TEAM NORTHLAND PRO-STAFFERS DAN AND STEVE BODINGER WIN
THEIR THIRD MASTERS WALLEYE CIRCUIT DETROIT RIVER TOURNAMENT
Bemidji, Minn. – Team Northland Pro-Staffers Dan and Steve Bodinger say Northland Fishing Tackle Sink’n Jigs and IMPULSE® Paddle Minnows were key weapons in their dramatic come-from-behind victory at the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit’s Detroit River tournament at Trenton, Michigan, April 13-14.
The Bodinger brothers, both from Chilton, Wisconsin, topped the leaderboard with a 59-pound, 3-ounce tournament total worth a cool $14,700 in cash and prizes.
“It feels awesome to have a comeback like this,” said elder brother Steve. “It hasn’t sunk in yet,” added Dan, who admitted he was stunned by the win. “I still don’t believe it. We were 15 pounds out of first place when we left the dock this morning.”
Headquartered riverside at Elizabeth Park, the two-day, team-format event pitted more than 120 hardcore walleye anglers from across the Midwest against one another in an all-out, big-fish battle for Motor City bragging rights and a share of the Master’s Walleye Circuit payout.
The brothers have been fishing the MWC together for more than two decades. During that time, they won the MWC’s Detroit River tournament twice—once in 2010 and again in 2015. So no one counted them out of this year’s tournament when they landed in eighth place at the day-one weigh-in with a 32-pound, 1-ounce, 5-fish limit.
Still, they had their work cut out for them on day two, as they trailed the leaders by more than 15 pounds. Adding to the challenge, tournament officials ruled the Lake Erie portion of the tournament boundaries was out of play due to high winds and heavy seas. Day-long rain and bone-chilling 20- to 30-mph north winds didn’t help.
But the Bodingers weren’t about to quit. “We put our heads down and ground it out,” said Dan. “It was miserable out there, with 20- to 30-mph winds out of the north and rain all day,” added Steve. “I give all the anglers credit for toughing it out.” Undaunted by it all, the hard-fishing brothers put together a 27-pound, 2-ounce day-two limit that catapulted them into first place.
All The Right Moves
The Bodingers’ past MWC victories have relied on a variety of Northland Fishing Tackle® products. In 2010, they trolled Mr. Walleye Crawler Haulers in the Michigan waters of Lake Erie for a 10-fish MWC limit weighing 72.59 pounds. At the 2015 tournament, they jigged up a monstrous, 90-pound, 11-ounce limit that shattered the MWC’s all-time two-day basket record.
This time around, jigs again played a major role in their victory—specifically, ¾-ounce Northland Fishing Tackle® Sink’n Jigs tipped with a 3½-inch IMPULSE® Paddle Minnow. The brothers explained that the slender, scent-impregnated bait sports a T-shaped boot tail that produces plenty of action and vibration to attract river-run walleyes.
“We trolled crankbaits on the lake until about 1 p.m. on day one, then moved into the river to jig when the trolling bite turned off,” said Steve. “The first spot we tried, we jigged up a 10½-pound walleye that was a real shot in the arm.”
When teams were restricted to the Detroit River on day two due to the bad weather conditions, the Bodingers hit their go-to main-channel spots and put together another solid basket. “We got a limit at our first spot, and just kept picking up good fish,” Steve said. “The water was cold, barely 40 degrees. Still, the fish didn’t want it slow and steady. Snap-jigging was critical to triggering strikes.”
Dan noted that precision boat control was another big part of their day two success. “My brother did a great job of keeping us slipping downriver at just the right speed,” he explained. “Making the right moves to the right places at the right times was also a huge factor in the win.”