Abe Ruiz’s second-ever muskie was a big one…at 45.5” his was the biggest of the day during the 2nd annual Wisconsin Youth Muskie Championship on Lake Waubesa. Coming in the last hour of the tournament, the fish hit about 15 yards away from the boat and put up a strong battle for the 13-year-old angler from Madison. The muskie was caught while fishing with “Big Brother” Todd Berge who assisted with the netting and release.
The annual youth championship is open to anyone 18-years-old and younger. And although they may be accompanied by a non-fishing parent or other adult in the boat, the muskie fishing is all up to them. Hosted by Capital City Chapter of Muskies Inc. with support from the Madison Fishing Expo, the free event focuses on fun through fishing, giveaways, a meal, and awards for top finishers.
The 19 youth participants fished from 7am until 2pm, registering 5 muskies. The 2nd place winner measured 44.5” for Jordan Laridaen, and the 3rd place winner was Darrick Hill with a 37” hybrid, his first muskie ever. Also scoring muskies on the day were Kimberly Franklin’s 35.5” (her first ever) and Zach Scheuers’ 28”er. All fish were caught on small bucktails in shallow water and the action was steady throughout the day. Most participants reported muskies spotted, plus some nice bonus pike caught.
The day wrapped up with a free meal for all participants, after which awards and raffles were handed out. Trophy plaques were earned by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers and all youth attendees received a free lure. The grand prize winner was drawn by raffle, with Josh Thomas winning a custom-built St. Croix from B&B Custom Rods paired with a Shimano 300EJ reel.