Quinn and Wiegner Take on the Weather and Take Home the Gold

Category: Tournament

 May 20th, 2003 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified May 20th, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Amid flood watches, severe thunderstorm warnings and the near steady rain dampening the normally prolific bite on this outstanding Musky fishery, Mike Quinn and Stu Wiegner of Crystal Lake, IL. unleashed a flood of their own, ending what had been a three year Title drought on the Pro Trail, catching three of the twenty fish registered Saturday, laying claim to top honors, the prestigious Ranger Cup Award for an additional $500 and the first place check for a total of $15,160.00 on their way to besting a field of 115 Teams @ the PMTT Q-2 on Cave Run Lake / Morehead, KY. May 17th & 18th, 2003. Making a case for patience and perseverance being virtues, this 3rd year Illinois duo struck like the lightning that ominously threatened throughout this weekend-long event, boating Musky of 31, 32-_ &40 inches day one, working the deeper weed edges with a chartreuse Suick that was never taken off after nailing a fish early Saturday morning. Mike and Stu told of a fourth fish they had boated Saturday that was just short of making the 30 inch minimum and all but insuring a victory as they nervously awaited Sunday’s results to find whether or not their first day lead would be enough to hold up after failing to accumulate more points on a second day of competition that saw only four Musky registered by the more than 200 participants. The second place finishers. for the second year in a row, John Newman and Bob Culbertson, both of the Minneapolis/Twin Cities, MN area caught one of those four fish Sunday . a fat 49-inch beauty, that like-wise fell victim to the enticing action of Bob’s (gold/orange) Suick worked along the outside and deeper edges of standing timber in and around the Clay Lick area. with only 15 minutes to go! “After striking and missing three times, we figured that we had been given our opportunity and missed”, said John of his second largest Musky ever. With only moments to go before the end of competition and the wet, dejected ride back to check-in, let alone Minneapolis looming.he gave it one more cast. and BAM, “Fish On!” “Those were the sweetest words I think I have ever heard”, .responded Bob, John’s long-time friend and Trail partner, .”And next thing you know, we got this “big honking fish” in the net with the tournament clock running down, we are cutting hooks, radioing the Judge. a regular Chinese fire drill going on trying to do everything right and still get back in time. Man. it was GREAT”! They added that this fish actually “ate” a yellow Reef Hawg, but came in twice on the Suick, aggressively hitting John’s “throw-back” offering. They received the All-Star Graphite Rod’s “Big Fish” honors Sunday, $500 and a new rod, plus the second place check totaling $4,165.00 for their very literal last minute heroics. Both then donated $100 each from their winnings to the local KY Muskies Inc. Chapter and complimented the State of KY for developing and maintaining such an outstanding fishery and hoped that this donation would in some small way give something back to the fish and fishery that, as they said, “Has given us all so much.”Dave Lee and Charlie Thompson, the only team to hit pay dirt both days, with a 34-¬ on Saturday and a 32-¬ Sunday, using Depth Raiders and jerk baits, took home third place and a check for $2,200.00. Kentucky natives Gene “Doc” Smith and Tim Gibson claimed $500 and new rod as well Saturday, earning the All Star “Big Fish” award with a 41inch fish taken on a fire-tiger, Musky Innovation’s Invader that held up to earn them 4th place money overall and a total of $1,966.00. One thing was clear, whether casting or trolling, and both disciplines were well represented here this weekend, one thing common to the majority of successful Teams were tactics that utilized the deeper outside edges of weeds and/or timber. Positioning the boat in about 15 feet of water, in locations such as Warrick Creek, Clay Lick and Zilpo Flats, nearer main lake/creek channel areas, working baits both parallel to, and from shallow inside portions to the outside and deeper edges if casting. Most successful trollers worked the same structure by pulling their baits on a zigzagging track parallel to the deeper outside weed edges as well and, whether casting or trolling, if you were not having to clean milfoil from your hooks fairly often, you probably were not catching Musky. Tim Widlacki, PMTT Tournament Director/Co-Founder, in thanking local PMTT Associate Co-sponsors “Crash” & Gina Mullins of Crash’s Landing and Sherri Greer of the Morehead, KY Tourism Commission for all of their hard work, effort and long-term sponsorship for helping to fuel the incredible growth of the PMTT while making this one of the favorite annual stops on the Pro Trail, acknowledged the “unusually tough bite” exhibited by the 24 fish event total on this normally record setting fishery and considered the extremely poor weather conditions to be a factor. “Regardless the conditions”, he added, “One of the things that you can count on with this excellent group of anglers. somebody will always figure it out and catch some fish! They really are that good and sometimes it is exciting just to see what they come up with to solve the adverse conditions they are sometimes forced to face.”

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