Two Pa. fishermen caught 20 pounds of walleye in two days of fishing, to land $11,500 in cash and prizes at the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit on the Allegheny Reservoir last weekend.
After weighing in with 12 pounds, 10 ounces, on Friday, Chuck Sabatose, of Brockport, and Frank Mausser, of Sharon, weighed a 7-pound, 6-ounce basket the final day to win. They collected $9,500 in cash for the win, plus the $500 Berkley Baits Award and $500 Lowrance HDS Gen2 Touch and Elite 7 contingency. They also claimed a $1,000 Cabela's National Team Championship Prize Package including paid NTC entry, travel stipend, team jerseys and plaques, according to a press release.
"It's an amazing feeling-a dream come true!" said Sabatose, who fished a Cabela's MWC event a number of seasons ago and has long hoped the trail would stop at his home waters of the Allegheny REservoir. "Structure is key on this lake," he noted. "We trolled Berkley Flicker Shads on leadcore line at speeds of 1.7 to 2.2 mph over rockpiles and stump patches, and caught fish from depths of 16 to 36 feet deep."
In second place with 17 pounds, 3 ounces, was Jason Kopf, of Avon Lake, Ohio and Rodger Riggs, of Cleveland, who won $4,750 in cash, plus the $1,000 Ranger Cup contingency.
In third thorough fifth with weights and prizes are Johnnie Candle and Dennis Skurulsky, 17 lbs. 2 ounces, $3,300; fourth, Scott Rhodes and Jeff Koester, 17 lbs. one ounce, $2,500 and fifth, Nick Lary and Kurt McKenna, 16 lbs. 15 ounces, $2,000.
Rhodes and Koester also won the $250 Zippo Hot Hands Big Fish Award for catching big fish of the tournament, an 8-pound, 7-ounce walleye, and the $200 Optima True Blue contingency.
Other local teams scoring included "Grizzly Gary" Wert and William Acklin, both of Warren, who took seventh place; Jamie Grubbs of Sheffield and his team mate Conrad Grubbs of Roulette, Pa.; Joe Papalia and Chris Streich of Warren, 13th, Fred Ward of Warren and his team mate Dave Wise of Dansville, N.Y., 17th; Edward T. Acklin of Russell and his team mate Bruce L. Abplanalp of Warren, 20th and Jason Grubbs and Matt Odonish of Sheffield, 22nd.
In all, the Cabela's MWC awarded $39,360 in cash and prizes, and there were 64 teams entered.
The catch and release tournament totaled 302 walleyes weighing 497 lbs.
"A big thank-you is in order for everyone who helped make this event a success, including Zippo Outdoors, Giordano's Corydon Hotel, the Seneca Nation, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, and the Bradford High School Criminal Justice Club," said Tournament Director Dan Palmer. He also thanked local MWCer and Zippo pro-staffer Doug Yohe and teammate Charlie Brandt for welcoming new competitors into the MWC family.