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The Muskie Country Tournament Circuit™ (MCTC™) hosted two one day tournaments on Butternut Lake June 1st followed by a one day qualifier on the Phillips Chain, Sunday the 2nd of June. Although both bodies of water share some of the same characteristics…ie, dark stained water, shallow, very fertile, warms up quickly in spring…to name just a few, the outcome of the two tournaments were very different. Ten muskies would be registered during the Butternut tournament with most teams having several opportunities at putting a muskie or two "on the board". However, the Phillips Chain, that is known not only for producing a high number of muskies registered at each tournament but also an average muskie size that usually exceeds the forty one inch (41") mark, experienced only two muskies registered with very few teams reporting any quality muskie chances.

Butternut Lake tournament official starting time of 6:00am was followed shortly by the first muskie of the day at 6:10am when the team of Jarod Leslie and John Korbel measured a 36 .75 inches that preceded another early catch from Jason Baratka at 6:16am that scored in at 35.50 inches. Leslie and Korbel would add to their lead at 7:13am when the duo would double on their second of the tourney that tallied 38.50 inches. Their first place status would be taken over by the father and son team of Brandle and Luke Ruberg when they measured their second muskie of the contest, a 41.25 incher at 7:52am and when added to their earlier catch of 34 .75 inches at 6:40am, they grabbed the lead by .75 of an inch that would prevail giving them the title at the 2013 Butternut Lake Muskie Country™ qualifier. Although first place had been settled, there was still a great deal of fishing to come and more teams would find muskies on the end of their lines and in their nets. Adam Neace and Geno Stelzel would tie the Ruberg's for the largest muskies of the tournament when they scored on their own 41.25 inch muskie at 10:15am, giving the team a fifth place finish. Scott Spangle and James Sievwright would be the third team to double for the day at 12:50pm with a 36 incher to go along with their earlier catch of 35.50 inches at 7:10am. The fourth and final team to score on multiple fish was Marcus Malyuk and Lee Roy Schlais with muskies of 35.50 inches at 9:15am and 35.25 inches at 12:51pm.

The MCTC™ Butternut Lake qualifying event's top five finishers were;
1st - Brandle & Luke Ruberg
2nd - Jarod Leslie/John Korbel
3rd - Scott Spangle/James Sievwright
4th - Marcus Malyuk/Lee Roy Schlais
5th - Adam Neace/Geno Stelzel

Sundays tournament on the Phillips Chain would experience post frontal conditions that felt more like late fall than June's prime time muskie fishing. Thunderstorms on Friday and the pouring rains of Saturday (rains that Butternut Lake didn't experience although they are separated by only about twenty miles) had such a negative effect on the attitudes of the resident muskies of the Phillips Chain on Sunday that most anglers didn't have an opportunity at a legal muskie and only two were able to be registered for the event. The two muskies registered for the tournament would be scored by the same team of Phil Markgraf and Randy Kauranen with muskies of 38.50 inches at 11:46am and a 34 incher at 1:50pm. The winning team of Markgraf and Kauranen started out the day fishing skinny waters like most of the other competitors but when the shallows were found to be four degree cooler than the deeper, main lake area they changed up their strategy fishing deeper warmer waters and it would pay off, giving the two the victory Sunday.

The next WMT Series™ event is a Muskie Country™ double header weekend on Bone Lake Saturday, June 8th and Sunday, June 9th on Wapogasset Lake. There are still open spots for both events and a team looking to enter the tournament can do so by attending the Friday night registration, June the 7th at the Wilkin's Bar and Resort on the west shoreline of Bone Lake on 238th Ave, Luck, Wisconsin starting at 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Also, if you are looking to just register for the Wapogasset qualifier, the registration will be held at the Waterside Bar & Grill Saturday the 8th starting at 6:00pm to 6:30pm.

All WMT Series™ events are open to the public and we hope you will join in on the fun and excitement. For additional information, log on to our web sites at or for more details or email us at or call 715-277-4411.

Sponsor Partners of the 2013 WMT Series™ are; Tooth Tamer Rods, Fittante Taxidermy, Tackle Industries Super D, T's Tackle, Dream Catcher Bucktails, Yakima Baits, , Optimum Baits, River Run Tackle, Trophy Hunter Accessories-Glittertail, Musky Mayhem Tackle, Figure 8 Lures, Lil' Hustler Tackle, Tyrant, Man Cave Bait Co., and Nauti Lures, LLC.

© 2012 Muskie Country Tournament Circuit