Teams are still being accepted for the 42nd annual Paul’s Pro-Am Musky Classic planned on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16. 

For the second year, the Headwaters Chapter of Muskies Inc. has taken over the tourney management from Paul Riedel Jr. of Eagle River.

The tournament was sponsored by the Riedel family for the first 40 years and is one of the longest-running catch-and-release muskie fishing events in the North Woods.

The Pro-Am is a memorial tournament in memory of Paul Riedel Sr., who died Nov. 24, 1994, at the age of 58 while vacationing in Fort Myers, Fla. Riedel was the originator of the tournament and the former owner of Hiawatha Supper Club. The tournament was operated by Paul Riedel Jr. for 22 years.

As in the past, a field of 300 anglers (150 teams) will be accepted. Entry fee is $340 per team. Payouts will total $28,000 based on a full field of 150 teams. The chapter is still accepting entries for the catch-and-release event.

The first-place team will win $15,000, based on a full field. Second place will receive $3,800; third, $3,100; fourth, $2,000; and fifth, $1,000. There will be cash prizes through 10th place.

Last year, the team of Kurt Halen of Wausau and Brad Wirt of Brokaw caught two fish measuring 441⁄4 and 42 inches to win the event. They collected $5,200 for their first-place finish over 55 other teams. The anglers caught 25 fish over 34-inches. The largest was a 46-incher caught by the team of Paul Sviatoslavsky and Michael Wagner.

Because anglers catch and release their fish right on the water, teams can catch more than two fish in a single day, according to tournament director Scott Samuels.

“The anglers will measure the fish right in their boat and take a photo of the fish and measuring board,” said Samuels.

The tournament uses a 34-inch minimum size limit, although the state size limit is 40 inches on the Chain.

Teams can register this Friday evening, Sept. 14, at the Eagle River Inn from 4:30 to 8 p.m. A mandatory meeting is planned at 8 p.m.

Fishing hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16. Boats will leave from Eagle Lake Park both mornings at 7:30 a.m.

An award presentation is planned for 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Eagle River Inn on Highway 70 West.

Proceeds from the tournament will be used for repairing, replacing and installing docks, piers, concrete slabs and restrooms at public boat landings in Vilas County and surrounding counties, according to Samuels.

For more information or to register for the tournament, call Samuels at (715) 547-3340.