The 41st annual Spring Classic of Champions Muskie Tournament will take place this Saturday and Sunday, June 12-13, on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes with anglers from at least seven states vying for $30,000 in prize money.

In 2020, the tournament had a full field of 150 teams. Headquarters for this year’s Spring Classic will be at Shotski’s in Eagle River, located at 1295 White Pine Drive.

The tournament is sponsored by the Headwaters Chapter of Muskies Inc.

Most of the nonfishing festivities will take place in Shotski’s 13,000-square-foot outdoor entertainment space with a large tent.

Tournament director Tom Rahlf said as of last Friday, 135 teams had entered. The entry fee is $340 per team.

“Usually a number of teams wait for the weather forecast before entering,” aid Rahlf. “Last year we filled on the night before.”

Registration for teams will be Friday, June 11, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Shotski’s, with a Facebook welcome at 7:45 p.m. 

“All teams get a copy of the rules Friday night when they register and must sign off,” said Rahlf. 

A fish measuring procedure started in 2019 has anglers measuring and photographing their own fish with a bump board and smart phone (with time and date stamp).

The Spring Classic, which is a catch-and-release tournament, will use a 34-inch size limit for a legal fish. 

For the 2020 Spring Classic, first place will pay out $12,000 with the full field of 150 teams. Second place will be $6,000, third will pay $4,000, fourth will be $2,000 and fifth will pay $1,400. Sixth will get $1,200, seventh $1,000, eighth $900, ninth $800 and 10th $700.

Fishing will be Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon. The boats will take off both mornings from Eagle Lake Park on Eagle Lake.

An awards presentation will start at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Shotski’s. The bar will have an outdoor grill with food available to anglers Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

Last year, Peter Blicharz and Mitch Ellis, both of Three Lakes, caught three muskies  to win the $12,000 purse and a championship title in the 40th annual Spring Classic of Champions. Over the course of the two days, there were 19 fish registered, including 12 on Saturday and nine Sunday.

Proceeds from the Spring Classic go to boat landing and pier improvements, supporting youth fishing events, scholarships, and muskie stocking and research.

For more information about the Spring Classic, call Rahlf at (715) 367-4990, email tomrahlf@gmail.com or visit the chapter website at headwatersmuskies.com.