By COLIN KYLER
Warren County is home to a recent national champion angler.
Photo submitted to Times Observer
A cameraman films Doug Yohe, left, and Charlie Brant at Mille Lacs Lake.
Charlie Brant, of Russell, won Cabela's Master Walleye Circuit (MWC) at Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota from May 31 to June 1 with partner Doug Yohe of Bradford.
"It's a monster circuit," Brant said. "It's a tough competition and you really have to work hard."
Besides knowing a boat load about fishing, Brant said competitors have to travel from all over the country. This circuit is about as big as it gets.
The Mille Lacs Lake event was held in conjunction with Cabela's National Team Tournament, Brant said, in which he and Yohe finished fourth. They were about a pound behind the winners, he said, so they nearly won both events.
Brant and Yohe pulled in a 17.20-pound, two-day total to top the 131-boat field competing in the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit qualifier May 31 to June 1. They told fishingworld.com they targeted 20- to-30-foot transitions from rocks to mud with smiley-style spinner rigs and slow-death rigged nightcrawlers laced with nightcrawler-flavored Berkley Gulp! Alive! attractant spray. Ten-pound-test Trilene XT was their line of choice through prefishing and the tournament, they said.
Before that, Brant said they finished in seventh place at a tournament in Huron, Ohio. They then traveled to Mackinac, Mich., where they took the winners of a drawing out on a lake and fished with them.
This win was worth more than $21,000 in payout and sponsor contingencies, according to fishingworld.com.
After arriving at Mille Lacs Lake, Brant said he and Yohe spent a week-and-a-half practicing. The two fish well together, said Brant, and they enter with an open mind.
Brant and Yohe take other partners out and they study and fish the waters. After finding out what fish are there and what they want, he said they meet at night to discuss what they found out.
After determining where the big fish and small fish are, Brant said they decide where to go. Their information also determines which equipment they'll use, he said, and the two only differ in the color of bait.
"You have to know what they're hitting on and stick with the plan," Brant said. "The more time you're in the water, working the bait, the better chance you have of winning."
To learn how to really fish, Brant said anglers have to put their time in on the water. He suggested talking to other fishers and learning the process.
Even now, Brant said he learns something every time he fishes. By putting together different pieces of advice, he said people can start their own fishing routines.
In this case, the tournaments were filmed for TV to air on August 4 on NBC Sports, for one.
This was the fifth of nine Cabela's MWC qualifying tournaments.