Wally Ladik has caught a lot of muskies in his day, and has also attended a handful of University of Esox Musky Schools. In fact, he once caught the largest musky of a Canadian school with a monster 53-incher. On Saturday, June 9, he did it again.
Faced with an east wind that made for a tough bite over the weekend, Ladik, of Monona, Wisconsin, and his fishing partner, Jay Wilson, of Verona, Wisconsin, decided to try trolling. Ladik snapped on a favorite DepthRaider crankbait and shortly after putting his motor in gear hooked up with a 41-inch musky.
Ladik’s fish proved to be the largest of 13 boated during the University of Esox Summer Musky Tactics School held June 8-10 at St. Germain Lodge and Fibber’s Restaurant near St. Germain, Wisconsin. Not only did Ladik win the school’s Big Musky Award, but since no other student caught more than one musky during the weekend he also won the school’s Top ’Lunge Award.
A total of 22 students from seven states attended the annual event. The school featured eight hours of multi-media and on-the-water seminars, as well as two days of musky fishing in northern Wisconsin.
“Thirteen muskies is a respectable number for a weekend school, but I can only imagine what we could have caught had we not had an east wind blowing the entire weekend,” said Musky Hunter magazine editor and TV show host Jim Saric. “It’s a real credit to our students for taking the information we provided and fishing hard to catch their muskies.”
Dave Kruck of Neenah, Wisconsin, was just shy of Ladik’s fish with a 40 1/2-incher caught on a DepthRaider. Instructor Steve Heiting boated a 41-incher on a Swimmin’ Dawg.
All three of the largest muskies were caught in or very near deep water. Other highlights of the school included a personal best musky of 35 inches for John Walter of Aurora, Illinois, while brothers Mark Mette of Victor, New York, and Ryan Mette of Plymouth, Minnesota, each caught their first muskies.
Joining Saric and Heiting as instructors were guides Rob Manthei, Kevin Schmidt, Charlie Buhler, Joel DeBoer, Ken Jackson and Ryan Bock.
“As we do every year, we extend a big thank you to Rob and Kaye Manthei and their staff at St. Germain Lodge and Fibber’s Restaurant for the great job they do for us,” said Heiting. “Great lodging and awesome food — combined with fishing in northern Wisconsin — makes for an incredible weekend for our students.”
The University of Esox will host another Summer Musky Tactics School at St. Germain Lodge June 7-9, 2019. Watch Musky Hunter for details or visit www.muskyhunter.com/university-of-esox/