PMTT on the Eagle River Chain - 2016

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Sam Ubl
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PMTT on the Eagle River Chain - 2016

Postby Sam Ubl » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:29 am

The Professional Musky Tournament Trail will be visiting Eagle River this coming weekend, June 25 & 26, for the 16th time in the 17-years the trail has been going strong. I've been fishing this event on and off since 2007, and I can tell you, it's a great time. Friday rules meeting, Saturday we fish 7AM - 4PM, followed by a rotisserie pig roast sponsored by the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, and Sunday we battle it out for a final day between 7AM -1PM, followed by the awards ceremony. We make a vacation out of this trip, so I'll be up there tomorrow (Wednesday) through the 4th of July. I'll post back with a report...


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Re: PMTT on the Eagle River Chain - 2016

Postby seazofcheeze » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:39 am

Good luck! Sounds like a great time.

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Re: PMTT on the Eagle River Chain - 2016

Postby Sam Ubl » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:03 am

It was a beautiful time to be in the Northwood's. The weather was great, the fishing was good and the friends and family up there made for a lot of laughs and good times. I prefished for the two days leading up to the tournament and finally found active fish around 4PM on Thursday after fishing since sun-up with only one in the boat and one lost leading up to the evening and no definite pattern to key in on. At 4PM I found a weed point with a steep break and perch stacked up like crazy against the drop-off. The wind was pounding into this spot and had been for four days straight, so it was no wonder the perch were stacked in like cordwood. Water temps were at 74 degrees. I moved 7 fish and lost a mid-40" fish half way back to the boat by 4:50PM, which is incredible action and an awesome window. I left that small spot with a grin on my face that I had found the place and the bait that would make magic happen on game day.

On Friday I returned to that spot with the same bait and hooked a 40", which I lost at the net, in the first 10 casts. Spot checking is important, but it definitely hurts to burn active fish off of a spot you plan to fish during the tournament. Nevertheless, we had to spot-check to make sure the day before wasn't a fluke and we proved it wasn't, our plan was set.

As we eased out amongst 125 other boats on Saturday morning the pressure was on, that spot needed to produce. It seemed like 75% of the field was trolling, which keeps the bait in the water 100% of the time, however, those of us casting can pick apart a weed bed. There were two other boats on "my" spot, so we had to be patient. I moved three fish right away, but nothing over 34" and nothing showed active interest, just lazy follows. After 8-hours of picking this basketball court sized weedbed apart I had seen 6 different fish and none of them wanted to eat - we moved on...

I slid into a secondary spot and immediately moved a 45-inch fish. As we continued to cast around and interest her into eating, I missed a short strike at the boat by a mid-30's fish.

The day ended and the leader board was mostly trollers, but Jared Adomovich and Mark Lajewski's boats were amongst the top 10 and I know they are casters. The first place team after day one was up by 4 fish, so we needed a miracle on Sunday.

By 7:30 AM on Sunday we landed a fish and got our names on the board.
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We lost a second fish an hour later just two feet from the net and that was a tough one to take... Mark Lajewski's boat took first by casting, thank God, with a quad. The day one leaders came up short after losing a fifth fish on Sunday while trolling before it got to the net.

$20K in winnings split between Mark Lajewski and his partner, Jeff Piazza. Well done to those boys!!
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Re: PMTT on the Eagle River Chain - 2016

Postby dan » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:16 am

Sounds like a great time.
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Re: PMTT on the Eagle River Chain - 2016

Postby Dewey » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:58 am

Too bad about the lost fish. I know how much that hurts but in a tournament it's gotta be way worse. Sounds like a good time regardless. 8-)

Surprised to hear so many guys were trolling. That sure has the potential to change up the outcome of many tournaments in the future. It's fun trying a new tactic and we were successful the first time trolling a few weeks back but would still rather catch them casting. Nothing like feeling that hard strike.
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Re: PMTT on the Eagle River Chain - 2016

Postby Findian » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:08 am

Nice. How much does it cost to join a tournament like that?

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Re: PMTT on the Eagle River Chain - 2016

Postby Sam Ubl » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:00 am

You got that right, Dewey. This was the first ever PMTT event on the ERC where trolling was permitted. After day one and being down four fish, a lot of folks decided if they can't beat them, join them. With the recent bug hatch that occurred the week prior, most active fish were suspended and most of the shallow fish were digesting meals and not really hungry, hence the lazy follows. As a result, most fish were hanging in that 15'-20' of water about 8' down, which made short-line trolling an effective strategy. My personal feeling is, either make it casting or trolling, but allowing the option to do either or will now result in the greater majority trolling just to keep their baits in the water. I wish it remained casting only up north, but...

It's $600 to fish a single tournament, plus a one-time (p/year) PMTT membership fee of $35 per angler.

Some of the best muskie fishermen I've ever met and one of the greatest learning opportunities imaginable in more ways than one.
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Re: PMTT on the Eagle River Chain - 2016

Postby Hodag Hunter » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:02 pm

My wife and I won a steak dinner from Mark and his sweetie after the tournament.

The only time he buys is after a win. Lol

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