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Hamernick & Hoyer Win Musky Hunter Summer Showdown

Two muskies on two casts late on the second day propelled Jason Hamernick and John Hoyer to first place in the PMTT Musky Hunter Magazine Late Summer Showdown tournament on Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka August 9-10.

Hamernick, who splits time guiding in Minnesota and Florida, and Hoyer, a Minnetonka-area local, boated four muskies measuring 52 3/4, 44 1/2, 43 and 41 1/2 inches to top the field of 93 teams.

Jason Hamernick holds his 52 3/4-inch musky for a quick photo before releasing it.

On Day 1, Hamernick and Hoyer caught the 44 1/2- and 41 1/2-inch muskies fishing deep weeds. With a change in weather conditions on Day 2, they switched to shallower weeds which didn’t produce, so they returned to fishing deeper weeds.

On his very first cast after returning to the spot, Hamernick hooked into the 52 3/4-inch monster, which stood as the tournament’s big fish. They released the musky, and while Hamernick was filling out the paperwork for the tournament, Hoyer made his first cast on the spot and hooked the 43-incher, which put them in the lead for good. 

They won over $12,000 and two beautiful trophies, and also took home $1,000 through the Ranger Cup program. 

Hamernick and Hoyer’s technique involved three different lures — a Bull Dawg, Posseidon and Rippin’ Dawg, which they worked in a non-aggressive manner down the deep weed edge in 24 to 30 of water.

In second place were Nate Osfer of Marathon City, Wisconsin, and Matt Raley of Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin, who fished Bull Dawgs along the deep weed edge in 24 to 30 feet of water. They used short pulls on the bait while casting down the weed edge to catch muskies measured 34, 39, 40 and 44 1/2 inches. 

Scott Bugalski of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, and Ben Peterson of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, used walleye-colored Bull Dawgs down the deep weed edge while ripping them as hard as possible to catch muskies measuring 38 1/4, 40 and 45 1/4 inches, the latter of which was the big fish of the day for Friday.

Top three teams at the PMTT’s Lake Minnetonka qualifier are, from left: front — first place team of John Hoyer and Jason Hamernick; back — third place team of Ben Peterson and Scott Bugalski; second place team of Nate Osfer and Matt Raley.

In fourth place were Jacob Brewer and Raymond Cote of Lombard, Illinois, who cast Medussas and Bull Dawgs with chartreuse tails while working a point in dirtier water to catch three muskies in 1 1/2 hours on Friday. 

Rounding out the top five with muskies measuring 42 1/2 and 49 1/4 inches were Luke Ronnestrand of Elk River, Minnesota, and Michael Waters of Maple River, Minnesota.

The team of Kevin Nash and Jared Donar caught a 43 1/2-inch musky that took home the Musky Hunter Big Fish honors for an additional $250.

Next up for the PMTT is the Mega Tournament on Leech Lake in Minnesota September 13-15, for which there are still a few openings. This is a $50,000 first place payout with over a $120,000 total payout for a full field. Call for details 815-478-4092 or visit promusky.com

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