Minnesota’s Muskie Inc Chapters in conjunction with the Hugh Becker Foundation sponsored the 7th annual High School Muskie Tournament on Friday, June 24th, 2016. Twenty-eight 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. That was the case again in 2016. The team of Kendal Hill and Dan Ender representing Duluth East High School netted the largest fish of the day, a 29 inch northern. 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 Lakeville South team of Brock Schueck and Tyler Haroldson with a 28 inch northern pike. Grayson and Sawyer Anderson claimed third with 27 inch pike.
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., Musky Mahem lures and sweatshirts, LeLure baits, Spanky baits, Musky Innovation baits, Okuma rods and reels, StingRay line cutter, and Savagear baits.
Thanks go to all judge boat participants, Mike Riha, Steve Doug Malsom, Terry Schar, Mark Weiss, Nick Poppler, Erin Knutson, and Chris Thury. 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
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