Minnesota’s Muskie Inc Chapters in conjunction with the Hugh Becker Foundation sponsored the 6th annual High School Muskie Tournament on Friday, June 26th, 2015. Twenty two kids grades 9-12 from around the state, who had qualified via sectional tournaments, participated in trying their luck in catching, measuring, photographing, and releasing muskies in an attempt to become the state champion. Going out in teams of two per boat they tried their skills and stamina for a day of muskie fishing hoping to catch the biggest fish.
Lake Vermilion is huge, and so are the muskies in the lake. The weather was hot, with very little wind—not what a muskie fisherman is looking for in hopes of catching a fish. Boaters left the docks at Vermilion Dam Lodge at 6:30am after final instructions given by Mike Riha the tournament director.
In some of the previous year’s state competitions, champions were determined by the largest northern caught as no muskies were caught. But that was not the case in 2015. The team of Jack Fietek and Joe Pugsley representing Staples/Motley High School netted the only muskie of the day and it was trophy caliber. A 53 inch beautiful state champion fish for Jack and Joe. As state champions they each received State Champion plaques and each got a 9 foot St. Croix Big Nasty muskie rod.
Second place went to the Fergus Falls team of Kyler Peterson and Joe Mattson with a 39 inch northern pike. Alex Jenko and Riley Jenko from Duluth Denfeld claimed third with 29 and 25 inch northern, with 4th place going to Brayden Snow and Christian Donovan representing Watertown-Mayer HS.
All participants received a commemorative T-shirt, a great meal put on by the Ed Tausk and the staff of Vermilion Dam Lodge which was the tournament headquarters, and muskie baits donated from the Twin Cities and North Metro Chapters of Muskies Inc, Dennis Lappen of Muskie Innovations, and Big Mama Lures who sold us 20 baits at cost.
Thanks go to all judge boat participants, Mike Riha, Steve Wernersbach, Terry Schar, Mark Weiss, Nick Poppler, Steve Sorgenfrei, and Brian Klobe. With their participation we covered approximately 20 miles of water in an attempt to keep things safe for kids if there was a problem.
Director Minnesota State HS Muskie Tournament
North Metro Chapter of Muskies, Inc.
IMPORTANT: Our January 19th Members Meeting has been CANCELLED due to Covid-19 and we hope to hold our February at the Coon Rapids VFW.
Please join us at our general meetings the 3rd Tuesday of each month, Oct. through May. Each month we have a speaker come in and the topics vary from local metro area tactics to the basics of reel cleaning. We also have a rod and reel raffle and lure raffle. You DO NOT need to be a member to attend our general meetings.
3rd Tuesday of the month 7pm – 9pm
Coon Rapids VFW - 1919 Coon Rapids Blvd NW
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