One of the most thrilling events ever in the Professional Musky Tournament Trail’s 20-year history occurred when tournament anglers descended on Lake St. Clair August 11-12 for Musky Hunter Magazine’s Late Summer Showdown. A record 111 muskies were caught with the top two teams registering a record eight muskies each.
Earning first place was the team of Spencer Berman (a Musky Hunter field editor) of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, and Mathew Quintano of Harrison Township, Michigan, both of whom charter on the big lake. They found a pattern of fishing the deep weed edges in the river channels that feed Lake St. Clair with cooler water from Lake Huron. They figured the cooler water would make the muskies more active than fish in the main lake, and the pair used silver and natural-colored Bull Dawg lures to catch their fish.
Berman’s and Quintano’s muskies measured 38 1/4, 38 1/2, 39, 39 1/2, 40, 43 1/2, 47 1/2 and 47 1/2 inches as they won almost $13,000 in prize money and two trophies. Being Ranger Boat owners, they earned a $1,000 Ranger Cup bonus.
In second place were Mark Kornosky of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, and Chris Mahan of Warren, Michigan, who used Spanky Bucktails while trolling 3.8 miles per hour over and around weedbeds and baitfish to also catch eight muskies also that measured 33, 37, 38, 39 1/2, 40 1/4, 42 3/4, 43 3/4 and 47 1/2 inches.
Jason Jackson of Huntington, West Virginia, and Kyle Moxon of Windsor, Ontario, took third place by trolling Ziggy and Boss Shad crankbaits and bucktails near open water baitfish schools. They noted that all of their muskies — measuring 48 1/2, 48, 46 1/2, 40 and 37 inches — were caught during the peak major time of the day according to the Solunar Tables.
In fourth place were Justin Hoffman of Chelsea, Michigan, and Max Laski of Dexter, Michigan, who worked slow-moving Medussa lures through baitfish and around scattered weedbeds to catch muskies measuring 38, 38 1/2, 38 3/4, 43 3/4 and 44 inches.
Rounding out the top five were Billy Brumett of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Michael Handlogton of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who used black-and-orange and cisco-colored Medussa near scattered weeds in about 18 feet of water to catch muskies measuring 38, 40, 44 1/4, and 45 1/4 inches.
Nate Osfer of Marathon City, Wisconsin, and Matt Raley of Minocqua, Wisconsin, teamed to boat a 50 1/2-inch musky for the big fish award for Saturday. Big fish on Sunday, and biggest of the tournament, was a 52-inch monster caught by Dave Lagman and Troy Dechant of Roseville, Michigan.
Tournament Director Tim Widlacki thanked all the PMTT’s sponsors, especially Musky Hunter magazine, for sponsoring the tournament and the entire trail. Other sponsors include Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Keyes Outdoors, Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce, MotorGuide, Chaos Tackle, Vitaminerals, Feldstrein Jewelers, Morehead Tourism and all the associate and contributing sponsors.
Next up for the PMTT will be its 20th Anniversary Mega Tournament, with over $120,000 in cash payed out and a $50,000 first place prize. Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota is the location for this September 14-16 event.
To obtain more information on becoming a member of the PMTT, or to view the event photo album, visit promusky.com or call the PMTT office at (815) 478-4092.