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Northwoods Spotlight - National Musky Open Aug 21Submitted: 08/21/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas

Northwoods Spotlight - National Musky Open Aug 21
EAGLE RIVER - If you were out on a lake near the Eagle River area last weekend, you might have seen a lot of gray hats. Anglers spread out on seven lake families. They were all hoping to win the 28th National Championship Musky Open.

Anglers take part in many musky competitions in the Northwoods, but one continues to break records with participation.

Larry Slagowski is the president of the Musky Clubs Alliance (MCA) of WI. He says, "This year we had 1,222 people."

Charlie Pulchinski (Rudolph) "If we catch a fish, that's going to be great," adds Charlie Pulchinski of Rudolph. "But just to be out here is something special."


Dave Allen, the MCA's executive director explains, "Basically we're all fishing for trophies. There's no money involved. Everyone just comes here and has a good time and we give away a lot of prizes."

The largest amateur musky tournament in the U.S. prides itself on bringing fun to fishing.

Steven Tilque (Pound, WI) "There's more friendly people than any other tournament I've fished, ever," Steven Tilque of Pound, WI adds.

This tournament also stresses the importance of families bringing out the younger generations of fishermen, in order to grow the sport.

"It's a really great feeling when you catch a fish and then when you show it to your dad," 12-year old Joseph Pulchinski of Pound says. "and he says I wish I caught that one."

There were 219 muskies caught over the weekend. And for the first time in the open's history, a woman took home the top prize.

Michelle Peplinski of Bear Creek was all smiles after the tournament. "It was a great way to end the summer."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

MANITOWISH WATERS - "When you have something like this everybody turns a little bit Irish," said Irish Fest volunteer Ron Troller.

Ye Olde Shillelagh in Manitowish Waters hosted its Second Annual Irish Festival this weekend. The big draw for the volunteers and attendees is the music.

"Who doesn't like professional Irish music," said Troller.

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RHINELANDDER - Most people who kayak will go out for a few hours and cover several miles. But one southwestern Wisconsin man is trying to cover more than 400 miles as fast as possible.

Ben Sasse is from Muscoda and is trying to break the speed record for paddling the Wisconsin River.

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RHINELANDER - In June, the Rhinelander City Council approved a fenced-in dog park at Shepard Park. It's something Tina Werres has been working towards for the last 10 years.

On Saturday, about 30 volunteers gathered at Shepard Park to clean up the south end of the park.

The fence is scheduled to be put up in about three weeks so Werres wanted to get the area cleaned up as soon as possible.

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GLEASON - The Third Annual Northern Roundup started Friday in Gleason.

Most of the cars are from the 1950s and 1960s and come in all makes and models. Red Kreyer came all the way from Fennimore in his car. 

"It's a '61 Cadillac Coupe de Ville nicknamed Elvis...[it took] about a two year restoration period," said Kreyer. 

The event is a car show, but the focus isn't on trophies, it's on community.

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EAGLE RIVER - A woman went missing last night east of Eagle River, but searchers found her safe early Friday morning.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Department got the report of the missing woman just before 8:00 p.m. Thursday.

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MINOCQUA - "I just find this place so amazing," said actor Noah Venzke, who is in the 7th grade.

The Campanile Summer Children's Theatre Workshop has been running in Minocqua for 10 years now.

"It's a place to meet new friends, and have new experiences, and try new things," said Venzke.

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MINOCQUA - The tennis courts at Lakeland Union High School usually get filled with students. 

If you stop by the courts during the summer, you'll see a different demographic taking over. 

A group of senior citizens dressed in all white play with wooden tennis rackets to mimic a Wimbledon, tennis game. 

Jerry Sikora never played tennis until the day he decided to get a group together back in 1990. 

"It means a lot to a lot of us that don't do activities that much," said Sikora. 

Since getting the group together for the first time Sikora has gotten a lot of practice. 

He also added about 20 older adults to the team.

 The age range of the players is from the 50s to mid-80s.

"The older you get the smarter you get," said 70-year- old Ted Dasler. 

The group said they only get better with time. 

Sikora said the snowbirds get more practice during warm winters in the south.

"They have no mercy on us when they come back," said Sikora. 

Things can get intense on the court at times, but the friendships and entertainment brings everyone back to play. 

The players said the most important thing is to always have fun. 


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