There were 9 schools, 18 participants and 10 teams that accepted the challunge on Saturday, May 18th for the 6th Annual IL High School Muskie Tournament on Prairie Lake, in the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish & Wild Life Area (NW of Springfield, IL). This is a casting only, one day event from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Low temps that day were 66 degrees F and high that day was 81 degrees. Early clouds broke into sunshine moving the water temps into the low 70’s on this 210 acre lake. Prairie Lake has a maximum depth of 45 feet and an average depth of 18 feet. It is steep sided, has extensive beds of coon tail vegetation and woody cover, and is very clear down with visibilities of 10-14 feet.
- Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights). 10th Grade Student: Olivia Vondrak.
- Notre Dame College Prep (Niles). 11th Grade Students: Max Valkner & Vince Kilfoy
- Maine West (Des Plaines). 10th Grade Student: Matthew Signorini.
- Guilford – Team 1 (Rockford). 9th Grade Student: Noah Kowalski and 12th Grade Student: Johnny Adamany.
- Guilford – Team 2 (Rockford). 9th Grade Students: Evan Click and Alex Larson.
- Mt Zion (South of Decatur). 9th Grade Student: Peyton Courson and 10th Grade Student: Owen Baker.
- Neuqua Valley (Naperville). 9th Grade Students: Anthony Anderson and Ryan Zeiler.
- Marmion Academy – Team 1 (Aurora) & Wheaton Academy. 11th Grade from Marmion – Cole Abbott. 9th Grade from Wheaton – Mason Abbott.
- Marmion Academy – Team 2 (Aurora). 10th Grade Students: Sean McDonald and Jourdan Reed.
- Indian Creek (Shabbona). 10th Grade Student: Natalie Fox and 12th Grade Student: Brooke Wackerlin.
Winning team: Max Valkner & Vince Kilfoy from Notre Dame College Prep. Max caught a nice 33 inch muskie on a spinner at 8:00 AM. No other muskies were caught. A couple of other muskies follows, but no more muskies made it in the nets. Max won the muskie rod for largest muskie. They also took home the first place, school and traveling trophies (courtesy of IMTT). Participants were treated to hot dogs, chips and cold water at the end of the event. Plans are underway for our 7th Annual IL High School Muskie Tournament on Prairie Lake the same weekend in May 2020. Final date and approval from ILDNR will be announced in late November. This event was sponsored by the Shawnee Muskie Hunters Chapter of Muskies Inc and IMTT (IL Muskie Tournament Trail).