Last weekend marked the third stop for the Central Wisconsin River Series, with anglers taking on Rhinelander' Boom Lake.
The weather started off cool and breezy, a welcomed change from the oppressive heat of the previous week. The question on many anglers' minds at takeoff was how that would affect the fish. Storms had rolled through the state Friday night and Saturday, which can have an effect on fishing.
When fishing Boom Lake, teams often make the decision early on whether they will fish the main lake, the "dark water," or backwaters, or the river. For many, the belief is the winning weight will always come from the river. This results in heavy boat traffic up the river, however, leading some anglers to take their chances on the lake, where fish are less pressured.
Once again this year, the winning weight did come from "up river," from somewhere below the McNaughton Bridge, where the tournament waters were cut off for anglers. Jay Przekurat and Dylan Minch took their chances up river, spending all but the very last minutes of the day there looking for big smallmouth.
"Our day started off very slow," Przekurat said. The team did not have a keeper fish by 10 a.m. They stuck it out, though, and quickly turned that around. "We then caught our five-fish limit by about 12:30 or 1 o'clock and upgraded a few times with some nice smallmouth."
With one hour left in the tournament, the team decided to head back down to the lake and fish near the launch ramp. This turned out to be their best decision of the day, according to Przekurat. They caught two largemouth on one stretch of shoreline. One of the fish allowed them to cull up by just a few ounces, but that would prove to be the difference in winning the tournament and coming in second. At the end of the day, the team's 16.89 pound limit would just barely inch out the 16.83 pound limit of second place team Chris Withers and Tom Perkins.
Trevor and Amanda Mildenberger took third place with 14.51 pounds, a bag anchored by their 4.99-pound smallmouth which was the biggest smallie of the tournament.
Chase Vaughn and Tyler Jesse took fourth place despite motor problems that left one team member up river trolling back while the other grabbed their limit of fish and rode back to weigh-in with a competitor. They were still able to cash a check with 14.18 pounds, to make their day a bit better.
Fifth place went to Dan Firkus and Eric Fix with 11.98 pounds. Their fifth-place bag was anchored by a 4.08 pound largemouth, which was the largest of the day.
In all, 13 teams brought in limits. Forty-one teams took part in the tournament, bringing in 125 weighing in at 305.44 pounds. This made for an average of almost 2.5 pounds per fish.
Seven teams were unable to bring a legal-sized fish to the scales at the end of the day. Seven smallmouth over four pounds were weighed in and several over three pounds. In the largemouth category. Only one fish over four pounds was weighed and six over three pounds.
The season standings were tallied and, as of Boom Lake, Chris Withers and Tom Perkins are on top with 294.80 pounds. Second place for the year so far is Jay Przekurat and Dylan Minch with 263.88 points. Third place is currently held by Chase Vaughn and Tyler Jesse with 228.18 points. Andy Dassow and Robing Pester hold fourth place with 222.04 points, and Yeng and John Thao round out the top five with 204.92 points.
The next stop for the series will be on Lake Mohawksin in Tomahawk on Aug. 10. This will be the fourth and final stop before the series heads to the Minocqua Chain for its two-day Championship in September. Thirty-six teams will compete for the title of champion in that tournament. The top 34 teams, as well as the Team of the Year from last year and Past Champion team, will compete in that event.
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