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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Cabela's Bass Anglers At Bay de Noc July 29

The Cabela's North American Bass Circuit continued its 2017 tour of the Upper Midwest's best bass fishing destinations June 29 with a regular season qualifier presented by Stratos Boats on Michigan's Big and Little Bay de Noc.

Based in Escanaba and hosted by the Bays de Noc Convention and Visitors Bureau, the single-day event offered two-person teams a chance to win thousands in cash and prizes while sampling the super-sized smallmouths of this incredible fishery situated on the north end of Lake Michigan.

Hailed as one of the continent's premier places to catch smallmouths over 4 pounds, the Bay de Noc system produced 5-fish limits in excess of 20 pounds. When the Cabela's NABC last visited in July of 2011, Minnesotans Bob Perkins and Justin Ohotto topped the leaderboard with an impressive limit just shy of 23 pounds. The catch was anchored by a broad-shouldered bronzeback that weighed 6.62 pounds and established a new benchmark for the circuit's big-bass record.

A variety of classic smallmouth presentations hold water on Bay de Noc. Perkins and Ohotto used a mix of tactics, including topwater prop baits and soft-plastic tubes. Smallies roam a wide range of depths and structures, but Perkins and Ohotto caught the majority of their fish on 6- to 10-foot reefs.

As expected, circuit regulars are fired up about the upcoming tournament. "We're excited to fish Bays de Noc," said NABC angler Josh Crededio, who, with partner Alan Neumann, won the Circuit's 2017 Lake Vermilion qualifier and placed second in the Sturgeon Bay season opener. "It's a world-class destination, and having a chance to fish an NABC tournament on it is an opportunity we can't pass up."

The Cabela's NABC's Bay de Noc 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 the Escanaba Harbor.

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. At the recent Lake Vermilion qualifier, for example, Neumann and Crededio pocketed a cool $5,400 in cash.

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.

Based in Ponca City, Okla., the Cabela's NABC is open to two-person teams regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Entry fees are $400 per regular season tournament and for the NABC Open. Registration for the Bay de Noc tournament closes at 4 p.m. (CST) Monday, July 24th.

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 then traveled to Minnesota's renowned Lake Vermilion June 17. Remaining events include Bay de Noc, Mich., July 29; and Mille Lacs Lake, Minn., Aug. 19. A special NABC Open and the Tournament of Champions are set for Sept. 23-24 on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien.

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.

For more information call 580-765-9031.


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