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Tvrdik and Walker Win PMTT Musky Hunter Magazine’s Fall Meltdown on Cass Lake

Nearly 100 team from all over North America converged on Minnesota’s Cass Lake August 25-26 for the Professional Musky Tournament Trail’s final qualifying event — Musky Hunter Magazine’s Fall Meltdown.

Known for big muskies, Cass lived up to is treputation by producing several fish in excess of 45 inches, despite tough conditions. Friday saw mostly sunny conditions but with winds out of 25 mph, making boat contro a challenge. The wind died Saturday, but the sky all day withh steady rain. Sixteen muskies were caught Friday with another nine on Saturday. 

Top teams at the Cass Lake qualifier include, from left: front — first place team of Nick Tvrdik and Scott Walker; back — third place team of Jeff Piazza and Mark Lijewski; second place team of Alex Lauer and Joe Wendolex.

The team of Nick Tvrdik and Scott Walker of Alexandria, Minnesota, caught muskies measuring 51 1/4 and 44 inches for the first place win and accepted checks totaling nearly $15,000 and two beautiful trophies. They fished Grandma crankbaits in natural color patterns near weeds on sand flats, using erratic actions, to catch their fish. Their 51-incher took home an additional $500 as it was big fish of the first day.

In second place were Alex Lauer of St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Joe Wendolex of Hutchinson, Minnesota, who used Cisco Kid crankbaits and rubber baits while fishing several different spots that had breaklines and weeds on them. Their muskies measured 43, 41 1/4 and 30 1/2 inches.

In third place were Mark Lijewski of Minocqua, Wisconsin, and Jeff Piazza of Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin, with two beautiful muskies of 46 and 41 inches. Their technique consisted of working natural-colored crankbaits near baitfish schools on break lines.

Placing fourth were Mike Crawford of Bemidji, Minnesota, and Jeff Schulte of Crystal, Minnesota, with 34 1/2-, 37- and 37-inch muskies. They used a run-and-gun technique of moving from spot to spot and covering water.

Rounding out the top five were Chris Riebe of South Elgin, Illinois, and Matt Snyder of Tower, Minnesota, with a 46-incher that was the big fish of the day for Saturday, and a 35 1/4-incher. They used BullDawg lures with an erratic action near weeds on deep breaklines that had plenty of baitfish nearby. 

Big fish of the tournament was Scott Walker’s 51 1/4-incher.

Tournament Director Tim Widlacki thanked the PMTT’s sponsors, especially Musky Hunter Magazine for sponsoring the tournament, and Palace Casino Hotel for hosting the event.

Next up for the PMTT will be the Ranger Boats World Championship on Lake Minnetonka near Minneapolis, September 23-24.

For information or to view the event’s photo album, visit www.promusky.com or call the PMTT office at (815) 478-4092.

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