How to Hold a Musky (and other info)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

'Muskie Girl' hooks 2nd in contest

Anne Marie Miller was not exactly out to contend for a contest championship when she and her husband headed out to do some fishing in September in Wisconsin.

The Richmond woman "lucked into," catching a 52-inch muskie, and she decided to enter it into the Musky Marathon, a contest staged by Vilas County, Wis.

When results were released in mid-January, she was amazed to find out she finished second in the adult released division.

"I had heard about the contest, but I didn't really know a lot about it," Miller said. "After I lucked into it, I decided I would enter."
Catches had to be made by Nov. 30, and participants had until Dec. 31 to enter. Results were revealed Jan. 16. Mark Suess of Oshkosh, Wis., won with a 53-inch muskie. Crystal Lake's John Harmon was fourth, and Algonquin's Tim Brim was fifth.

Miller, 23, considers herself a muskie novice, but she had a 48-inch catch in 2004. She insists her ability to catch muskies is nothing but good fortune, but when she heads to her "slice of heaven" in Land O'Lakes, Wis., others recognize her instantly.

Her father-in-law, Gary Miller, said she is called "Muskie Annie." She says friends at the Bear Trap Inn simply refer to her as "the Muskie Girl."

Miller, a senior at Northern Illinois University, credits her husband, Eric, as her guide, though she said Eric's largest catches were 32 and 35 inches.

She has been going to Land O'Lakes "since I was just a baby." Her father used to fish and she had gone, too, but she stopped for a while after his death. She said she started fishing for muskie with his old tackle. She used that to catch her 48-inch fish.

Gary Miller enjoys his reaction when he tells people his daughter-in-law has caught such big fish. Anne Marie Miller is 5-foot-2 and 105 pounds.

"They call her 'Muskie Annie,' " he said. "But she doesn't look like she fits that name."

Said Anne Marie: "I met the guy who won first place, and he was a little bit surprised [when he saw her]."

For information on the contest, visit the organization's Web site,

Woodstock baseball: The addition of lights at Bates Park will highlight the upcoming Woodstock Little League baseball season. Registration starts Saturday.

League president Bob Stroh said installing lights at two fields at Bates Park will help the league's schedules.

Registration is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Feb. 19 at the Woodstock VFW. The league is for players 7 to 12 years old. For information, visit the league's Web site at or call (815) 338-2170.

Older players will have more options this season with the formation of the Greater Woodstock Baseball Association.

The association will replace the league's Junior and Senior leagues for players ages 13-16. The association offers an in-house league as well as travel teams. Non-travel teams will play between 15 and 20 games. The travel teams will participate in the Nippersink League, and players can expect to play about 30 games in northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin.

The GWBA will operate independent of the Woodstock Little League. For information, visit its Web site,

* Al Lagattolla is a sports copy editor for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached at (815) 526-4508, via fax at (815) 459-5640 or via e-mail at


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