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SOUTHERN SHOOTOUT
Cave Run Lake - Morehead, KY

April 16th & 17th, 2005

CLICK HERE to view the 2005 Cave Run Tournament Photo Album

Colby Simms & John Risius Jr. Win 2005 PMTT Opener @ the "Cave"

Seemingly coming out of nowhere to register two 40-inch plus fatties in an amazing 20-minute flurry late in the last day of competition, Colby Simms of Vales Mines, MO. and partner John Risius Jr. of Creve Cocur, IL. bested a stellar field of nearly 250 Musky anglers gathered here on the rustically beautiful waters of eastern Kentucky’s Cave Run Lake this April 16th & 17th, earning not only Sunday Big Fish Honors and the 1st Place Trophy, Title & check totaling $17,100 in this first of four exciting qualifiers scheduled for the Professional Musky Tournament Trail’s record-breaking seventh season … but an important early lead as these top pros begin the quest for both Top Gun and 2005 Ranger Boats/PMTT World Championship Titles … including a 2005 619 Fisherman - Ranger Trail Trailer - 150 hp Mercury … and cash totaling near $45,000!

The 124-boat field had to battle one of the toughest early-season bites ever seen on this normally prolific fishery according to local guides and as evidenced by the sparse numbers recorded on day one. Summer-like weather and relatively stable water levels had a few nice fish on the move and ready to eat … for those teams able to find and trigger them and most of the top 15 employed “down-sized tactics” in traditional locales such as Zilpo Flats and the amazing Scott’s Creek areas to do so. But for some, like winners Colby & Risius, the decision to move deeper on main lake structure and throw much larger baits, like their choice of a “doctored” black Magnum Bull Dawg, in less pressured areas was also well rewarded. Only 22 musky were registered in this two-day event that is warmly hosted annually by Sheree Greer and the great staff of the Morehead Tourism & Visitors Commission, with 13 teams releasing 14 fish on day one and only 6 teams recording the last 8 fish.

2nd Place and $4,150 went to the Trail Team of Dan Peckels & Jerry Rzepka who were the only ones to get points on both days when they figured a pattern during pre-fishing and past years success here. “ I believe that both bass and musky use the Zilpo Flats area at night to feed and that as it gets near daylight begin to pull back to the deeper edge,” shared Dan who is a guide in the Pewaukee WI. area. “I use 10# Fireline to troll crank baits 35-to-40 feet or so back of the boat to get them down to the weed growth on the 10-to 12 foot break around the flats and try to contact them as they move out.” This early morning pattern gave them day two’s fish in the first 6 minutes of competition, unnerving many who actually saw them do so from the take-off area and nearly won it all for them!

3rd Place winners, from Grafton, WI and no strangers to the Top 10, Jim Carlson Sr. & Jim Carlson Jr., used jerk baits in Scott’s Creek to trigger the largest release of the event and Saturday’s Big Fish, a very hefty 44- inch beauty that bit at about 8:00 in the morning and ran all around the boat, getting into both the trolling and big motors during a lengthy battle that end happily with a $3,400 check. “I was dumbfounded”, said Jim Jr., “I really had a hard time believing I was fighting this beast … because Dad is the only one of us that has caught a fish here in the 5 years we have been coming down and it was almost a year ago to the month that we took 3rd Place & Big Fish at Shelbyville!” 4th. Place and $2,070 went to Jon Melvin & Mike Shelley of the Cincinnati, OH area who failed to strike again after doubling on day one, short-line trolling small AC Shiners on main-lake wood & stump wads in 5-to-6 feet of water. While Kentucky residents Dave & Don Waddle trolled/jerked a Big Daddy jerk bait to bring a fine 39-incher to the boat, earning them $1,660 and rounding out the Top 5.

The first $1,000 Ranger Cup check of the 2005 season goes to Mike & Deb Pecosky as the highest placing registered Ranger Boat owner, an amount Ranger generously doubled this year and in conjunction with the PMTT now paying out through 15th Place, represents the growth, interest and success this circuit is generating across the country. Tim Widlacki, PMTT Co-Founder & Tournament Director, proudly announced that beginning with the next Qualifier on May 21st & 22nd and their first ever visit to Pomme de Terre Lake in Missouri, Fox Sports North will be providing coverage of all PMTT events and will air on that network’s “North Country Adventures” television show essentially expanding exposure to a national audience for the first time. “We are very excited by the potential here for everyone involved with the PMTT”, said Widlacki, “This is only one of many projects and partnerships we are working very hard on to substantially improve what and who we are, so stay tuned.”

Tim also introduced John Newman & Bob Culbertson, long-time PMT Trail Team with the Twin Cities Chapter of Muskies Inc, spearheading an effort in conjunction with the PMTT, it’s members and MI, to raise monies that will ALL go directly for the future stocking of advanced fingerlings and hope to help build a spirit of co-operative effort and action inside the Musky Community. Said Newman, “This is a chance to show some that we are on the same team and that by working together for improvement of the total resource … can do some awesome things”. Immediate live-release, no transport, proper handling/release bonus points and the use of Judge Boats are only a few of the industry leading fish-friendly practices developed and utilized by the PMTT over the past six seasons... nearly $6,000 returned to DNR & Conservation projects last year and now, with almost $800 raised in a matter of just a few minutes for this project… well it looks as if the bar will be raised yet again!!

Special thanks go out to the fine folks at Ranger Boats, Mercury Marine, Musky Hunter Magazine, Heckel’s Marine, Crash’s Landing, North Country Adventure Television and all associate and contributing sponsors, as well as Host Site Sponsors; Eagles Nest Resort, Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, Treelands, Hayward Country Inns & Suites, Medina Center and of course the Morehead Tourism Commission … without who’s continuing support none of this would be possible today. Let them know that you appreciate their generous efforts supporting North America’s outdoors heritage, legacy & life-style.

Learn from the Pros ... be a part of the action ... and help to show your support for Musky fishing. Anyone can join the PMTT and enter this fast-growing and addictively exciting competition ... and everybody … as always …is warmly invited to come out and join the fun.

To register or obtain more information on the 2005 PMTT or any Qualifier, please visit them on the Web @ www.promusky.com or call PMTT Director, Tim Widlacki @ 815-264-3228 *space is limited and remaining slots are filling fast! *


Bob "the Fin-Addict" Osborne
PR Director-PMTT

1st Place John Risius & Colby Simms 40½" & 40¼"
2nd Place Dan Peckels & Jerry Rzepka 36¾" & 33¼"
3rd Place Jim Carlson Sr. & Jim Carlson Jr. 44"
4th Place Jon Melvin & Mike Sheley 31¾" & 31½"
5th Place Dave & Don Waddle 39"
6th Place Steven James Rusteberg & Ron Bowman 38½"
7th Place Steve Imhoff & Lee Tauchen 38"
8th Place Bob Osborne & Gary Dew 37"
9th Place Kevin Selders & Mike Money 36¼"
10th Place John Ryan & Nicole Ryan 34¾"
11th Place Mike & Deb Pecosky 34½"
12th Place Rich & Ron Weidner 34¼"
13th Place Kirk Allen & Brad Swenson 32¾"
14th Place Jeff Stein & Darrell Seasor 32½"
15th Place Rick Meeks & Chris Baldridge 32"

124 teams participated with a total of 22 Muskies caught & released.

 

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