Fishing & Boating News

Cappelli, Williams Win Cabela's National Team Championship on Lake Erie

by: Jeff Puckett, Blue Heron Communicationa

First-place winners Sammy Cappelli (left) and Eric Williams display their respective trophies at the Cabela's National Team Championship at Lake Eerie, Lorain, Ohio on June 10.
Photo by courtesy Cabelas's National Team Championship
(Jun 22, 2017 - Fort Smith, AR)

Sammy Cappelli, of Poland, Ohio, and Eric Williams, of Hubbard, Ohio, brought in a three-day total of 107.03 pounds of walleye to win the 2017 Cabela's National Team Championship held on Lake Erie June 10.

With the victory, the duo took home $25,000, a Ranger 620, outfitted with an Evinrude motor and a Power-Pole shallow water anchor.  The team also won a second fully-equipped Ranger 620 for winning the Ranger Cup contingency, pushing their total winnings to more than $165,000.
"It's an incredible feeling," said Cappelli "I have been fishing walleye tournaments for the past 25 years and qualified for the National Tournament Championship for the past 13 years and this is definitely my biggest win."
Cappelli and Williams were trolling with Coconut Candy and Green Clown colored Bandit® Walleye Deep baits in 40-42 feet of water in an area approximately three miles from the launch site.
"We could catch all the 15-inch to 25-inch fish we wanted but I knew we would need to catch bigger fish if we wanted to win and I figured we would only get four or five big bites per day," Cappelli said. "We found two small, isolated humps and my partner was able to fine tune the Lowrance until we could actually see the fish in the mud. We then used 3.5-ounce snap weights and 125 feet of line to get the Bandit crankbaits where they needed to be. We caught 12 or 13 fish on the Coconut Candy color and two or three on the Green Clown color"
Once the anglers located the fish they stayed on them and credited their success to the equipment they were using.
"Hands down our equipment was key, from the Ranger handling the rough water, to the Lowrance helping us find the fish to the Bandit Lures catching the fish," said Cappelli.
The Bandit Walleye Deep trolls down to 27 feet and is a great lure for walleye, and other predatory fish.  This slender minnow jerkbait measures 4 3/4-inches and weighs 5/8 of an ounce. The round lip makes it dive quick and true every time. The Bandit Walleye Deep is available in 15 different color patterns and is a go-to fishing lure for anglers around the world. For more information on the Bandit Walleye Deep got to or