PMTT Mega Tournament
Lake Vermilion, MN
PMTT Press Release Editor,
The 20th year of the Professional Musky Tournament Trail was celebrated with a special Mega Tournament on Lake Vermilion in Northeastern Minnesota on September 14 – 16. A total of 85 teams from all across North America registered to compete in this special elimination tournament and needed to catch & register one musky over 30 inches Friday or Saturday to be able to participate on Sunday for the top prize of $40,000. The conditions seemed good for musky fishing with cloudy skies a mist in the air and moderate winds on Friday and Saturday. There were only 20 muskies caught and registered by 16 teams in the first two days and moved on to fish Sunday in the finale. Saturday nights weather brought strong thunderstorms which changed the fishing conditions a bit for Sunday as bluebird skies and sun with 20 mile an hour winds changing a lot for the muskies locations and made the fishing even tougher.
The team of Jason Hamernick of Wyoming, Minnesota and John Hoyer of Minnetonka, Minnesota were in the top ten after Saturday and knowing that they needed to catch another musky to have a chance after catching two muskies on Saturday. These two anglers are very familiar with the trophy waters of Lake Vermilion having fished there many times over the years and said that they saw a lot more muskies than what they caught, so they knew that they were fishing productive areas. Hamernick and Hoyer changed to a whole new area on the lake on day three and their move payed off as they caught the last musky of the tournament, a beautiful 51.25-inch musky that put them on the top of the leader board for good. Their successful tactic was casting Musky Frenzy buck tails with #7 blades. The other two quality sized muskies that Hamernick and Hoyer caught were 45.75 and 38.25 inches. The two anglers were rewarded for their efforts with two checks totaling $40,000 and also two beautiful first place trophies for their dramatic win.
In second place with three muskies that were 31”, 42.25” and a monster of a fish a 54.25” which was big fish for the tournament was Steve Amundson of Cook, Minnesota and Mike Brown of Duluth, Minnesota. These two anglers used bucktails with #7 willow blades while running and gunning covering as many spots as they could while working the lures at a fast pace to take home over $12,000 cash. In third place was Mark Lijewski of Minocqua, Wisconsin and Jeff Piazza of Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin that caught two muskies that were 48.25” and 42”. Their technique was to work deep rock edges in windblown areas slowly with Piazza Creeper and jerk baits in natural colors. In fourth place with muskies that were 47” and 41.75” were Todd Emiro and Michael McCarthy of Mercer, Wisconsin. These two anglers worked cowgirl bucktails that were tan and white near deep rock edges. Rounding out the top five in fifth place was Matt Snyder of Tower, Minnesota and Chris Riebe of South Elgin, Illinois These two anglers used bucktails and American Hardwood surface lures to entice their two muskies that were 43.75” and 39”. The areas that Riebe and Snyder fished were docks and very shallow junk weeds with baits in natural color.
Tournament Director Tim Widlacki thanked Fortune Bay Resort Casino and their entire staff for the outstanding job co-hosting the event with the Lake Vermilion Resort Association and all the PMTT`s fantastic sponsors, Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Musky Hunter Magazine, Keyes Outdoors, Motorguide, Chaos Tackle, Vitaminerals, Feldstrein Jeweler’s and all the associate and contributing sponsors. Please let these fine companies know that you appreciate their promotional efforts in support of freshwater's most challenging fish and those extreme anglers who chase her on the first, best and only truly National Professional Musky Tournament Trail circuit, the PMTT.
Sign up soon for the 2019 PMTT Trail. Our next event will be the Ranger Boats World Championship on the Barbee Chain of Lakes, IN including Lake Webster and Tippecanoe on October 20th and 21st, for information or to view event photo album, please visit them on the web at www.promusky.com or call the PMTT office at 815-478-4092.