Tag Archives: 2009 Professional Musky Tournament Trail

Schneider & Wells Win PMTT Midwest Bash at Fox Chain

Warmer weather and blue skies welcomed over 160 anglers from 11 states to the second event of the 2009 Professional Musky Tournament Trail May 2-3 on the Fox Chain of Lakes in northern Illinois. Conditions were comfortable for the fishermen with air temperatures around 70 degrees; however the fish made it a challenge for them to be successful. 

Some of the muskies were recuperating from spawning while some were still spawning. A lot of muskies were just cruising the shallows and could be seen due to the high visibility on some of the lakes. This usually means tough fishing for any angler and the result was only 13 muskies caught in the entire tournament.

As in most tournaments, when you put a bunch of talented fishermen on a water, someone will figure out the pattern and capitalize on it. Russell Schneider of Harrison, Ohio and James Wells of Walton, Kentucky, caught and released two beautiful muskies that were 42 1/2 and 39 inches long. This is a very nice combination of fish especially in a tournament of this caliber. 

With water temperatures in the 50s the two anglers chose smaller baits — Mepps spinners and swimbaits — and cast parallel to the shore as their technique. The two anglers generally are more efficient trollers but they had to change tactics and it paid off big time. For their efforts the two anglers took home over $12,000 in prize money and the first place trophies.

Second place went to two local fishermen, Phil Gutmann of Lake in the Hills, Illinois, and Bill Carlson of Cary, Illinois, who caught the largest musky of the event at 44 inches while twitching a Crane 305. They also were the big fish winners on Saturday and the winners of the prestigious Ranger Cup for an additional $1,000, and took home over $4,500 in cash.

Third place went to a father and son team, Gary and Carson Lehnherr, from the Madison, Wisconsin, area. Gary caught the 40 1/2-inch fish and Carson performed net duties for what proved to be the big fish for Sunday for an extra $500. 

Carson is 6 years old and the youngest PMTT angler to ever fish and/or place in a PMTT tournament ever. Applause was loud as the young man talked on the podium while holding their trophy and check for over $2,700. His father said in between fishing and eating, Carson also caught a nap or two. 

Coming in fourth were Tom Dietz and David Foor, both from Ohio, who boated a 37 3/4-incher while jigging. They took home over $1,500 in cash. Rounding out the top five was Brett Trump, who managed to also boat a 37 3/4-incher while fishing by himself. He earned a check for $1,400. 

Tournament Director Tim Widlacki thanked all of the PMTT’s fantastic sponsors, especially the Thirsty Turtle and the Antioch Comfort Inn and Suites for their support and for hosting the event. Other sponsors include Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Musky Hunter Magazine, Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce, Keyes Outdoors Television, Rollie & Helens Musky Shop, Musky Mayhem Tackle, Crash’s Landing, Chaos Tackle, Morehead Kentucky Tourism Commission and all the associate and contributing sponsors.

The PMTT’s last two qualifiers for 2009 are on the Eagle River Chain in Wisconsin, June 27-28, and the St. Croix River on the Minnesota and Wisconsin border near Hudson, September 12-13. 

To obtain more information on becoming a member of the 2009 PMTT, or to view the event photo album, visit www.promusky.com or call the PMTT office, (815) 478-4351.