(Aug 29, 2017 - Cass Lake, MN.)
This past weekend August 25 & 26 marked the final qualifying event of the exciting Pro Musky Tournament Trail season for 2017, Musky Hunter Magazine Fall Meltdown. Held on one of northern Minnesota’s prime muskie lakes, Cass Lake which is known for the larger than average size of muskies within its depths. Cass lived up to it`s potential with several muskie far above 45 inches in size.
The near 100 teams that were from all over North America participated in the event and the bite was a little tough to say the least. The weather on Friday the 25th was 68 degrees and mostly sunny with winds out of the South East at 25 m.ph making boat control was a little bit of a challenge. Saturday the wind died down a bit with steady rain and cloudy the whole day and air temperatures around 67 degrees and water temps around 70 degrees. Day two was really a test for your raingear. The water clarity was about 10-12 feet and there were 16 muskies caught on Friday and 9 caught on Saturday.
The team of Nick Tvrdik and Scott Walker of Alexandria, Minnesota caught two beautiful muskies that were 51.25 inches ($500.00 big fish for tournament on Friday) and 44 inches casting crankbaits. The team of Turdik and Walker held on for the first-place win at the Musky Hunter Magazine event and accepting checks that were worth nearly $15,000 and two beautiful trophies. The two anglers used very erratic movements on their Grandma crankbaits with natural color patterns near weeds on sand flats to catch their fish.
In second place were Alex Lauer of St. Cloud, Minnesota and Joe Wendolex of Hutchinson, Minnesota. The two anglers used Cisco Kid crank baits and rubber baits while spot hopping to several different spots that had break lines and weeds on them. Their muskies measured 43, 41.25 and 30.50 inches. In third place were Mark Lijewski of Minocqua, Wi. and Jeff Piazza of Lake Tomahawk, Wi. with two beautiful muskies of 46 and 41 inch. Their technique consisted of working baitfish schools with natural colored crankbaits on break lines. Mark said that pre-fishing helped them and I guess that it would have since he caught a monster muskie a 53 inch before the tournament.
In fourth place were Mike Crawford of Bemidji, Minnesota and Jeff Schulte of Crystal, Minnesota with 34.50, 37 and 37 inch muskies. These two anglers used a run and gun technique of moving from spot to spot and covering water. They had seven hits on Friday. On Saturday, the muskies and bait moved out deeper off of their original area and were suspended 10 feet down in 40 feet of water. Rounding out the top five in fifth place were Chris Riebe of South Elgin, Il. and Matt Snyder of Tower, Minnesota with a 46 inch that was the big fish of the day for Saturday and a 35.25 inch muskie. The two anglers used Bulldawg lures with an erratic action near weeds on deep break lines that had plenty of bait fish nearby.
Tournament Director Tim Widlacki thanked all the PMTT`s fantastic sponsors especially Musky Hunter Magazine for sponsoring the tournament and Palace Casino Hotel for hosting the event. Also, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Keyes Outdoors, Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce, Musky Mayhem Tackle, Chaos Tackle, Muskies Inc., Vitaminerals and all the associate and contributing sponsors. Please let these fine people know that you appreciate their promotional efforts in support of freshwater's most challenging fish and those extreme anglers who chase her on the first, best and only truly national Professional Musky Tournament Trail circuit, the PMTT.
Our next event will be the Ranger Boats World Championship on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota near Minneapolis September 23-24 for information call the PMTT office at 815-478-4092.