IMTT First Half… in the Net

Category: press release

 Aug 17th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Aug 17th, 2010 at 12:00 AM

The Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail underwent a few changes this year, striving to make The Trail even more rewarding for its fishermen, as well hoping to have an even larger impact in helping to maintain and develop our state’s treasured fisheries. It is evident that the changes were well received, as the IMTT has seen its membership more than double in 2010. The one thing that didn’t change was the hotly competitive fishing engaged in by the IMTT participants. In a Spring season that found the weather and water levels challenging, neither the Muskie, nor success, eluded these determined Muskie hunters. In the three Spring IMTT-sponsored events, thirty-two Muskie over the 30 inch minimum, were caught, measured, and released. Nine of the fish measured exceeded 40 inches,. The average length of the fish caught by participants this Spring was 36.9 inches, and thus far, Chuck Sollers has the largest tournament fish of this season with a 46.5 inch beauty caught on the Fox Chain…. but there’s more “big girls” out there!

Chuck Sollers 46.5


At the halfway point  of the 2010 Tournament Trail, Kyle Hilger leads the pack with 289.625 points, followed by Randy Feezer with 198.25 and Matthew Gunkel with 181. Five more IMTT Muskie hunters are hot on their trail, with over 100 points.. All participants know that a couple of big fish can change the standings dramatically. 149 IMTT members fished in the Spring half of the 2010 Trail. Those 149, and everyone else that fishes in the upcoming Fall half, have reason to be optimistic about moving up and challenging for the lead.  Even if the overall Trail points seem out of reach, the prizes being awarded at individual IMTT-sponsored events can be awfully strong motivation.

As if more motivation was needed, almost $6500 was distributed to the place winners in the three spring events, and with similar entry figures, should continue at that level for the Fall tourneys. That being said, the IMTT has done more than increase its pay-outs. Funds have been donated for net repairs and barrier projects at the state hatcheries and Lake Evergreen, and for the purchase of several handrail sets for the courtesy docks at Lake Shelbyville launch areas, allowing easier and safer access for the physically disadvantaged and elderly,. In addition, IMTT participants enthusiastically contributed canned and packaged food items in three food drives. Efforts like this contributed to the IMTT being given an award for community service by the C.E.F.S. Economic opportunity Corporation.
Quite a start to 2010!  The Fall Half will be starting soon. The upcoming schedule is listed below, plus the IMTT web site (http://www.illmuskie.com ) can be consulted to  get entry forms , check points, and verify schedules.   Remember, there are also “club” events that are sponsored by local fishing clubs, with lower entry fees and smaller  payouts, but can still earn IMTT points.

2010 IMTT – Fall Schedule
Tourneys in CAPS are IMTT sponsored (15 points each),
lower case are club tourneys that are eligible for IMTT points (10 pts ea.)

o    Sept.19 – Lake. Shelbyville – Lake Shelbyville Muskie Club
o    Oct 23 & 24 – Shawnee M. H. Fall Brawl – Lake. Kinkaid.
o    Oct. 30 – Fox River Valley Tournament – Chain of Lakes
        on LAKE KINKAID**

Tourney Lake Contacts:

Shelbyville Fall Classic – Howard Chambliss; 618 244-1982
Lake Evergreen – Bob Taylor; 309 262-9720
Fox River Valley  – Rich Gallagher; 847 374-1723
       Lake Shelbyville Muskie Club – Chris Jackson 618-322-1365
Shawnee Muskie Hunters – Manuel Santa Cruz; 618 610-5003

2010 IMTT Illinois. State Championship – Manuel Santa Cruz; 618 610-5003

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