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Mercury Marine's Summer Challenge
Eagle River, Wisconsin
June 24th & 25th, 2006

CLICK HERE for the 2006 Eagle River Tournament Photo Album


                                     Ranger Cup Winner                      Event Big Fish - 48"                    Sunday Big Fish - 46"
                                     Chris & Eric Burseth       James Wells & Russell Schneider   Eric Nelson & Jeremy Driscoll

A Speedy ‘Run & Gun’ Attack Turns Into An Amazing 6 Fish Pattern

Final Results - PMTT Q-3 @ Eagle River Chain, WI June 24th & 25th, 2006

By: Bob "the Fin-Addict" Osborne - PMTT PR/Media Director

Although unfavorable weather patterns were again a factor in this third of four 2006 Professional Musky Tournament Trail qualifiers, brothers Dan & Mike Wojtusik, the well-known Wisconsin Musky Hunting duo from nearby Three Lakes & Rhinelander, seemed completely undaunted as they utilized a speedy ‘run & gun’ attack to boat an amazing 9 Musky; 6 of which exceeded the 34-inch minimum, for an exciting wire-to-wire, dominating win of the “Mercury Marine Summer Challenge”@ Eagle River Chain of Lakes the weekend of June 24th & 25th, helping set both the all-time single day record of 36 Musky … and second highest ever PMTT event total of 54 while taking home a whopping $18,000 and 1st Place Trophy in the process!

These hard-fishing brothers were unable to contact a single fish during four days of pre-fishing and found themselves with no specific game plan come Saturday morning‘s take-off. “We decided that our best alternative was to begin a high-speed search in hopes of finding some action and not getting skunked”, said Dan. We put the trolling motor at about ¾ throttle and started throwing heavy Long Tale spinner baits to cover as much “clean” water as we could and it began to work right off the bat. Living here most our lives, we know the Eagle Chain is just chock full of Musky and thought that by trying to find as much water that the other anglers had not worked over already might just give us a chance to get bit. We had no concern for structure, weeds or depth … just covering as much water as we could, as fast as we could … front man straight and slow; the back man fast and erratic, and it worked for us this time around”, shared the elated and emotionally charged brothers as they accepted their first place honors.

Bob Hanifl & Don Fiscus, from Lacrosse, WI, used weighted 9-inch Bull Dawgs cast towards shore and “lift-drop” retrieved to the 14 foot break lines to score one of the two triples registered this weekend for 2nd Place and a $4,430 payday. While long-time Trail members Chris & Eric Burseth, of Bartlett & Crystal Lake, IL, also threw those amazing Dawgs to put three suspended fish in the net for 3rd Place and the $1,000 RANGER CUP AWARD as the highest placing registered Ranger owner for a total of $4,101.

Steven J. Rusteberg of Naperville, IL and partner Ron Bowman from Carol Stream, claimed their second straight Top 10 finish on the Pro Tour with one of seven doubles registered here for 4th Place and $2,215 on, you may have guessed it already… those super hot Bull Dawgs. While Kevin Nash of Aurora, IL, the winner here three years back, and teammate Dave Schultz of Merrill, WI cast Triple D crankbaits and worked them in jerk bait fashion to trigger two suspended fish of their own for 5th Place and $1,772.

There are many noteworthy items from this record-breaking event that was so explosive that even Sunday’s “Big Fish”, a 46-½ incher, the only one taken on a top water, by Jeremy Driscoll & Eric Nelson … was knocked off the Final Leader Board, and saw doubles fall even further! Cave Run winners James Wells and Russell Schnieder put a cork in the “great numbers; small fish” malarkey sometimes heard regarding this Chain by boating the event $500 “Big Fish Award” winner in Watersmeet, a huge 48-inch beauty that fell for a Shad Rap.

Mercury Marine representative Bob Jacobs was on hand to "Thank everyone for coming out and supporting this Mercury Marine sponsored event" and to discuss props and help any in attendance with questions they might have with this often overlooked and misunderstood aspect of getting the top performance out of your powerhouse as it relates to your specific use.

Steve Lindahl, Wisconsin’s Ranger Rep and long-time PMTT supporter announced the ground breaking of a new $17 million dollar building project that will insure their ability to respond to the growing demand for parts, service and new Rangers, keeping them at the forefront of the industry, while announcing that orders will soon be taken on the new, highly anticipated 2007 MUSKY 118! “As promised, she’s ready to go, designed with the esox enthusiast in mind, and Heckel’s Marine will be able to fill orders in about two weeks”, said Mr. Lindahl.

Tournament Director Tim Widlacki jokingly confessed, “This is only the second time I have ever had to crack out the calculator to figure the final points, but it’s something we have come to expect from one of the greatest destinations in all of Musky fishing. The Eagle River Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center … everybody in the surrounding area … make us feel so welcome and excited to get back here as often as we can. I would also like to thank those sponsors who have helped us get to this record-breaking point in our eight year history, including Mercury Marine for sponsoring this event, Ranger Boats, Musky Hunter Magazine, Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, Heckel's Marine, Keyes Outdoors Television, Rollie & Helens Musky Shop, Extreme Muskie Expo's, Crash's Landing, The Village of Antioch Illinois, Morehead Tourism Commission and the Wisconsin Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. Please let these fine folks know that you appreciate their efforts in support of freshwaters most challenging fish … and those who chase her on the only National Pro Musky Circuit … the PMTT!

To register, obtain more information on the 2006/2007 PMTT, reserve one of the final slots in the last Qualifier at Lake Vermillion, MN Sept. 15th & 16th or to view event photo album, please visit them on the Web @ www.promusky.com or call PMTT Director, Tim Widlacki @: 815-464-8412 *space is very limited*



1st Place Dan & Mike Wojtusik - 38", 38", 36 ¾", 36", 35 ¾" & 35 ¾"
2nd Place Don Fiscus & Bob Hanifl - 39", 36 ½" & 34"
3rd Place Chris & Eric Burseth - 34 ¾", 34" & 34" Ranger Cup Award
4th Place Ron Bowman & Steven Rusteberg - 42" & 35 ¾"
5th Place Dave Schultz & Kevin Nash - 41 ¾" & 35 ½"
6th Place Tom Deitz & David Foor - 37 ¼" & 35 ¾"
7th Place James Wells & Russell Schneider - 48" Saturday/Event Big Fish
8th Place Josh Borovsky & Troy Zuelzke - 38" & 34"
9th Place Dave Grochowski & Greg Thomas - 37 ¼" & 34 ¼"
10th Place Randall Machtan & John Steckel - 46 ¾"
11th Place Eric Nelson & Jeremy Driscoll - 46" Sunday Big Fish
12th Place Matt Notermann & Alex Fratzke - 35" & 35"
13th Place Nick Cammarata & Rick Miscinski - 34" & 34"
14th Place Tyler Maney & Ryan Bock - 42 ½"
15th Place Robert Mabry - 40 ½"

140 Team Field - safely released a total of 54 fish - 36 Sat & 18 Sun - Event BIG FISH 48-inches
Water 70 - 74 degrees / Air Temps HI 74-Low41 / Wx: Mixed, mostly cloudy, scattered T-storms


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