2013 Mercer Muskie Madness Challenge

While I was up in Northern Wisconsin with my daughter Lisa, we got to fish for walleye and crappies.  We really didn't get to cast many muskie  plugs but there was no shortage on muskie catches or stories in the area.

On Saturday, October 19, Lisa and I attended the Mercer Muskie Madness Challenge Awards Banquet that was held at the Gateway Lodge in Mercer Wisconsin.  Many old friends were there like guides Erv Keller, Bobby Orr and Mike "Doc" Sabec.  Info on these guides and others can be found on the Mercer Chamber site. CLICK HERE

Although there were guides fishing, that didn't lessen anyones chances to win this competition.  From what Tina Brunell, Executive Director of the Mercer Chamber said, suckers were the great equalizer.

The 2nd Annual Mercer Muskie Madness Challenge that was held on October 18 & 19 was a huge success for both the Mercer Area and the WWIAF - Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation.

The event hosted 22 teams that were registered to compete in this fun two day tournament where  14 of the many muskies caught over the two days were eligible for points;  six ranged from 36-40”, while the other 8 were over 40” (legal size).

The largest muskie measured in at 49” caught by Chris Wallis from Team Wallis/Riebe.  One of the uniqueness’s of this tournament is that each team is allowed two lines in the water with suckers on them along with two lines using artificial bait. This opens up a “world of opportunities” for anyone to win, including those who may not be seasoned muskie fisherman.

Team Chris Wallis/Wayne Riebe also took 1st Place overall in the tournament with an impressive total of 98 points. Team Rick Graser/ Brian Anderson came in 2nd Place with 57 points and Team Charles Turner/ Tracy Turner took 3rd with 51 points.

This tournament was held in honor and to benefit our Wounded Warriors. Two Purple Heart recipients, Matt Tennessen and Tony Pemble competed in the event. These are two very fine soldiers who Brunell had the amazing opportunity and privilege to meet and work with. Tony Pemble teamed up with his Dad, Don Pemble who has been a local guide in the area for many years. Matt Tennessen was teamed up with Todd Emro, also a Mercer resident.  The WWIA is dedicated to serving our nation's combat wounded, Purple Heart recipients, by providing world-class outdoor sporting activities. If you would like to help support them, you can log on to their website at www.wwia.org.

Many thanks to the 2013 event sponsors: the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce, Gateway Lodge & Resort and the Turtle Flambeau Flowage Association; to Matt Tennessen & Tony Pemble and all the other WWIAF for their brave service; Gary N-Ski Photography for the great photos; and to everyone that participated in the tournament. Plans are underway already for next year’s event, so be sure to mark your calendars for October 17 & 18, 2014.

Everyone who attended had a great time, made many new friends and reconnected with old ones like I did that evening. For more information you can log onto the Chamber’s website at www.MercerCC.com or check us out on Facebook to see more great & fun photos.

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