense, a trio of heavy baskets-21.36, 20.76 and
    13.19 pounds, a 15 fish MWC allowable limit, built an 4.65 pound cushion
    between the champions and the second-place finishers, Minnesotans Dennis
    Clark and Kent Eide of Rochester.
    Conditions were less than ideal for the 42 championship qualifying teams.
    The water and air temperatures dropped steadily each day of the tournament
    with wind speeds up to 35 m.p.h. on the final day.  The field consisted of
    the top point accumulating teams who competed during the 2003 MWC season
    plus the top five finishing teams from the 2003 Cabela's National Team
    Championship.  They were allowed to weigh five fish per day measuring 15
    inches or more.
    Teams were required to launch in pool ten.  Yet, a majority of teams opted
    to fish pool nine, which presented the added challenge of locking through
    the dam twice a day.  The prevailing strategy was to catch five 15 inchers,
    then upgrade to larger fish.  Pool nine had been producing larger fish prior
    to the competition days.

    Per Eichorn, "We fished pool nine all three days.  The day before the
    championship started, we found a honey hole just north of the town of
    Desoto.  It was between a wing dam and a small island.  What can I tell you?
    It was great.  We limited out by ten thirty every morning.  We Lindy rigged
    with two-inch willow cat minnows.  The walleyes really hammered the baits."
    Added Felber, "We were anchored, then cast the rigs into four feet of water,
    slowly reeling down to 15 feet to the wing dam.  Man, it was a blast.  The
    MWC is full of great walleye sticks.  We were hoping to do good.  I guess we
    Second place finishers, Clark and Eide, weighed 13 fish totaling 50.66 lbs.
    worth $13,000.  Third place went to the father/son team of Donald and
    Michael Olson of Andover, MN.  Their 15 fish weighed 47.83 lbs., earning
    them $9,000.  The entire field shared the $100,250 cash purse.
    A total of 414 walleyes and saugers, weighing 965.55 lbs. were caught in the
    MWC catch and release format.  Cabela's employees and members of the Falling
    Rock Walleye Club assisted the MWC staff in championship operations.
    The Cabela's MWC World Walleye Championship will be aired November 15th at 9
    p.m. Eastern Standard Time on The Outdoor Channel.  Repeated airings will be
    November 17th at 7 a.m. and November 21st at 8 a.m.
    Tournament coverage and related articles also appear in the North American
    Fisherman magazine, the official publication of the MWC.  Circuit events are
    conducted from the Cabela's state-of-the-art, computerized mobile transport
    vehicle, which is specifically designed for tournament television coverage.
    Additionally, all MWC tournaments serve as qualifying events to the 2005
    Cabela's National Team Walleye Championship.
        Further championship and circuit information can be obtained from
    the MWC website, www.masterswalleyecircuit.com, www.walleyecentral.com,
    e-mail, events@masterswalleyecircuit.com, or by calling the MWC,

        Championship Statistics
    Number of teams:        42                Number of
    fish:        414
    Total cash and prizes:    $101,200                Total
    weight:        965.55 lbs.
    Water temp:        54 to 48 degrees            Winning
    pattern:        Lindy rigging.
    Water level:        Normal                Inside tip:
    Bait/willow cats
    Water clarity:        To three feet            Ranger Cup:
    Ken Bjorkman
    Big fish:            9.00 lbs (Don & Mike Olson)

    2005 MWC Schedule
    MWC Central
    March 19 & 20-Illinois River at Spring Valley, IL
    June 25 & 26-Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh, WI
    July 16 & 17-Lake Michigan, Green Bay at Menominee, MI

    MWC East
    April 23 & 24-Detroit River, including Ohio portion of Lake Erie at Trenton,
    May 21 & 22-Lake Ontario at Henderson Harbor, NY
    August 19, 20 & 21-Lake Erie at Dunkirk, NY.  (A two day tournament with an
    anticipated "blowday" in case of inclement weather).

    MWC World Walleye Championship
    September 28 thru October 1-Mississippi River pools 9 & 10 at Prairie du
    Chien, WI.  (Qualifiers from 2004 season).

    In addition to Cabela's, MWC sponsors include-Lindy Legendary Tackle,
    Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, North American Fishing Club, Ranger
    Boats, Smithwick Lures, Cotton Cordell, The Outdoor Channel, MotorGuide,
    Daiichi Hooks, Panther Marine, Lure Eyes, Xtreme Sports and Walleye

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