2024 NWT Season to Kick-Off Next Week in Port Clinton, OH

Top pros share thoughts on the upcoming event and season

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (April 12th, 2024) – The Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s National Walleye Tour presented by Progressive, is set to commence its 12th season of competition. on Lake Erie with a 142 boat field.  Daily takeoff and weigh-in will be in Port Clinton and fans of the NWT will be able to follow all the action on various websites and social media pages. Full details of the coverage are below.

Going into the first event of the season the NWT Staff was able to visit with several pro anglers about their feelings for the upcoming event.

Defending Progressive Angler of Year John Hoyer

Last season Ranger Boats & Mercury Marine Prostaff angler John Hoyer claimed his third NWT Championship victory and he also won the 2023 Progressive Angler of the Year. Starting off in 2024, the first event of the season will be on Lake Erie in Port Clinton, OH April 18th & 19th. 2024 will once again feature the top walleye fishing Pro- and Co-Anglers, plus the biggest payouts in walleye fishing. But unlike what we saw in 2023, the first event on Lake Erie is likely to see anglers using many trolling techniques and bringing out the “old-school” rods to find success on the big water.

“Lake Erie will be the biggest weights of the year, so what better way to kick off the 2024 season,” said the 3-time NWT Champion John Hoyer. “As the giant year classes have grown up, we will be looking for those 27 inchers that will weigh anywhere from 7 to 8.5lbs if an angler can find the pre-spawners that will likely yield bigger weights and a lot of success at the scales.”

Hoyer made NWT history at the final event of 2023 on Devil’s Lake by winning his third championship and taking the 2023 Progressive Angler of the Year. In a season that was predominately yielded by the success of anglers studying electronics and utilizing ‘finesse’ techniques, the best walleye anglers on tour will likely have to dig deeper into the rod boxes pulling out all the tricks to be successful this season. And Hoyer is no stranger to switching it up and throwing whatever it takes to get it done. No doubt he will be eyeing another Championship trophy, and going back-to-back for the Progressive Angler of the Year. Lake Erie could present a few challenges to start off the year.

“The tourney will be won trolling crankbaits and basically anything big is in play. Last year on a fun trip with friends,” said Hoyer. “I plan on bringing my entire arsenal this trip. This tournament will really come down finding the right fish in practice. There will only be a percentage of pre spawners left in the system come tourney time, these will be the fish that separate the top ten from the rest of the field.”


2023 Mercury Prostaff angler Corey Heiser Agrees with Hoyer

“Open water trolling seems to dominate spring Lake Erie events, and I’m very excited to put the new baits behind some Off-Shore Boards,” said the Ranger Boats pro. “But I know all of the anglers will be seeing if we can get fish with forward facing sonar.”

The Ranger pro had a strong 2023 season and is looking for a lot of redemption in 2024. Corey posted a Second-Place finish at Sault Ste Marie. He finished out the season making the Top-40 in Progressive Team of the Year points which qualified him for the championship on Devil’s Lake. Heiser went on to accomplish a Top-20 finish at the championship event and comes into 2024 with a lot of momentum but is staying positive to have another great year with the NWT.

“The first tournament will be all about the spawn and where they are in relation to their spawning grounds. The reefs and island areas are giant spawning grounds that typically hold the masses of Lake Erie walleyes in the spring,” said the North Dakota native. “Historically speaking, Lake Erie is where some of my worst finishes have come. I am eager to get out there and get the monkey off my back.”


Nitro Boats Prostaff Angler Dylan Nussbaum Looking Forward to Entire Season

“I’m most looking forward to just getting back out on the water. I have the new Nitro ZV21 with the monster Mercury V10 on it this year and I can’t wait to see what this beast will do,” said the young Pennsylvania native.

Dylan is no stranger to success on the National Walleye Tour, even at a young age. In 2023, he was able to accomplish a Top-5 at the Championship event and in Progressive Angler of the Year points.

“We also have a great schedule for the 2024 season. One location that really sticks out for me is the Mississippi river. I’m a guy who loves technology, but I also love getting on a river system. I think it’s so awesome to put the electronics away to a point and just read the water. It has always been one of my goals to get a win on the Mississippi river. I hope 2024 is the year to claim that title.”


Garmin Angler Tom Huynh Going ALL IN on Electronics

“I’m looking forward to learning again this season.  Each of the last 3 seasons I have challenged myself to learn and try to stay a step ahead in my use of Garmin electronics,” said the Garmin/ Aftco pro.  “If I was going to compete, coming from a non-fishing background, and not knowing a single person in the industry, I had to rely on the usage of electronics in ways previously unknown.  This year, I have a new learning opportunity, and in turn looking forward to passing what I learn to everyday, hard-working tournament and non-tournament anglers.”

Tom also had a really impressive season on the NWT in 2023. Tom accomplished a Top-3 finish at Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin. He also finished the season with an 11th place finish at the Championship on Devil’s Lake. The successful businessman from Minnesota is one of the better anglers utilizing electronics on the water.

“That time of year, trolling has always been dominant, but I’m looking forward to trying some new, different things with some new things from Northland Tackle.  It could go either way.”

The National Walleye Tour consists of four regular-season events and a no-entry-fee championship. Each regular season event is a two-day tournament and delivers over a 100 percent payback. Pro-Anglers compete against other Pro-Anglers, and Co-Anglers compete against other co-anglers. The 2024 season kicks off with a record number of Co-Anglers signed up for all events!

Lake Erie Takeoff (7am):

  • Anglers will takeoff at 7:00am from the Portage River. Join us each morning on the Jefferson Street Pier to send off your favorite angler!

Lake Erie Weigh-In (3:30pm):

  • Day- 1&2: Waterworks Park, 205 E. Perry Street, Port Clinton, OH 42453

LIVE Weigh-In Link: https://outdoorteamworks.com/live

For more information on rules and tournament payouts, visit https://www.nationalwalleyetour.com/

For more information on the National Walleye Tour, including the 2024 tournament schedule, fact sheets, photos, and official tournament results from past events, visit nationalwalleyetour.com. Subscribing to the NWT e-newsletter is the best way to receive up-to-date information, registration announcements, sponsor incentives, and Outdoor TeamWorks news.

About National Walleye Tour

National Walleye Tour (NWT) is part of the Outdoor Team Works family of fishing tournaments. The OTW brand offers a wide range of fishing events from professional tournaments to grassroots fishing derbies. All events are supported by some of the top companies in the nation and include on-site activation and activities, as well as extensive media support. For live updates and information, follow NWT on Facebook and Instagram or visit https://outdoorteamworks.com/ to catch up on all the action.

2024 Proud Sponsors

Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Progressive, Nitro Boats, Ranger Boats, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Aftco, Garmin, Power-Pole, TH Marine, Sunline, Gamakatsu, TrollMasterPanther MarineGemini G2