Byrnes Boats Four Muskies To Win National Championship

Despite fishing in conditions that ranged from oppressive heat and humidity on Friday to heavy rain and the cold front that followed, Trevor Byrnes of Neenah, Wisconsin, caught four muskies to place first in the National Championship Musky Open in Eagle River, Wisconsin, August 20-22.

The NCMO drew 1,279 anglers, the fifth most all-time in the 35-year history of the tournament. The difficult conditions resulted in only 102 muskies being caught by tournament anglers.

Byrnes’ muskies ranged up to 44 inches in length and were caught from shallow weeds. He was the only angler who caught more than two muskies for the weekend.

Placing second was Gus Mantey of Eagle River, Wisconsin, who caught two muskies measuring 44 1/2 and 39 inches. Third place was won by Tom Pollack of Wausau, Wisconsin, who caught two muskies that each measured 41 1/2 inches. In fourth place was Steve Schuler of Markesan, Wisconsin, with muskies measuring 40 and 38 3/4 inches; fifth place went to Ryan Collien of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, with muskies of 42 and 36 1/2 inches; and in sixth place was Dan Komorowsi of Johnson Creek, Wisconsin, with muskies measuring 38 1/2 and 38 inches.

The largest fish of the tournament was a 48 1/4-inch musky caught from South Twin Lake by Jake Van Schyndel on a double-ten bucktail. Tod Asmus and Mark Bauman caught 46-inchers from Kentuck and Big Arbor Vitae lakes, respectively.

Dan Komorowski’s two muskies were enough for he and his wife, Cindy, to win the husband/wife trophy over 66 other husband/wife teams. A 38-incher by Dayne Seuss of Aniwa, Wisconsin, was the largest among 55 youth anglers (age 15 and under) in the event. The guardian/youth trophy went to Justin and Dylan Bodoh, who teamed to boat a 41  1/2-incher.

At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, a drawing was held for a fully-rigged Ranger boat with Mercury outboard. The winner was Pat Nowak of Wausau, Wisconsin. “I just can’t believe it,” he told the other anglers when called to the stage by Debbie Priepke, rep for Mercury outboards who drew the winner’s name, and tournament master of ceremonies Steve Heiting.

The National Championship Musky Open is the biggest fundraiser of the Wisconsin Musky Clubs Alliance, which has 25 member clubs. Next year’s event will be held August 19-21, 2022, at Eagle River. Watch for details.

Gregg Thomas

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