PMTT / Mercury Marine Summer Challenge – Eagle River, WI Press Release
Jul 1st, 2021 by Keith Worrall
Modified Jul 1st, 2021 at 9:30 AM
PMTT / MERCURY MARINE’S SUMMER CHALLENGE
HOSTED BY EAGLE RIVER AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & THE THREE LAKES AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Bob Osborne – PMTT MEDIA/PRESS RELEASE
Setting the stage to better highlight both the amazing Fisheries they visit and the talented, hardcore Anglers who chase these elusive Monarchs of Freshwater with the development of some exciting and innovative Format changes; the PMTT, longtime partner, Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and neighboring Three Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce were able to put together one of the most impressive Venues of the Pro Trail’s 20+ year history… The Musky Community was treated to an absolutely impressive display of Record-Breaking performances by some of the Nation’s best competitive Musky Anglers this past weekend as a Full Capacity Field gathered for Mercury Marine’s Summer Challenge on the storied waters of the World’s largest connected Chain of Freshwater lakes.
The action started slowly on Day-1 but soon a ‘Window’ opened, and they were off to the races with over 30 Musky registered well before Noon. Multiple Teams were reporting Doubles & Triples, up to 43.50-inches, ending the first day with an impressive 59 Fish Registered! The Day-1 Leaderboard was populated by a strong showing of ‘Local Sticks’… with both 1st & 2nd Places, Local Guides, bringing 4 Fish to the Board. In 3rd Place with a Double after the first day… Local brothers Dan & Mike Wojtusik, undoubtedly one of the top musky sticks in the area… knew they had their work cut out for them if they hoped to put themselves into position to Win.
Day-2 started producing right after Take-Off with the top teams hitting it hard & early, sticking and bagging Fish at a record pace from the start. The Lead changed hands several times throughout the morning as the top 3 teams amassed 5 fish each. Truly an exciting climax to what was to be an historic, Record Breaking Event with 91 muskies caught and released for the 2-day event! When the final tally was completed… Team Wojtusik had earned the Win with both the TTAP Top Finish Contingency PayOut and Back-to-Back Titles at the same Venue, a feat accomplished but one other time in the PMTT’s 22-year history with 5 Musky, taken on Lake X B-52s, for the Victory and over $22K!!
“We had a couple of things going “, explained Dan from the Winner’s podium, as the usually tight-lipped Pro shared some real nuggets on how they brought this hard-earned victory Home “We were targeting both the deeper basin and shallower weed oriented fish. The key for us were the ‘Windows’ that presented themselves early and late in the day”. Drilling still deeper, he shared,” I feel basin ‘Ski are “All but impossible to ‘trigger’ when in neutral-to-negative stage unless there is a major or minor window.” Expanding upon this theory, he shared, “I feel that fish up shallow can indeed be triggered, even in a neutral/negative state, with the right cast… a reaction strike can be evoked. Watching for those ‘Windows’ and timing your shots was absolutely key. I think we worked out the timing thing quite well today!” he said in closing.
2nd Place went to popular local residents, Father and Son Guides… Team Hardcore… Chris & Peter Bilchraz… who put 5 Musky on the Board throwing Rubber, including the MHM BIG FISH contingency with a 42-incher. “Running and Gunning”, explained father, Chris. “We hit humps & weeds holding bait we had located the days prior to the Event.” Peter added, Wind was a factor in both fish location and bait presentation. “I’ve learned that these fish set up in specific, fairly predictable areas because of the wind and adjust bait cadence according to the mood of the fish.”
3rd Place was earned by another pair of well-known local residents and area Guides, Tyler Maney & Ryan Brock who also put together a 5 Fish Bag over two days, Running & Gunning… Burning Blades. Tyler said,” We moved around a lot, hitting weed edges with fast burning blades.” Adding, “We got 5 bites and we got all 5 to the net.” Rounding out the top 5 were Mark Lijewski & Jason Mollen in 4th Place with 3 fish and Marcus Torgerson & Jimmy Klink in 5th Place with two fish, one of which was a 45 ½” which was the Event Big Fish.
PMTT Tournament Director, Tim Widlacki, acknowledged the Trail’s deep appreciation to our many outstanding Sponsors for both their continuing support and the important part they have played and are playing now in our growth over the past 23 years as America’s 1st and only, truly National Professional Musky Circuit. Leading the way with new, challenging and innovative Formats on some of the Country’s Top Musky Fishing Destinations; Highlighting Freshwater’s most elusive and challenging fish and the fast-growing Community of Extreme Adventure Anglers who give Her chase. Special thanks to Event Sponsor MERCURY MARINE and to all of our wonderful Hosts and Site Partners without whose help this memorable Event would not have been possible: EAGLE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; THREE LAKES AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; EAGLE WATERS RESORT; MUSKY HUNTER MAGAZINE,; RANGER BOATS; KEYES OUTDOORS; CHAOS TACKLE; MOTORGUIDE; VITAMINERALS; LAKE CHIPPEWA FLOWAGE RESORT ASSOC; TREELAND RESORTS;; VISIT BEMIDJI; RUTTGER’S BIRCHMONT LODGE; MOTORGUIDE; MOREHEAD TOURISM and our entire family of Contributing & Associate Sponsors. Please let them know how much you appreciate what they do whenever you get the chance… show them some Musky Love, returning their support when you can… they are a vital part of our growing PMTT Family.
TTAP Bonus Big Fish Contingency Award – Gregg Thomas & Lance Seasor – 44.25, $2,250
TTAP Bonus Top Team Contingency Award – Dan & Mike Wojtusik, $2,250
Saturday’s PMTT BIG FISH Award – Jeff Grief & Nick Edwards – 43.50, $500
Sunday’s PMTT BIG FISH Award – Marcus Torgerson & Jimmy Klink – 45.50, $500
MHM BIG FISH – Chris & Peter Bilcharz – 42.00
FINAL RESULTS – 91 Musky up to 45.50-inches
DAY-1 Total – 59 Musky Registered
DAY-2 Total – 32 Musky Registered
UP NEXT – BEMIDJI/CASS LAKE, MN – August 28th & 29th, 2021