KLEEBA CHALLUNGE

The Kleeba Challunge is a travelling tournament held annually among the Wisconsin chapters of Muskies, Inc. There are currently nine chapters. The tournament was named after a member of Headwaters chapter, Larry Kleeba, who held the position of “Director at Large”. Larry moved to the Conover, Wisconsin area from Illinois. He was well known in the area and had many friends in Muskies, Inc. He has been described as a party kind of guy who loved to fish for muskies and was very good at it. Larry died in a tragic car accident near his home, after which during a Musky Club Alliance meeting, it was decided to name this tournament in his honor.

The tournament is a trophy only tournament whereas Headwaters chapter sponsors all club members fishing for the honor of having the chapter’s name added to the trophy for winning the tournament in any given year.




The 2015 Kleeba Challunge will be June 6th and 7th hosted by the Hayward Lakes Chapter at the Lost Land Lake Lodge on the south shore of Lost Land Lake, it has a launch ramp.  The fishing lakes include Teal and Spider Lakes as well as Lost Land Lake in the Hayward, Wisconsin area.  Pre-fish on Friday and register at the Lost Land Lake Lodge from 6pm - 8pm on Friday.  Fish Saturday 6am until noon, then meet at the Lost Land Lake Lodge for burgers and brats, $9.50 includes tip.  After lunch fish 2pm until dark.  Sunday fish 6am until noon and again meet at the Lost Land Lake Lodge for a fish fry, $12.00 includes tip, and awards and places.

Places to stay:  Lost Land Lake Lodge (715) 462-3218; Northland Lodge on Lost Land Lake (715) 462-3379 or try the Hayward Visitors Bureau (715) 634-8662.



The 2014 Kleeba Challunge held on June 21st – 22nd enjoyed good weather on both Saturday and Sunday with 54 Muskies, Inc., members participating on eleven different teams. Five chapters were represented: Chapter 4 (Titletown) had 23 fishing on four teams, Chapter 6 (First Wisconsin) had 4 fishing on one team, Chapter 12 (Headwaters) had 13 fishing on three teams, Chapter 20 (Between the Lakes) had 5 fishing on one team and Chapter 35 (Milwaukee) had 9 fishing on two teams.

The Challunge was hosted by Chapter 4, Titletown, and the Hillside Resort on Lac Vieux Desert with participants fishing on that lake as well as North and South Twin Lakes. Most fished on Lac Vieux Desert. Although the weather cooperated, the fish were not so inclined. Only one fish was registered during the two day event. Tim Barlament, Chapter 4 Titletown Team #1 caught a 35 3/4” on the second day. The hard luck story is that a mid-40’s musky was caught and while readying the bump board and camera the fish jumped out of the net and was never measured or photographed. The net bag had been shortened by tying off a hole that was discovered from a previous catch.

Titletown waived the team entry fees and provided a Hillside Resort prepared delicious sit-down chicken dinner on Saturday to all participants. A raffle followed the dinner with many fine prizes. Zachary Scheuers was the only lucky ticket holder from Headwaters winning a two piece Shimano Musky rod.

 Next year’s Kleeba Challunge will be hosted by the Hayward Lakes Chapter on a date and location yet to be determined.




Winner 2014 ,   Title Town  Chapter 4



Headwaters Teams Kleeba 2014

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  • Kleeba Hosting Chapter

              Year              WI Chapter       
           2015                       Hayward Lakes

    2016                       Milwaukee

                  2017                       Between the Lakes
      2018                       Headwaters
           2019                        God's Country
                 2020                        Central Wisconsin

       2021                        Capital City
       2022                        Northwoods
        2023                       Wausau Area
            2024                        First Wisconsin
    2025                          Titletown

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  • The Northwaters Chapter Challunge is an annual event where Headwaters Chapter 12 of Eagle River, Wisconsin and Northwoods Chapter 61 of Minocqua, Wisconsin compete for the coveted traveling Pink Wooden Fish Trophy.
  • The inaugural Northwaters Chapter Challunge took place Saturday, September 27th, 2014, on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes.  The team of Matt Raley, Nate Osfar, Brent Kiedrowski, Nick Durkee, Chad Popp and John Bennett landed a total of six muskies to bring home the trophy to the Northwoods Chapter!
  • A total of twenty members from the Headwaters Chapter and eight members from the Northwoods Chapter fished in the challunge.  Headwaters Chapter registered only three fish but Elmer Jensen did manage to land the biggest fish of the outing at 39.75".  The weather was perfect with temperatures in the low seventies and waters temperatures ranged from 62 - 65 degrees.  Some of the participants stopped for lunch on Cranberry Island and everyone enjoyed pizza at the 12 Pines Restaurant after fishing.  The traveling trophy was also presented to the Northwoods Chapter at the conclusion of the event..
  • The Northwoods Chapter will host the Challunge in 2015.

    The first Muskies, Inc. Chapter Challunge (later named the Chapter Challunge and then in 1985 was again renamed the Gil Hamm Memorial Chapter Challunge) was held on the Minocqua Chain in Wisconsin, September 1977, and hosted by the Chicagoland Muskie Hunters Chapter. The first winner of the famous “Lunge Bucket” went to the Fargo-Moorhead Chapter.

    The original Challunge concept was pioneered by one of our past presidents and at the time the president of the Chicagoland Muskie Hunters Chapter…Steve Statland. This chapter event was conceived as an outing where anglers would represent their chapters, get to know other chapter members, and have a friendly muskie fishing competition.

    This still happens today. The “Lunge Bucket” was created by Steve as a suitable trophy commemorating the event. This bucket held the sucker that caught the very first muskie at around 10:00 am, opening day of the first Challunge by Steve. He had it brass plated, bolted a leaping brass muskie to the lid and had it appropriately engraved. Each year a new chapter is awarded the “Bucket” and has the date, location, winning team and number of points appropriately engraved.

    One more note regarding that first Challunge…Statland, as team captain for the Chicagoland Muskie Hunters, made a wager with Bob Schmidt, who was the team captain with the Fargo-Moorhead Chapter. The stakes were a bottle of good whiskey. At the 1978 Spring Awards Banquet in the Twin Cities, Steve presented Bob with the Lunge Bucket, inside, Steve placed a small bottle of Crown Royal. That same bottle remained in the Lunge Bucket for several years until the Hayward Chapter won their first Challunge, whereupon the Crown Royal mysteriously disappeared.

    This tournament is open to all MI members. The winning Chapter of the prior year's tournament sponsors the next tournament and chooses the body of water to fish.

    The dates for the 2013 Challunge is September 18 - 20 and is sponsored by the Chicagoland Chapter.  The host is Spring Bay Resort, on the west arm of Lake Vermilion in northeast Minnesota. The resort features new cabins that have fireplaces, leather couches, wi-fi internet access, free long-distance phone calls, great kitchens, and comfortable beds. The owners are genuine people who treat you more like a friend and are offering a special rate.  Vermilion Dam Lodge and the Muskego Point Resort are also offering special rates for the event.  Visit the Gil Hamm Tournament website: for information, agenda, teams and leaderboard updates (after the Challunge is underway).

    Contact Dale Peterson (715) 542-2012 or Bill Jacobs (715) 891-5574 for more information or for assistance in making reservations.


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