Winners at the Professional Musky Tournament Trail event in Eagle River in June 2014 included, back row left to right, Ty Sennett, Hayward and Jason Hamernick, Forest Lake, MN in third place, Tim Rutzen, Three Lakes and Tyan Bock, Three Lakes in second place, front row left to right, Nate Osfar, Marathon and Matt Raley, Arbor Vitae in first place. / Contributed photo
EAGLE RIVER — More than 200 professional musky anglers traveled to the Eagle River area on June 21 and 22 for a Professional Musky Tournament Trail event. The group represented musky anglers from around the United States.
First place in the PMTT went to Nate Osfar of Marathon and Matt Raley of Arbor Vitae. They won the tournament by catching three muskies measuring 34-, 36- and 41 3/4-inches, all on bucktails. With their win in the Eagle River tournament, they took home $16,160 in cash and two beautiful trophies. They are also back-to-back winners of the first two tournaments of the year, winning a previous tournament in Cave Run, KY.
Second place went to Tim Rutzen and Ryan Bock, both of Three Lakes, who caught and released a double of 38 1/4- and 40 3/4-inches to win second place, using bucktails.
Third place went to Ty Sennett of Hayward and Jason Hamernick of Forest Lake, MN, who caught and released a triple of 30 1/2-, 34 3/4- and 37 1/2-inches to win third place using bull dawgs.
The PMTT anglers started on Eagle Lake at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning where they were able to fish the ten lakes on the Eagle River side of the Eagle River Chain of Lakes for the entire tournament. Fishing hours on Saturday were from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Forty-six muskies of 30 inches or greater were registered on Saturday and sixteen muskies of 30 inches or greater were registered on Sunday. This brings the two day tournament total to 62 muskies, all caught and released.
There were ten teams that placed in the tournament with fish registering at 30 inches and up to 44 3/4 inches. There were also many smaller muskies caught throughout the tournament as well as several muskies going after the bait but not making the bite.
“Eagle River continues to be a great musky fishery as shown by the number of fish caught during this year’s tournament,” remarked Tim Widlacki, president and tournament director of the PMTT.
The PMTT tournament is a total catch and release tournament. Fishing conditions for this year’s tournament were good on Saturday and a little tougher on Sunday with the sun peaking through. The largest fish caught and released from the tournament was 44 3/4 inches by the team of Mark Lijewski of Minocqua and Jeff Piazza of Lake Tomahawk, both caught and released on Sunday.
Other local anglers placing in the top ten teams were Tom and John Dietz of Eagle River (fourth place), Joey Rozanski of Milwaukee and Mark Gillich of Arbor Vitae (fifth place) Dan and Mike Wojtusik of Three Lakes (sixth place) and Mark Lijewski of Minocqua and Jeff Piazza of Lake Tomahawk (tenth place).
The event was sponsored by the Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center along with local PMTT sponsors: Eagle River Inn & Resort, Eagle Sports Center, Eagle Waters Resort, Bayside Motor Lodge, Bridge Water Inn, Chanticleer Inn, Corner of the Woods Computers, Dean Distribution, Hiawatha Lodge and Inn, Peoples State Bank of Eagle River, River Valley Bank, and Trigs.
For further information on the Professional Musky Tournament Trail visit http://www.promusky.com.