Musky Fest 2017

Musky Fest 2017 will long be remembered for the lousy weather.  The week of Musky Fest was:  June 23, 24 and 25.  The temperature was about 10 degrees below normal and the rainfall was well above normal.  When it wasn’t raining, there were  good crowds in the downtown business district.  The date for Musky Fest was moved back to the normal date (the last weekend in June).  Last year Musky Fest was held closer to the middle of June.  The date last year was moved to the middle of June hoping the change would draw larger crowds.  It didn’t work out as anticipated–the crowd was far less than normal and the weather was perfect.

The Hayward Lions had their usual beer tent and food station.  This year the beer was served in cans instead of from the tap.  The customers seemed to enjoy the ice cold cans of beer.  The food station provided:  brats (sauerkraut was available), hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork and steak sandwiches.  Chuck (Hogman) Aubart was the BBQ chef that cooked the pulled pork.  All the usual condiments were available.

Erin Roehl was the chairperson for the fishing contest.  Special assistants were:  Darby Roehl and Kortney Drake.  This event was certainly one of the “high points” of the weekend.  The event was catch and release (this has been the case for many years).  The catch and release concept has proven to be very poplar with the local community as well as those participating in the fishing contest.  There are numerous fishing contests in the Hayward area over the course of the summer–under these conditions it is imperative to have a fishing contest of this magnitude based on the catch and release concept.  It takes a lot of time and organization to make this event a success.  This event is called Musky Fest–it is certainly fitting to have a well organized fishing contest as part of the weekend activities.  Musky Fest celebrated their 68th anniversary–the Hayward Lions Club has been the sponsor for the fishing contest most of that time.

There was an added feature to the fishing event this year.  In cooperation with the Hayward Chamber of Commerce and Walleyes for Northwest Wisconsin, the Hayward Lions Club offered a $100,000 prize to any person catching the first certified state of Wisconsin record fish during Musky Fest.  This fishing contest was entitled:  $100,000 Musky Fest Lions Family Fishing Spectacular!  The fish categories for receiving the prize were:  musky, tiger musky, northern pike, black crappie and small mouth bass.  Contestants paid a $5 registration fee to be entered in this contest.  The application form indicated the state record fish in each category.  The state record for each fish category is determined by weight and not length.  There weren’t any winners in this contest this year.  

Every young person (age 12 and under) who registered at the fishing booth, received a free rod/reel combo.  There were about 140 young people who registered for the fishing contest.  In order for the contestant to receive their free gift, they only needed to bring in a photo showing a fish they caught (the fish could be any size).  Some of the young contestants were seen at Shue Pons catching their fish for the fishing contest.  Frank Pratt was available at She Pond for tips on how to catch fish.  Walgreens and Walmart cooperated by providing free photos of the fish caught by the young contestants.  It was also possible to take a photo on a cell phone and then show that photo to the fishing booth attendant.  This year the DNR tagged several fish (about 50) and placed them in Shue Pond.  If a young person caught one of the tagged fish, they received a savings bond valued at $250.   There were six young people who caught tagged fish.

Each person who entered a musky got a trophy.  The winners in this category were:  Chloe Lemke, Mary Anderson, Mark Anderson, Jon Klohs, Derek Holmberg and Luke Stone.  The biggest musky was caught by Luke Stone (49 inches) and the second place winner was Derek Holmberg (46 1/8 in.).  All the trophies for this event were donated by Muskies Inc.

The adult first place winners in each category were:  Musky, Luke Stone (49 in.); Walleye, Jordan Miller (31 3/4 in.); Northern, Cheryl Radloff (28 1/2 in.); Large Mouth Bass, Joan Christopherson (19 1/8 in.);  Small Mouth Bass, Barry Fjelstad (22 in.); Crappie, Tom Winter (9 1/2 in.); Panfish, Nick Schlender (9 in.); Perch, Carl Kozack (10 1/2 in.).  Each person receiving a first place award also received a $50 gift certificate.  

The adult second place winners in each category were:  Musky, Derek Holmberg (46 1/8 in.); Walleye, Walter Maieritsch (26 in.); Northern Pike, Peter Maieritsch (28 in.); Large Mouth Bass, Tom Winter (16 1/2 in.); Small Mouth Bass, Trae Stone (17 in.); Crappie, Anna Winter (8 1/2 in.); Panfish, Carl Kozack (7 3/4 in.); Perch, Hannah Wilson (8 in.).  Each person receiving a second place award also received a $25 gift certificate.

The youth first place winners in each category were:  Musky, Chloe Lemke (8 in.), Walleye, Zach Kruger (24 in.); Northern Pike, Wyatt McPeake (24 in.); Large Mouth Bass, Maria Winter (8 3/4 in.); Small Mouth Bass, Lilly Roskoph (17 in.); Crappie, Tori Korich (10 in.); Panfish, Jenna Piwowarczyk (9 1/2 in.); Perch, Summer Piwowarczyk (11 1/2 in.).  Each person who received a first place award also got a $50 gift certificate.

The youth second place winners in each category were:  Musky, none; Walleye, Keaton Fjelstad (15 in.); Northern Pike, Casey Stiner (23 in.); Large Mouth Bass, Ruby Britton (15 3/4 in.); Small Mouth Bass, Liam Thomas (16 in.); Crappie, Sam Kruger (9 in.); Panfish, Brantley Fjelstad (8 1/4 in.); Perch, Lane Hare (7 in.).  Each youth who received a second place award also got a $25 gift certificate.

Liz Korpal was the chairperson for the food station and the beer tent.  The Hayward Lions Club owe Liz a large debt of gratitude for all the hard work (and time) she spends planning this annual event.  Liz has been the chairperson for this evernt for over a decade.  Special assistants to Liz were:  Gary and Nancy Nelson.  

The support of the following local businesses made the fishing contest possible.

SCOPE (Sawyer County Outdoor Projects & Education), Floor to Ceiling, Nelson Lumber, Outdoor Ventures, J-R Excavating, Hayward Bait & Bottle Shoppe, Revelle’s Resort & Lakeside Campground, Sportsmens Headquarters, O C Outfitters, Pat’s Landing, Treeland Resorts, Muskies Inc., Ultimate Auto Body, Lynn’s Custom Meat & Catering, Hayward Area Chamber of Commerce, Hanson Tire & Custom Exhaust, Duffy Law Office, FutureWood, Darrell’s Full Service, The Landing, Rydell Family Dental, Anderson, Hager & Moe, H & R Block, Hayward Community Credit Union, Lynne Marie’s Candies, Thomas J. Duffy, Northview Eye Clinic, Starbright Childcare, Coop’s Pizza, Chuck Roehl’s Guide Service, Steve Kelsey Appraisal, Inc., Anglers Bar & Grill, American Family Insurance, Rob Novak Agency, Moccasin Bar, Chippewa Valley Bank, Marketplace, L & M Fleet Supply, Earl’s Marine Service, Inc., DQ Grill & Chill, Art Beat, Fishing Has No Boundaries, Inc., Walleyes for Northwest Wisconsin, Hayward Power Sports.

Please refer to the “Photo” section of this website for photos of this event.