PMTT/Ranger Boats World Championship – Chippewa Flowage
Sep 30th, 2021 by Keith Worrall
Modified Sep 30th, 2021 at 12:26 PM
2021 PMTT / RANGER BOATS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
CHIPPEWA FLOWAGE, WI
HOSTED BY LAKE CHIPPEWA FLOWAGE RESORT ASSOCIATION & TREELAND RESORTS
September 24th – 26th, 2021
Bob Osborne – PMTT MEDIA
The Professional Musky Tournament Trail brought their amazing 23rd Season to an exciting conclusion this past weekend as the Top 40 Teams, determined by points earned competing in a series of challenging national qualifying events, gathered on one of the most historic and revered Musky fisheries to be found anywhere across North America…. Wisconsin’s Legendary Chippewa Flowage, for what has become the single most prestigious event in all competitive Musky angling…. The PMTT/RANGER BOATS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!
The PMTT / RBWC is a unique, hard-earned, Invitation only contest featuring an exciting 3-Day Format highlighting the Top 40 Qualifying Anglers in a two day ELIMINATION ROUND, where they must register a legal Musky for the opportunity to move on to the FINAL DAY/CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND and a shot at taking home both the RBWC Title and a new RANGER BOAT & TRAILER, powered by a MERCURY MARINE outboard package… as well as accruing points for the highly coveted TOP GUN Team of the Year Award.
A mix of all weather from sunny skies, calm, windy, partly cloudy and rain were all seen during this tournament. The first morning started a bit slowly as fish were moving and though a few fish were hitting the net, it wasn’t until the high skies gave way to cloud cover and then rain… that the action picked up a bit with a couple Musky near the 4-foot mark being amongst the 14 fish registered by days end. 13 Teams had ‘Punched a Ticket’ for that All Important Final Round, with husband & wife, Rick & Sarah Hoover of PA, last year’s TOP GUN Team, putting the Day’s Big Fish, 47.25-inches, on the Board while father and son, Chris & Peter Bilcharz of Three Lakes, WI. claimed the early Lead, being the only Crew able to produce a double in the opening round, with Musky of 46.75 & 37.50-inches
Day two started off with a “Boom!” Just minutes into the morning, Bob Bauer & Gary Vilcek of IL, who had gone straight away to a spot where they had encountered what they believed to have been a quality fish the day before, put the hooks into 51.25-inches of angry “Flowage Gold”! When Day 2 was over; 15 Musky had added to the Total. 19 Teams had been able to make the cut with 5 Doubles and a 51.25-incher at the Top of the Board and all Teams with at least one… it was still wide open! The Season now excitingly came down to One Day.
1st Place – 46.75 / 43.25 /37.50 – Chris and Peter Bilcharz of Three Lakes, WI had been left outside of the action Day Two. Targeting shallower, wind-blown weed/rocks & weed/wood combo spots they found to be holding bait, casting blades in tight to shore and ripping them back through the weeds, they were moving numbers of fish that were unwilling to bite as the Lead began to change hands multiple times around them. “We would make note of the better spots and would go back when a Major or Minor window hit. Wind, weeds and ‘Bite Windows’ were a real factor for us,” said Peter. The last hour of the last day… overcast skies, wind… a Minor coming up… and there She was… that elusive, desperately needed third Musky… a Beautiful 43.25-incher that went for Peter’s handcrafted blade bait, putting them back in for the late Lead that held to put them over the Finish Line and earning them the 2021 PMTT/RANGER BOATS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Title.
2nd Place – 51.25 / 42.25 – Bob Bauer & Gay Vilcek of IL, started the day in 5th Place with that amazing 51.25-incher the day prior and very quickly made a move, hooking up with a 42.25-inch kicker that was the first fish of the morning, bumping them into 1st until the late day, nearly holding for the Win. “We never fished soooo hard for a 30-inch Musky in our life.”, explained Vilcek. “5 1/2 hours to catch one legal sized fish for the Win… and we just couldn’t get one to go!”
3rd Place – 42.50 / 40.50 / 33.50 – Mark Lijewski & Jason Mollen of Minocqua, WI Moved a lot of fish over three days and were the only Team registering fish each day. Suicks in natural patterns ripped through the weeds was working for them all weekend. “We fished hard, covering a lot of water and though we used a few baits, Suicks got our bites for us. “Said Lijewski, adding, “We had so many missed opportunities. I was slowing the retrieve up a bit to work them cleaner through the weeds and still had a couple just not get to the hooks, losing one just two casts after our last fish, in the Figure-8.”
4th Place – 45.00 / 34.25 / 31.50 – Nicklas Kushnerik & Marc DiMatteo utilized 6-inch Phantom Glides in perch/natural patterns, moderately ripped through weeds to put three Musky in the net the first two days, holding a solid Lead coming into the Championship Round. “We were right on ‘em,” shared Kushnerik. “We moved another 7 or 8 fish today without getting even one biter!”
5th Place – 46.25 / 39.25 – Husband & wife, Brad & Chelsey Sheridan of SD had a bit of a tough start, going 0-for-3 on their ‘Prime Spot’ Friday. Deciding to make a run to where they had seen a low 30’s while prefishing, hoping to make the final cut, they ripped Lake X Toads in Fireball through shoreline weeds and were soon rewarded with a solid 39.25-incher. “Brad threw the same bait for three days.”, laughed Chelsey. Deciding to return to the same area Sunday morning, Brad’s X-Toad was soon in the toothy maw of a feisty 46.25-inch Beauty that held up for 5th
PMTT TOP GUN Team of the Year Award – By far, the most prestigious Honor in all competitive Musky Angling and something that every Touring Pro strives to earn. Skill, dedication, passion… and more, those earning “TOP GUN” Honors are indeed a cut above and our 2021 Winners are certainly no exception.
2021 PMTT TOP GUN – Team of the Year Award – 593 pts. – Brothers Ty & Tait Sennett
2nd Place – 590pts – Father & son Dan & Mike Raczynski
3rd Place – 479pts – Nicklas Kushnerik & Marc DiMatteo
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 RBWC Event Sponsor RANGER BOATS and to all of our wonderful Hosts and Site Partners without whose help this memorable Event would not have been possible: LAKE CHIPPEWA FLOWAGE RESORT ASSOC; TREELAND RESORTS; MERCURY MARINE, CHAOS TACKLE, EAGLE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; THREE LAKES AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; MUSKY HUNTER MAGAZINE; KEYES OUTDOORS; MOTORGUIDE; VITAMINERALS; VISIT BEMIDJI; RUTTGER’S BIRCHMONT LODGE; 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… these have been some difficult times for many businesses in our industry so won’t you please show them some Musky Love, returning their support when you can… they are a vital part our growing PMTT Family
2021 RANGER BOATS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS
36 TOTAL MUSKIES REGISTERED & RELEASED
MUSKY HUNTER MAGAZINE’S BIG FISH AWARD – 48-INCHES – STEVEN CADY & JEREMIAH JOACHIM
TTAP BONUS FISH – 51.25-INCHES – ROBERT BAUER & GARY VILCEK
TTAP BONUS TEAM – CHRIS & PETER BILCHARZ
1ST – CHRIS & PETER BILCHARZ
2ND – ROBERT BAUER & GARY VILCEK
3RD – MARK LIJEWSKI & JASON MOLLEN
4TH – NICKLAS KUSHNERIK 7 MARC DiMATTEO
5TH – BRAD & CHELSEY SHERRIDAN
2021 PMTT TOP GUN – TEAM OF THE YEAR
1ST PLACE – 593pts. – TY & TAIT SENNET
2ND PLACE – 590pts. – DAN & MIKE RACZYNSKI
3RD PLACE – 479pts. – NICKLAS KUSHNERIK & MARC DIMATTEO