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  • Updated: 06/25/03

  • Presque Isle (Wisconsin) Celebrates Successful Annual Walleye Tournament

    Participants in Presque's Isle's 12th annual walleye tournament (May 16-18)
    caught and released hundreds of walleye, the largest a 23 3/4 incher pulled
    in by Bill Diestelmann of Jefferson, WI; next largest was a 21 1/2 inch
    walleye; with a third-place tie of two 21-inch walleyes.

    Cash prizes were awarded for the 'most inches of walleye' caught and
    released in the tournament.  Rick Ruzga of Mukwonago, WI, took first prize
    with a total of 128 1/4 inches.  Second place went to Mark Lenda, with 72
    1/2 inches of walleyes; third was Bill Diestlemann with 61 3/4 inches; 4th
    was Gary Kolovich with 56 1/4 inches; and fifth was  Mitch Henschel with 53
    3/4 inches.  (Fish caught that didn't fit in the legal range weren't

    'This year, we had more than one-third the people, and one-third more fish
    caught than the previous year; and, we expect more people and more fish
    next year, said Wally Sherman, President of the Presque Isle Chamber of
    Commerce, and one of the event organizers.

    "Participants come back year after year because of the friendly hosts, our
    quiet lakes, and, of course, the great fishing," Sherman said, adding, "We
    cater to 'amateur' anglers and families, our entry fee is only $25.00,
    including cash prizes, a door prize for each entrant, and our marvelous
    Sunday awards luncheon of a walleye fish fry and all the trimmings at the
    Presque Isle Community Center."  We'd also like to thank the many local
    businesses that contributed generously for door prizes, food, and other
    awards and services.  Next year's 13th Annual Presque Isle Spring Walleye
    Tournament is set for May 14-16, 2004.

    Diestelmann, who has attended all 12 previous tournaments, shared some of
    his successful techniques:  "I tried everything, and fished along weed
    edges, rock bars, and in wood, with a crankbait,: he said, "with my Shad
    Rap working best, especially on the weed edges."

    Ruzga said, 'I had success literally dragging my bait -- a jig tipped with
    a number and variety of live minnows -- on the bottom at varied depths,
    both shallow and deep; and I made absolutely sure I was super slow in my
    retrieve and jigging.'

    The community of Presque Isle, tucked up next to the Upper Peninsula of
    Michigan, in Wisconsin's far Northwoods, boasts every outdoor and
    recreational activity, like fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, fall colors,
    X-C skiing, hiking, biking, boating, bird, wildlife, forest and flower
    viewing, plus plenty of excellent resorts, accommodations, food, and other

    Presque Isle means, 'Almost an Island' (named such by the first exploring
    French voyageurs because of its immense forests surrounded by many lakes
    and rivers).  Sherman, and Walleye Tournament Chair, Bob Ferry, say, "once
    people visit our area, they get hooked, and return time-and-again." "This
    is a very special place, with a lot of very warm, welcoming, special
    people," said another entrant.

    For more info and free brochure, contact the Presque Isle Area Chamber of
    Commerce: 888-835-6508; 715-686-2910;  e-mail: PresqueIsle@centurytel.net;
    web: www.presqueislewi.org

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