Jim Schiefelbein (left) and Chad Knottek (right) take home the championship trophy from the Detroit River.

Trenton, MI—April 14, 2019 — With wind and water conditions less than ideal, Jim Schiefelbein, Marseilles, IL and Chad Knottek, Ottawa, IL weighed 22-08 after day-one and got just what they needed, 15-11, on day-two, for the win with 38lbs 3ozs. Presented by Ranger Boats, this year’s Detroit River event pitted anglers against one another in a River Only format, a first for the Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s  MWC.

75 of the “Toughest walleye teams on planet earth” took off from Elizabeth park both Friday and Saturday mornings to face a fast moving and dirty Detroit River. Making matters worse was the 30-40 mph South winds taking aim at anglers and their boat control capabilities.

Detroit River champion, Chad Knottek said “We loaded the truck with anything we could bring, there is no room left in the back of Jim’s truck. But, we are primarily jig fishermen and that’s what we stuck with.” Jim was still in shock after all the awards were done and most anglers had gone. “I still can’t believe it,” Jim mentioned. “We have been close before, but we did not think we had the weight needed to win today when we pulled up to the dock.”

“We caught a lot of big fish earlier in the week, which made us nervous.” Jim continued. “We knew that the variable in all of this would be the dirty water, but that sun came out today and we felt it could end up going either way, really good or a grind, there is so many big fish here.”

Schiefelbein and Knottek leave, with $15,850 in cash and prizes, including the $10,500 first-place cash payout, $3,850 cash from the option pot, $500 AirWave certificate and a $1,000 Cabela’s National Team Championship Prize Package including paid entry into the Cabela’s NTC, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques.

The rest of the top five teams:

2nd: Corey Blair, Kevin Hanson 37-11, $5,300 cash plus $2,800 from the option pot and $200 Okuma Reels bonus

3rd: Taylor Smith, Dakota Obrzut, 37-01, $3,750 cash

4th: Curtis Oliver, Jim Swenson, 36-05, $2,650 cash and $2,060 from the option pot and $500 Lowrance bonus

5th: Daniel Byers, Rob Hoover, 36-02, $2,100 cash plus $1,500 from the option pot

All together the BPS/Cabela’s MWC awarded $60,179 in cash and prizes at the Detroit River

Butch Rabetski (left) and Jim Passo (right) landed the largest fish at the Detroit River, a 9-07 hog!

625 fish weighed a total of 1774lbs- 12ozs during the event. Jim Passo and Butch Rabetski took the top “Big Fish” honors over the weekend with a 9-07 walleye. National Professional Angler Association member Rick Kretchmer presented the NPAA’s Youth and Family Fishing Clinic Friday afternoon, immediately following the weigh-in and gave away fishing rods to attendees.

Under the umbrella of The Walleye Federation (TWF), the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit is North America’s longest-running and undisputed leader in team walleye tournaments and as an inductee into the freshwater fishing hall of fame, has set the standard for competitive walleye fishing for 35 years and is open to avid walleye anglers from all walks of life. The 2019 schedule includes eight qualifiers in six states, plus the 2020 Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship.

Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s – The World’s Foremost Outfitters, are in their 18th season as title sponsor of the Masters Walleye Circuit. Official sponsors include: Lowe Equipment Attachments, Lowrance Electronics, Mercury Marine, Ranger Boats and The Walleye Federation. Associate sponsors include: AirWave Pedestals, Church Tackle, MotorGuide, Okuma, Power-Pole and  T-H Marine. For more information, email info@masterswalleyecircuit.com, or call (580) 765-9031.