History Made at WMT Series™ 2012 Championship

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Two hundred of the world's top 2012 competing muskie anglers gathered to fish in the most prestigious muskie event of the season, the 2012 WORLD MUSKIE TOURNAMENT SERIES™ INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP™ on the Eagle River Chan of Lakes October 6th and 7th. This year's historic event would see several records fall for the WMT Series™ Championship including the most muskies registered in a single day, thirty three (33) on Saturday (with twelve of them measuring over forty inches), and the most muskies during a championship of forty three (43), eclipsing the old mark of thirty three muskies set at the 2007 Championship on the Sand/Dam Lake Chain. The most impressive achievement was the $50,000.00 first place prize, surpassing last year's record $40,000.00 first place pay-out at Pewaukee. Over $74,000.00 in cash was paid out during the weekend.

Winter had arrived early in northern Wisconsin in time for Championship Saturday in the form of intermittent snow squalls mixed with intervals of sleet. The cold front that ushered in the high winds and dropped the temperatures by thirty degrees didn't have much of an effect on the feeding activity of the October Eagle River muskies, and the field of this year's top muskie competitors were prepared to do battle with the resident toothy critters. The first three teams to register muskies, Brian Krelle & Tim Miller, Nate Osfar & Cory Huck, and Rick McClellan & Ryan Wahlgren, would also be the first three teams that would double up for the tilt. Huck and Osfar would score the first muskie at 7:26am with a 34.50 incher and finish up their day at 8:55am measuring a 38.75" muskie. Krelle and Miller would tally a 34" muskie at 7:30am and a 38.50 incher at 8:14am, but the first team to put two fish “on the board" would be McClellan and Wahlgren with muskies of 35.25 inches at 7:45am and the big fish of Saturday that scored 43.50 inches at 8:05am. Overtaking first place on the leader board with two of their own came from Cody Hahner and Jordan Kelbley with fish of 39 inches at 11:15am and a 41.25 incher at 12:50pm. The lead changed hands for the seventh and final time not only for Saturday, but for the tournament when Mats Holland and Steve Genson scored on the best double of 40.75" at 8:55am and later at 1:45pm with a 43.50" muskie to give the duo the Championship victory.

The first fish of Sunday would come from the father and son team of Tony and Kyle Warkoczewski when they scored a 34 incher at 7:47am, but they weren't finished yet, as they landed a dandy 42.75" muskie at 11:27am giving the team a fifth place finish. Although ten muskies would be registered Sunday, only one team that had a “fish on the board" Saturday connected on a muskie the second day, Dan and Mike Wojtusik would pop a 34.50 incher at 10:41am that when added to their previous days catch of 38.50 inches at 1:10pm, would land the brothers in seventh place. The largest muskie of the day came from Matt Raley and Jeff VanRemortel that measured 44 inches at 10:50am and coupled with the earlier tally of 37 inches at 10:08am, earned the duo a second place finish.

Other anglers to score on muskies Saturday were: Matt & Alyssa McCumber 36" at 7:47am, Don Groskopf/Dan Winkler 42.75" at 7:52am, Sam Ubl/Mark Piechowski 36.50" at 7:57am, Scott & Brien Gindt 40.75" at 8:11am, Gary Tutaj/Jeff Venne 39.50" 8:22am, Dan Buss & Todd Luedtke 40.50" at 8:00am, Kurt Hagen/Brad Wirt 42.50" at 8:32am, Todd Powell/Joe Perry 35" at 9:32am, Scott & Dylan Gagliano 36.50" at 9:41am, Dan Ballweg 34 Ό" at 9:43am, John Bennett/Chad Popp 38" at 9:59am, Adam Bricco/Mason Gerlach 41.50" at 10:21am, Steve Berg/Craig Ader 39.75" at 10:36am, Patric McCabe/Marty Kwick 37" at 10:42am, Rory Tuff/Dick Heckel 42.50" at 10:59am, Ryan Bock/Tim Rutzen Jr. 40.50" at 11:34am, Marty Forman/Mark Rottier 40.50" at 12:57pm, Rick Hess/Dan Drissel 36.50" at 1:56pm, Scott & Kevin Abendroth, Phil Schweik/John Sparbel 35" at 3:00pm, Jim Komar/Chris Ceccato 38.25" at 3:32pm, and Bryan Hoffman/Jason Thiel 34.25" at 3:56pm.

Other teams to tally muskies on Sunday were: Tim & Tom Mathu 40.50" at 7:52am, Andy Jackson/Brandon Leinon 37.50" at 9:39am, Jason Baratka/Jason Weik 40.25" at 10:40am, Tony Piantek/Bill Vierkandt 34.50" at 11:33am, and Garrett Shipman/John Kleczewski 36" at 11:36am.

The WMT Series™ Invitational Championship™ top ten places were:

1st – Mats Holland/Steve Genson
2nd – Matt Raley/Jeff VanRemortel
3rd – Cody Hahner/Jordan Kelbley
4th – Rick McClellan/Ryan Wahlgren
5th – Tony & Kyle Warkoczewski
6th – Nate Osfar/Cory Huck
7th – Dan & Mike Wojtusik
8th – Brian Krelle/Tim Miller
9th – Don Groskopf/Dan Winkler
10th – Rory Tuff/Dick Heckel

Even though the 2012 tournament season for the WMT Series™ have concluded with the Invitational Championship™, there still remains two WMT Series™ sanctioned tournaments still to be hosted that will have the winners of each event receive an automatic invite to next year's 2013 WMT Series™ Invitational Championship held on Lake Namakagon September 28th & 29th. The first sanctioned event is the 7th Annual Butternut Muskie Tournament hosted by Dick & Joan's Butternut Resort on October 6 th and the second event is also a one day event on November 3rd with the 1st Annual Smokey's Muskie Shop “Autumn Muskie Tilt™" with both paying out a first place prize of $10,000.00 with fields of sixty five (65) teams. Both tournaments and all WMT Series™ events are open to the public. If you are interested in getting in the two final tournaments of 2012 and securing a spot at next year's Invitational Championship, there is still time to sign up for the tournaments online at www.WMTSeries.com web site or www.professionalmuskieanglercircuit.com or call 715-277-4411 for an entry form.

Sponsors of the 2012 WMT Series™ are: Tooth Tamer Rods, Fittante Taxidermy, Tackle Industries Super D's, Dream Catcher Bucktails & Tackle, T's Tackle, Suick, Yakima Bait Company, Worden's Lures, Poe's, www.Mudpuppylures.com , Trophy Hunter Accessories – Glittertail, River Run Tackle, Super Slayer Tackle Company, Optimum Bait Company, Figure 8 Lures, Lucky Craft Lures, and Salmo Performance Fishing Lures.

© 2011 Professional Muskie Angler Circuit