Pikka and Wegner gain more than First Place at MWS in Winneconne
May 10th, 2013 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified May 10th, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Two guys, a Lund boat, and a wealth of knowledge landed Lund/Mercury Pro Matt Pikka and Kenny Wegner the First Place win in the Midwest Walleye Series (MWS) in Winneconne, Wisconsin on April 28, 2013. Pikka and Wegner weighed in their all-day catch of four walleye at 18.61 pounds.
“I knew before the tournament we were going to fish the lake (Lake Poygan),” said Matt Pikka. “I told Kenny; I’m not a river rat… I’m heading to the lake.”
“The first fish we had was a double. One was in the net and the other was on the planer board. They were so big; we didn’t even have to bump them. We just threw them in the live well,” said Kenny Wegner, agreeing with Pikka that the lake was a good choice. “About half-an-hour later, we caught the third one and a little while later we caught the ‘big” one’, Wegner added.
That “big” one was the final catch of the day for Pikka and Wegner, affording them First Place for Big Fish coming in at 6.62 pounds. “I was hoping for a top ten finish. I didn’t think we would take first,” said Wegner, appreciating his first win.
For Pikka, this was his second top ten finish having placed in 2006 in the Wisconsin Classic Musky Tournament. “Winning First Place at the MWS is fantastic. I needed this,” said Pikka.
According to Pikka, winning this tournament expanded his confidence. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it myself. I’ve been fortunate to have learned from the best-of-the-best, potential future hall-of-famers and not many people have that opportunity,” said Pikka, who is married to Pro Angler, Marianne Huskey. “My wife, Marianne, has also shared her knowledge with me and this was an opportunity to do it myself.”
Pikka, humbled by the experience, acknowledges the positive exposure this win brings to him and those sponsoring him. Matt is thankful for his corporate sponsors whose names he displays with pride; Mr. Outboard Marine, Lund Boats, Mercury Motors, and Optima Batteries. He also spoke proudly of his parents, William and Denice Pikka. “They are so supportive of what my wife, Marianne, and I do. They give us positive encouragement and I appreciate the time they give to watching my dog, Rocko.”
Wegner, a decade younger than Pikka at 21, also appreciates those who have supported and sponsored him while he ventures out to the tournaments. Angler’s Bait Shop Bar and Grill, Rivers Edge Marine, Johnny’s Little Shoppe of Bait, and a community of local fishermen have encouraged Wegner to follow his dream after acquiring his first boat at age 15. While Wegner has a history of fishing grass-root bass tournaments, he has experienced the Bassmaster Weekend Series. It was Wegner’s recent drive and determination to obtain his Captain’s license that connected him with Pikka. With Wegner’s interests in tournaments and guiding, he and Pikka stayed connected. Later, Wegner was asked if he would like to fish the MWS and the team was formed.
“This is a great opportunity for Kenny,” said Pikka, who averages 10 tournaments per year. “I can see Kenny being a future Pro Staff member and a member of the National Pro Angler Association,” said Pikka.
Pikka, who is a mechanical engineer by trade, owns and operates his own business, Outcast Musky Outfitters (www.outcastmusky.com) out of Shawano. He makes, by order, custom color baits for the particular water that is being fished. “I do, do that, but my focus went from making musky lures to guiding. I’ve guided inland lakes and this year will include Green Bay,” said Pikka. “Winning the MWS tournament adds to my credentials.”
While winning First Place at the MWS brings many awards to the stage, Pikka’s biggest award was the confidence he gained in himself. The satisfaction comes from heeding the words of the pros surrounding him and putting into practice the knowledge gained. “There’s no greater satisfaction as when you teach someone what you know about fishing and watch them catch fish. That’s what I want to do with Kenny,” said Pikka.
This was a huge win for both Pikka and Wegner as the excitement settles, but it’s far from over for them in 2013. They will be out again soon, fishing the Lake Winnebago Tournament on June 2 at Menomonee Park in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.