The 37th annual Spring Muskie Classic was held on the Eagle River Chain last weekend, put on by the Headwaters Chapter of Muskies, Inc. Funds from the Spring Classic are used for projects on area lakes such as the new restroom on Eagle Lake at the landing as well as improvements to the launch ramp itself such as pouring of concrete pads at the ramp and the pier. The Headwaters Chapter also helped to make improvements at the Catfish Lake landing. The group prides itself on helping improve launch ramps and being stewards of the waters they love to fish in the Northwoods.
There were 138 teams registered for this year's event, which was up from last year. Thirty fish were caught overall with 25 on Saturday and five on Sunday. All of the fish caught were successfully released to be caught another day.
"Anyone that caught a fish was in this until the end," tournament director Scott Samuels said. "It was really close, and that makes it exciting."
There was a tie for first place in the tournament. The tie breaker came down to the time the team's second fish was caught.
Ryan and Justin Reynolds took fifth place and cashed a check for $750. They caught one fish on a Medusa and one on a Buck Tail. Their fish measured 36.25 and 34.25 inches.
Fourth place was worth $1,350 to Max Gille and Mathew Kiel. They caught one fish, measuring 45 inches.
$2,600 Nick Commarata and Dan Memory took third place with their two fish. They brought home $2,600 for their efforts, catching a 40.25 and a 36. Both fish came on a tinsel Rizzo Wizz, which came out a couple years ago, they said.
"We were just chucking weeds, in about seven foot. Just casting in," they said.
Bill and Steve Pabst took second and cashed a check for $3,700. They caught their last fish in the rain, just before the tournament ended, and after many anglers had areadly put their boats on the trailer to get out of the torrential rain storm. On a Bucktail and a Medusa, they caught a 38 and 41. The last cast with a Medusa brought them their second fish, catapulting them into second place.
First $13,500 Matt Railey and Nate Osfar.
"We did get the first fish on a Medusa," Osfar said. "Matt got the second one on a Bucktail. We didn't see much action besides that. We had one other fish yesterday and he had two follows today and I missed one. Generally on the Eagle River Chain we tend to find pockets of fish in smaller areas and we'll fish two or three spots in a tournament. We just kept to our best spots and happened to get lucky."
The Headwaters Chapter of Muskies, Inc. will also be holding the Paul's Pro-Am Tournament in September. More information about the tournament, and the musky club itself, can be found on their website: headwatersmuskies.com.
Beckie Gaskill may be reached via email at email@example.com.