On May 18 the Lake Shelbyville Musky Club hosted an Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail event on Lake Shelbyville. The weather was beautiful for the anglers to attempt catching these elusive fish. And that they were.
The water was much higher than normal and the corps of engineers was dropping the lake level which affected the fish as the bite was tough. Only one muskie was caught by the field of anglers. That team was the long time team of Victor Fox of Waterman, IL and Duane Landmeier of Hinckley, IL. The team won the event last year trolling large 10 inch jointed believer crank baits over 30 feet of water. This year they thought they would try trolling again. This time they were fishing in 12 feet of water or less with 8-12 feet of line out with Monster Shad crank baits. This method is called short line trolling. The baits are run really close to the motors prop wash.
Fox and Landmeier`s tactics paid off when one of the reels started ripping off line. The excitement began as Fox grabbed the Stow Master Net and carefully netted the fish that only measured 33 inches in length. The anglers thought for sure they had to catch another fish even though it was a one day event. Their luck continued that day as at the end of tournament hours no other fish were registered. Landmeier stated that his partner and he prefer casting. But sometimes you have to try something different and it pays off. These two anglers have had some great success over the years fishing tournaments together. They have won at least 8 tournaments at Shelbyville over the years. Their persistence and hard work have paid off for them and it shows. There are many times Fox and Landmeier compete against some of the best muskie fishermen in the state. Yes there is a bit of luck in every type of fishing, however these two gentlemen have some skill and have showed it over the years in being able to figure out the very elusive muskellunge. In a way these two men earned their success not only on the water but also being great advocates of the Illinois Muskie fishery for years. They put a lot of time in making the states fishery on many lakes by attending Muskies Inc. meetings and helping provide needed funds through hard work on their own time. Fox is the 2nd Vice President and Landmeier is the President of the Quad County Hawg Hunters Chapter of Muskie Inc in Plano, IL. If there is a thing as good Karma these two enthusiasts have it. Congratulations to both of them on their success.