Only in Eagle River – National Championship Musky Open

There are thousands of fishing tournaments throughout the year and dozens that feature musky trophies. But there’s one amateur musky event that has the gravitas of a pro event.

Yes, the National Championship Musky Open in Eagle River is truly a one-of-a-kind event. It’s hosted jointly by the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce and Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin.

Started in 1986, the Musky Open today brings in more than a thousand anglers from more than a dozen states. At the end of the weekend, they’ll catch more than 100 muskies while competing across five divisions, seven lake families, and bond over four days of fishing fun in the Eagle River area.

“We have had a lot of people who came up from different states that end up buying cottages or something because they just love the area and can’t believe it [up here],” said Larry Slagoski, president of Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin. “They have a good time and they come back year after year.”

Someone will win a drawing for a boat with an outboard motor and trailer. Yet the weekend’s “best” angler won’t even get a cash prize. Trophies will be handed out for total catch inches, as well as divisions like “largest lake family musky,” the “husband/wife” team, and “youth” participant. Most agree that anyone spending time on the lakes fishing against a perfect Eagle River backdrop has won in some fashion.

And there are still so many winners. The event raises money for Help Fight Hunger, which supports the Vilas County Food Pantry. It turns out amateur anglers are quite giving as the event usually generates several thousand pounds of non-perishable food items and a few thousand dollars’ worth of donations.

The Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin represents two dozen clubs across the state, including the Headwaters Chapter Muskies in Eagle River. The local chapter hosts kids fishing days, donates to the Ben Bendricks Scholarship Fun, supports the stocking of bluegills in the Eagle River Chain, stocks more than $50,000 of muskies in area lakes, and its members provide boat safety classes throughout the year.

For more information about the National Championship Musky Open, check out the link:

National Musky Open