Big Fish Bite at Cass Lake
Oct 20th, 2002 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Oct 20th, 2002 at 12:00 AM
Billed as the “Musky Hunter Magazine’s Fall Showdown”, Professional Musky Tournament Trail’s (PMTT) fourth qualifier on Cass Lake in Minnesota, September 14-15 turned out to be just that with 16 muskies over 40 inches caught and released.The team of Kirk Wilberg from Bagley, MN and Brad Swenson from Pillager, MN. led the way with two muskies: 48″ and 41 1/4″. For their efforts, Wilberg and Swenson cashed a check for $16,800.In second place was the team of Lance Christensen and Shannon Green from Spencer, IA. They had two fish measuring 43″ and 40 1/4″, and they cashed a check for $4200.Third place and a check for $3,020 went to Monty Stanton and Rick Sumudlach from Milltown, WI. Their 52 1/4″ muskie also earned them the All Star Rods Big Fish Award ($500 plus an All Star Rod) on Saturday; in addition, it also was the largest musky ever recorded at a PMTT event. Steve Dody and Jamie Murphy from Walker, Mn capitalized on their 49 1/4″ musky for fourth place, a check for $2,180 and also the All Star Rods Big Fish Award for Sunday. The highest placing Ranger boat team was Stacey Medin from Mankato, MN and Matt Thompson from Chaska, MN with a 48 1/2″ musky. They won the prestigious Ranger Cup check for $500 and also received the fifth place check for $1760. Executive Director Tim Widlacki was elated with the efforts displayed by the 131 competing teams. “We knew this was going to be a big fish lake. Cass Lake is legendary for its monster muskies. The teams who had fished the circuit knew going into the ‘Fall Showdown’ that if they boated a legal fish they would be in the Championships!”Widlacki added, “That’s exactly what happened. We measured 16 muskies over 40 inches. That’s just outstanding.”It was actually a tale of two days for the top two teams. Christensen and Green caught their two fish on Saturday working the shallows with Bucktails. However, the tables turned on Sunday when Wilberg and Swenson found their muskies suspended in 40 feet of water. They cast Black Bulldawgs through schools of bait fish and triggered their two legal muskies.”The weather was certainly not the greatest with north winds pushing 30 mph on Saturday. However, the teams still found ways to catch some impressive fish. This was a competition where the casting prevailed. What is amazing is the way the first place team was able to locate their muskies suspended in 40 feet of water feeding on schools of bait fish,” noted Widlacki. Next up will the Invitational Championship at Lake Shelbyville in Illinois on October 12-13. Complete information on the qualifying teams will be sent out soon. Anyone interested in more information on the Professional Musky Tournament Trail should contact the Tournament Director: Tim Widlacki at the promusky.com website or call (815) 264-3228.A special thanks goes out to Musky Hunter Magazine for sponsoring the event and to all of the major PMTT sponsors including Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, Musky Hunter, All Star Graphite Rods, The Fishing Guide Show, Crash’s Landing, Inc., the Morehead Kentucky Tourism Commission, The Greater Madison Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, The Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center and the Illinois Conservation Foundation, along with all of the Associate and Contributing sponsors that all play a key roll in the PMTT success.