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Eagle River
The Northwoods
St. Germain
Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12

Hodag Musky Challenge brings people together

Story By Lilly Zoller
Local News Published 09/26/2021 12:25PM, Last Updated 09/27/2021 10:03AM
Rhinelander - "You can go from zero to hero literally in one cast," said Grant Blumreich, a participant in this year's Hodag Musky Challenge.

Anglers gathered on area lakes the past few days to participate in what many of them consider a major passion: musky fishing.

"There was a back bay on Crescent and a bunch of people had been fishing it all day, so me and my brother just said, 'Screw it. We'll go back there," said Danny Zuicker, another participant in this year's Hodag Musky Challenge. "Everywhere on Crescent was getting hit all day so we just went back there to give it a shot and we decided to switch up baits, try something we haven't been doing all day and it ended up pulling through."

The Zuickers were successful in more ways than one on the first day of the tournament. The brothers not only caught a musky but they got to spend quality time together.

"It's just a good time to bond, have a good time," said Zuicker. "It's not super serious. Like even if you don't win, you're still out there just to have fun so it's just nice to spend time with your family and still get to be out in the boat having a good time fishing."

The event has been bringing people together like this for 40 years. The 102 teams participating this year include many pairs of siblings like the Zuickers, husbands and wives, fathers and sons, and coworkers like Grant Blumreich and Chris Pinkerton.

"We don't live very close to each other but we do try to fish as much as we can together, so this was an opportunity to do something we've never done. We fish together many times but never in a tournament," said Blumreich.

Grant is fishing on Lake Thompson. He's hoping for the same luck he had on that lake when he was 9 years old and caught his first musky. He is excited to get to carry on his grandfather's musky fishing passion in this tournament.

Whether they catch a fish or not, it seems that the sport is about connecting with others and having fun doing it more than anything else.

"It was awesome," said Zuicker. "Yeah, great, great feeling." 
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