Mille Lacs’ fabled smallmouth fishery hosts final qualifier of Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s dream season August 19
NABC at Mille Lacs coming up August 19! DNR length waiver in effect
Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published August 4, 2017
Minnesota's mighty Mille Lacs Lake and its renowned smallmouth bass fishery will be a fitting stage for the final regular season tournament of Cabela's North American Bass Circuit's 2017 dream season.
Hosted by the city of Isle and McQuoid's Inn, the single-day event is headquartered at Mac's Twin Bay Resort just north of Isle. Two-person teams will compete for thousands in cash and prizes while testing their skills against each other and Mille Lac's world-class bass population.
Given the lake's reputation, heavy weights will be the rule. At the NABC's 2016 Mille Lacs qualifier, Minnesotans Lucas Matzke and Dan Cochran topped the field with a 5-fish limit weighing a whopping 24 pounds, 4 ounces. They inched ½-ounce football jigs tipped with twin-tail grubs along rock bottoms in 20 feet of water for the win, but a variety of presentations are expected to produce prodigious bronzebacks.
"Depending on the conditions, you can catch them on drop-shots, hair jigs, jerkbaits, crankbaits and topwaters," says longtime NABC angler and national touring pro Austin Felix. "I'm excited to fish this event. Mille Lacs is the best lake in the country as far as I'm concerned. It has the size and numbers to produce big weights, and I'd be very surprised if it doesn't take 24 pounds to win this time around, too."
The Cabela's NABC's Mille Lacs tournament is open to all two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Teams will be allowed to bring their best five large- or smallmouth bass to the scale, and the team with the heaviest total will be crowned the champions. Bass fans of all ages are invited to watch the action unfold at the weigh-in, beginning at 3 p.m. at Mac's Twin Bay Resort.
Besides great bass fishing and the thrill of competing in a professionally run setting, teams battle for serious winnings. Cabela's NABC payouts are based on the number of teams entered in each event. Plus, the NABC Big Bass Pot and sponsor bonuses including Ranger Cup, Stratos 2X and Garmin Grand Giveaway add thousands more to the total. For example, at last season's Mille Lacs NABC event, Matzke and Cochran pocketed more than $7,000 for their victory.
Teams competing in multiple events can reap even greater rewards. Those fishing at least three Cabela's NABC tournaments have a shot at qualifying for the 2017 Tournament of Champions. Team of the Year titles will also be awarded to the top three teams, led by a Team of the Year prize package that includes paid entry fees to four 2018 qualifiers and the 2017 championship, plus $1,000 in Cabela's gift cards and handsome trophies.
The Cabela's NABC is based in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Entry fees are $400 per regular season tournament and for the NABC Open. Registration for the Mille Lacs tournament closes at 4 p.m. (CST) Monday, August 14th. For complete details and to sign up, visit northamericanbasscircuit.com.
The 2017 Cabela's NABC season includes four regular season qualifiers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, on a selection of largemouth and smallmouth bass fisheries that anglers have called the circuit's best lineup ever and a "dream season" for the region's bass fans.
The action kicked off in May with a smallmouth blitz on Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, then traveled to Minnesota's renowned Lake Vermilion June 17 and Bays de Noc, Michigan, July 29. Mille Lacs marks the last qualifier, but a special NABC Open and the Tournament of Champions are set for September 23-24 on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, is in its seventh season as title sponsor of the NABC. Other sponsors include: Ranger Boats, Stratos Boats, Mercury Marine, Garmin and G-Juice.
Along with an overall payback to anglers well in excess of 100 percent, a small donation is included in each entry fee and matched by the NABC and other conservation organizations up to 3-to-1 in support of bass conservation projects anywhere the NABC does business.