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SELDERS/MONEY ADD A PMTT RECORD 7th FISH TO TAKE HOME THE WORLD CHAMPION HONORS!
2004 RANGER BOATS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP “ON FIRE”
By: Bob "the Fin-Addict" Osborne
Unleashing an all-time record setting attack, the prior record standing at four fish, Ohio angler Kevin Selders of Fresno and partner Mike Money from nearby Cambridge used a unique open-water trolling pattern that consisted of speed, big baits and open water to register an amazing total of 7 fish, six on day one … with five of them coming before noon and another on Sunday, setting records for points and numbers in a single event on the way to earning themselves the “2004 Ranger Boats World Championship” title and 1st Place prize package that included a New Ranger 195 Musky with matching Rangertrail trailer, powered by a 150 Mercury and cash … totaling nearly $35,000.00 !!! “I have been fishing this lake for about eight years and have been refining this pattern for awhile”, said Selders adding, “Running Tuff Shads in natural colors (a large bodied crank bait) at speeds that cover a lot of water looking for biters is a big part of it.”
Andover MN resident Rick Rosar & Jeff Chastek from Corcoran MN took 2nd Place, Sunday’s Big Fish Award of $1,000 with a fat 43-inch release and were also the events Ranger Cup winners adding yet another $500 … totaling $7,740 when they registered a previously unheard of 5 fish total! “We cast Leo Lures in natural bait colors over about 7-½ feet or so of water, into or parallel to the weed edge. If you were not shaking the weeds off your bait every couple of casts … you were not in the fish”, shared Jeff. Not to be outdone for lack of effort and in testimony to what an incredible fishery this relatively overlooked gem has been for more than a century, Stu Wiegner of Crystal Lake IL. & Jeff Gembala from Mt. Prospect … incredibly … had a 5 fish total as well, claiming 3rd Place and $3,120 also fishing the weed edges. Wiegner told those gathered at the Jamestown Ice Arena for the Ranger Boats / PMTT’s virtual weigh-in and the first ever Western New York Musky Expo being held in conjunction, “We fished Manta jerk baits in fire-tiger to register these beautiful fish and think that the weather actually ‘turned them (the fish) on’ because we were not seeing anything while pre-fishing before that that big blow rolled in Saturday”.
Tying the old record, registering four fish casting a combination of bucktails and crankbaits over the weed edges in 7 to 8 feet of water, the first of two husband and wife duos to make the top 5, Deb & Mike Pecosky of Oregon, WI (near Madison) took home $2,340 and 4th Place. “It was a real team effort,” said Deb, “We each caught two.” Husband Mike added, “We located a huge school of bait near the weed edges in the south end of this amazing system and fished it, finding it to be 8 to 9-inch perch. We cast baits we thought resembled that food base and were on fish throughout the event … as long as we were near the bait fish”. While Gary & Linda Jacobs of Lomira, WI (near Eagle River) caught and released a three fish total to claim 5th Place and a check for $1,560. President of MI Headwaters Chapter, Gary noted, “There are parts of this lake that reminded almost everybody here of their home water. It has similar structure, weeds, bars, humps and a variety of water color that had many folks feeling at home … not to mention the amazing hospitality and “Big League” feel surrounding us off the water”.
Stacey Medin of St. James, MN celebrated his birthday by catching & releasing Saturday’s $1,000 “Ranger Big Fish Award” winner, his first Musky over the magic 50-inch mark, a whopping 50-½ inch specimen that partner and expert “net man” Matt Thompson said, “Was about as good a present as I have ever seen”. Stacey said that he was literally “grinding” a Believer crank bait through the heavier weeds on the lakes north end to trigger his best fish ever.
The 2004 Top Gun race was a record setting effort as well when Jason Summers & Tony Demars of Lino Lakes and Wyoming, MN. became the first ever to repeat, back-to-back titles as the most consistent anglers on the professional scene by catching another fish on Saturday, breaking a dead even tie with central Illinois’ anglers Kevin Nash & Mike Savitski to take Top Gun honors, the right to display #1 in 2005 PMTT competition and a check for $4,680! “Consistent versatility was the key this year. In past years Tony and I would camp on a spot we felt was good and enjoyed some success doing that, but now being able to more quickly move between an A & B plan, well it has made us much more consistent”, said Jason. Nash & Savitski settled for #2 and $1,560 while 3rd Place went Scott Salchi & Tony Smith of Stanton & Clay City, KY. on a record setting pace themselves, having caught fish in every event this year.
Jim Saric, PMTT Director of Operations, noted seminar speaker, author and world-renowned Musky expert noted how exciting it could become when the best anglers, world class water and a hot bite come together. “This hour glass shaped lake, offering three distinctly different sections, the north basin, narrows and southern flats, had aspects similar to many of the country’s best systems, has thousands of quality fish willing to bite and several different, yet equally effective, patterns working at the same time as we approach the Fall peak period”. Craig Robbins, representing the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau and the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce, thanked all for attending this gala event that he hopes marks the beginning of a string of visits by the Pro Trail here noting that news of this incredible action will certainly be putting them back on the radar, asking a cheering crowd, “What do you think of western New York Musky fishing now!”
Widlacki closed Sunday afternoon noting what an outstanding job all involved in hosting this event had done. “Besides getting the fish to co-operate”, he jibbed jokingly “These folks have easily put on one of the best all-round programs seen to date and we hope to be back very soon”. Tim added that it is only with the support and participation of our host and corporate sponsors that we are able to present such a high quality product. “We have been able to return almost $6,000 this year alone to state DNR’s, Muskies Inc. International and other groups whose focus is on conservation, education and research regarding this amazing fish. We have been able to take competitive Musky Fishing to a much higher level by pro-actively incorporating “fish friendly” catch-judging-release procedures and look forward to the increased participation in this process by ALL of us who champion this ‘Monarch of Freshwater’ as we move forward … together.”
Those desiring more information about and/or becoming a member of the most competitive, exciting and fastest growing professional freshwater tournament circuit in North America are encouraged to contact PMTT Tournament Director, Tim Widlacki @ phone # 1-815-264-3228; via e-mail @ firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting them on the web at Will you be 2005 Ranger World Champion or Top Gun? Join us and see for yourself what all of the excitement is about …. you won‘t be sorry.
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2004 Ranger Boat's World Championship - Lake Chautauqua, NY
Tournament Photo Album