By Duane Landmeier
The fourth qualifying event of the 2009 Professional Musky Tournament Trail, the Musky Hunter Magazine Fall Showdown, was held on the scenic St. Croix River near Hudson, Wisconsin, September 12-13. Over 160 anglers registered to participate in the event and the St. Croix River was a new destination to the Professional Musky Tournament Trail.
Results were phenomenal and it turned out to be the best event that the PMTT has ever had for the amount of large fish caught and released. There were 33 total muskies registered with 29 of them between 40 and 50 inches. There were 24 muskies registered on Saturday and nine muskies on Sunday. Warm weather conditions seemed to turn these big fish on. The anglers were very impressed and excited about the opportunities of nice-sized muskies available in the St. Croix.
Tony Grant of Frenchburg, Kentucky, and Dave Schultz of Merrill, Wisconsin, figured out two different patterns to use while pre-fishing prior to the event. The anglers used TopRaider surface lures and Jake crankbaits to entice muskies that measured 39, 40.25, 46.75 and 50 inches. The three muskies that were caught on the TopRaiders were located against shore in just a couple of feet of water. The 50-incher was caught trolling on the Jake and stood as the big fish of the day for Saturday.
The two anglers also won the prestigious Ranger Cup award for an extra $1,000 which goes to the top-placing Ranger Boat owner at each event, and took home the first place trophies and over $11,500 in cash.
Second place went to Todd Hess and Chris Klund, both of Hudson, Wisconsin, who also used TopRaiders to coax their muskies into biting. Their presentation consisted of very shallow water fishing, sometimes letting the lure land on the bank before retrieving the lure, occasionally getting a strike on the first few cranks of the retrieve. They had six strikes from muskies during the event and landed three measuring 40 1/2, 41 and 41 1/4 inches.
Third place was won by two local anglers very familiar with the St. Croix River, Justin Teske of Delano, Minnesota, and Adam Glickman of Montrose, Minnesota, who released muskies measuring 46 1/2 and 46 3/4 inches. They caught their fish on Manta gliders from a weedy shelf.
Fourth place went to Gene Erickson of Addison, Michigan, who was fishing alone and caught two nice muskies of 45 and 47 inches. His technique consisted of casting bucktails over deep underwater points.
Rounding out the top five was the team of Jared Severson and Chad Maves of Elmwood, Wisconsin, who caught and released muskies that were 41 and 46 inches in length. Their muskies were caught casting Cowgirl bucktails at points that had lots of shad baitfish on them.
Tournament Director Tim Widlacki thanked Musky Hunter Magazine for sponsoring the Fall Showdown and for supporting the entire 2009 PMTT trail. Other PMTT sponsors include Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Keyes Outdoors Television, Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce, Rollie & Helen’s Musky Shop, Musky Mayhem Tackle, Howard Johnson Hotels, Crash’s Landing, Chaos Tackle, Morehead Kentucky Tourism Commission and all the associate and contributing sponsors.
For more information on the PMTT, or to view the event photo album, visit www.promusky.com or call the PMTT at (815) 478-4351.