Dock Talk: Local anglers notch three-peat win
In the Park Rapids area there are four local multi-species that take place annually.
Though appropriately called multi-species tournaments, the target species are walleye, northern pike and bass. Each two-person team is allowed to weigh up to a single limit of each species. If you're fortunate enough to weigh in six walleyes, three northern pike and six bass, you're in a very good position to win. In every tournament, a bonus is given to each team that enters at least one of each species.
Two of the multi-species events are held in June, the Walt Winskowski Memorial Tournament held on Straight Lake and the Gene Cirks Memorial Scholarship Fishing Tournament on Lake Belle Taine.
Then there is a lull in multi-species tournament action because events that include walleye as a target species are not allowed to release the fish back into the lake in mid-summer due to a DNR ruling that aims to limit fish mortality. As the water heats up, the likelihood of mortality increases and all of the local tournaments strive for 100 percent catch and release.
Once September arrives, the Long Lake Classic on Long Lake and the Fish Hook Fall Slam on Fish Hook Lake entertain anglers while surrounded by the backdrop of autumn's changing colors.
For the past three years the Park Rapids Enterprise tracks the finishes of each team and individual, annually announcing the area's team or individual of the year.
The scoring system is simple; first place receives points equivalent to the number of teams participating in each event. So if there were 50 boats entered in a tournament, first place would earn 50 points, second place would receive 49, etc.
Since the events require anglers to enter as a two-person team and teammates sometimes rotate, points are tallied on an individual basis.
The 3rd annual Park Rapids Enterprise Angler(s) of the Year award, which comes as a congratulations without any prize except for a thumbs-up and congratulatory "good job" goes to the same team as the past two years.
Congratulations to Dean Christofferson and Jon Gravdahl for "three-peating" as the Angler's of the Year once again.
The dynamic fishing duo had a stellar season in the four local multi-species events, despite not winning any single tournament.
Consistency was the team's greatest attribute, with final placings of 4th (Straight Lake), 5th (Belle Taine), 7th (Long Lake) and 6th (Fish Hook Lake) for a combined total of 120 points.
The pair has always been known as two of the toughest anglers to beat in any type of fishing tournament, multi-species or otherwise.
Other notables for the year include Jeremy Anderson, who accumulated 106 points, but sat out the Long Lake tournament. He would've needed to finish in 11th place or higher to beat out Christofferson and Gravdahl for the Angler of the Year honor.
Kevin Lindow also had a good year, with a total of 101 points through the four tournaments.
Both Anderson and Lindow had varying partners throughout the season, which is why they are listed individually.