Eagle River musky event draws nearly 1,400 participants

EAGLE RIVER, Wis. — The 34th annual National Championship Musky Open drew a record 1,366 musky anglers, representing 13 states.

In all, 171 muskies were caught and released in the tournament, held Aug. 16-18.

Each year The Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center and the Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin host the largest amateur musky tournament in the U.S. on seven lake families in the Eagle River area.

The tournament is open to ages 8 and older and is designed for family fun.

Entered in the tournament this year were 78 husband/wife teams, 69 youths and 69 guardian/youth teams of an adult and child.

The largest fish caught was 49.5 inches by Mike Driessen of Kaukauna, Wis. He caught his musky on Lake Family 3 on Lac Vieux Desert.

His catch and release happened the morning of Aug. 18 on a bucktail. As the largest fish of the tournament, a replica fish will be created by Fittante Taxidermy of Antigo, Wis. This replica will be presented to Driessen at next year’s tournament.

The overall winner was Clayton Spiess of Eagle River, Wis., with a catch of four muskies — 35.75 inches, 36 inches, 36.25 inches and 45.75 inches, for a total of 153.75 inches.

Winner of the youth division was Alyssa Becker of Elgin, Ill., with one fish measuring 42 inches.

The winners of the guardian/youth division were Jeremy and Trevor Barber of Eagle River, Wis., with two fish — 38.5 inches and 46.5 inches, for a total of 85 inches.

Husband/wife team winners were Travis and Liz Mikula of Three Lakes, Wis., with two fish — 37 inches and 44.75 inches, for a total of 81.75 inches.

This year’s 2019 Ranger tournament boat winner was Curt Cornelius of Green Bay, Wis.

Next year’s tournament is Aug. 21-23.