The first stop of the 2020 Professional Musky Tournament Trail (PMTT) will be taking place this Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28, on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes.

Some of the best muskie anglers from North America will be competing for a possible $20,000 first-place prize in the PMTT Mercury Marine’s Summer Challenge, an annual event hosted by the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, according to Duane Landmeier of the PMTT?staff.

“These waters are known for very good numbers of muskies in the 34- to 45-inch range and there are always a lot caught at this event, said Landmeier.

Landmeier said the tournament still has a few openings and teams can register by visiting or calling (815) 478-4092.

“The tournament is open to all as anyone can join the event, meet some of the top muskie anglers from all over the country and witness all the different techniques that the anglers use to catch muskies,” said Landmeier.

Tournament headquarters will be the Eagle River World Championship Derby Complex. 

The muskie teams will be leaving the Eagle Waters Resort docks on Eagle Lake at 7 a.m. both mornings. Fishing will last until 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Landmeier said the PMTT staff adjusted the 2020 schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be taking precautions for anglers, staff and volunteers. 

“It has been a crazy year so far with everything that has happened and is still happening this year. It has affected the Professional Musky Tournament Trail also. With the help of our incredible host site sponsors, we had to move our schedule around a bit,” said Landmeier.  

“These muskie-filled waters of the Eagle River Chain are known for exciting fishing, with many fish being caught every year in this event. It will take three to five muskies to win this event, as these waters are known for very good numbers of muskies in the 34- 45-inch range,” he said.

Landmeier said the PMTT is excited to be back in Eagle River.

“The Eagle River community shows great hospitality to all of the PMTT and its anglers and is a top destination for not only great muskie fishing but as a family trip because of the amount of activities in the area besides the incredible fishing,” he said.

In addition to the Eagle River Chain qualifier, other PMTT qualifiers will be at the Spirit and Okoboji Chain of Lakes in northwest Iowa Aug. 29-30, and the Chippewa Flowage in western Wisconsin Sept. 26-27. The PMTT?Championship will be at Cave Run Lake in Kentucky Oct. 23-25.

In the PMTT Championship in October 2019 on the Spirit and Okoboji Chain of Lakes, the father and son team team of Chris and Peter Blicharz, both of Three Lakes, placed second with muskies measuring 39 1⁄2, 37 and 36 inches.

The team of Nate Osfer of Marathon City and Matt Raley of Arbor Vitae, placed first in that PMTT?Championship last year. Osfer and Raley, who also won the Eagle River qualifier in 2019, won the PMTT World Championship two out of last three years as they won the tourney in 2017 and 2019.