The top 40 teams from the PMTT’s 2019 season converged on the Spirit & Okoboji Chain of Lakes in northwest Iowa on October 5-6 for the Ranger Boats World Championship.
Not only were they competing for the title, but for the first place prize package of a 2020 Ranger 619FS Fisherman with a RangerTrail Trailer and powered by a Mercury Marine outboard with a total valued of more than $60,000.
On Day 1, anglers were met by some of the worst weather in which a PMTT event has been held. Winds of 20+ mph and driving rain resulted in only seven muskies being caught on Saturday. The weather eased on Sunday when 14 muskies were registered.
The team of Nate Osfar of Marathon City, Wisconsin, and Matt Raley of Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin, did not catch a musky on Saturday, but on Sunday their luck changed in a big way. At one point the two anglers caught muskies on back-to-back casts, and they wound up boating five muskies up to 41 1/2 inches long.
Raley and Osfar caught all their muskies aggressively working Medussa baits in natural perch colors over shallow weeds. It was their second world championship in the last three years as they also won the award in 2017.
In second place was the father-son team of Chris and Peter Blicharz from Three Lakes, Wisconsin, who caught muskies of 39 1/2, 37 and 36 inches on Medussas and Rippin’ Dawgs.
Third place went to brothers Ben Michlig of Minocqua, Wisconsin, and Matt Michlig of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with two muskies measuring 41 3/4 and 39 1/2 inches caught on Double Dawg baits from a windblown point.
In fourth place were Corey Montgomery of Ames, Iowa, and Don Myers of Ankeny, Iowa, with two muskies both measuring 37 1/4 inches on Phantom jerkbaits worked in pockets in shallow weedbeds.
Rounding out the top five were Danny Lowe of Des Plaines, Illinois, and Chris Pack of Fox Lake, Illinois, with the big fish of the tournament of 46 inches caught on a bucktail from shallow weeds. The musky also helped them win $250 from Musky Hunter for the largest fish caught in the event while wearing Musky Hunter apparel.
Osfar/Raley Roll With PMTT Top Gun/Team of the Year Honors
By catching five muskies in the PMTT Ranger Boats World Championship Matt Raley andr Nate Osfar took first place in the race for the circuit’s Top Gun/Team of the Year. Raley and Osfar accumulated 479 points during the year.
Tournament Director Tim Widlacki asked the two anglers what they do to prepare for tournaments to have such continued success. Osfar replied that they look at maps ahead of time and pick spots they feel would be productive, then they network with other anglers from that part of the country for information on the lake or lakes they will be fishing. They do little pre-fishing; rather, they drive their boat while watching electronics to learn the spots. Finally, they said they work their baits at a speed conducive to the fish’s mood and then mimic successful action during future retrieves.
Finishing in second place in the top gun standings Mike Keyes of Nekoosa, Wisconsin, and Bryan Schaeffer of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, with 474 points. In third place in the top gun standings were brothers Brian and Tim Barker of Morehead, Kentucky, with 472 points.
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