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Fishing tourney participants brave cold

Julie Englund sells minnows on the ice Saturday. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Low temperatures, low turnout and an alleged cheating scandal marked the 2013 Park Rapids American Legion Community Fishing Contest.

But organizers said they would persevere, prosecute if necessary and forge ahead because hundreds of happy customers participated in the annual event.

About 1,250 anglers were on the ice, compared to 1,750 last year and in past years.

Chris Carlson of Pequot Lakes won the 2013 Chevy Silverado pickup truck. Larry Stromback of Park Rapids won the Ice Castle fish house for catching the 15th largest fish. The entire list of winners will be posted on the Enterprise website.

This year, 2,974 raffle tickets were sold, which was down. The Legion still didn't lose on the event, but the profits of past years were lower in 2013.

Tournament organizer Jerry Benham said last year, lots of anglers came from North Dakota to fish. This year, he speculated the wickedly cold temps in the days preceding the contest kept their numbers low.

"They'd come with a group of ten," he said. "This year one or two came."

Bus drivers reported that in the past, the Pamida parking lot was full of vehicles with North Dakota plates. This year it wasn't.

But the anglers that braved the single digit temperatures caught a record number of fish, 386 in all that were registered.

Many weren't.

"Are we supposed to register them all?" one angler asked incredulously.


Tayden George is a seasoned Park Rapids angler - at the tender age of 10.

"Ten and-a-half," he corrected.

He made a steady path to the weigh station, registering panfish after panfish.

He only stopped long enough to eye a catch a friend of his was taking to the scales.

"Nice bluegill!" he remarked, walking back to his ice hole.

Another young angler, 9-year-old Bradley Rousu of Park Rapids, was perched - or huddled - in his chair hunkered down over a hole that he kept straining surface ice crystals from.

"It's early," he said hopefully when asked if he'd had a bite.

Dustyn Bellefy of Bagley was spread-eagle on the ice with his face halfway down his fish hole.

When asked if he could see anything down there, he laughed.

"Just my minnow," he said.

Just down the ice Robert Dunham was huddled into a Polar Windbreak chair.

"These work really nice," he said of the chair/tent contraption he was sitting in.

He was hoping for the fishing gods to bring him more luck.

"I've won here twice," he said proudly. "I won $400, then $2,000. I'm due again," he said, explaining the two prior wins were years ago and years apart.

Tom Harmon of Park Rapids was dressed like Nanook of the North as he registered his little fish. His blaze orange mittens made him highly visible. He was fishing with grandson Parker Harmon.

Joe Fink, 13, of Browerville, couldn't keep his icy hands warm no matter how often he blew on them, but he wasn't giving up.

Sharon Bliss of Park Rapids was all smiles as she carried her pail of fish to the weigh station. She, too, was dressed for the weather in a heavy snowsuit.

Benham understands the event is dependent on good weather, so he's hoping for a higher turnout - and temps - in 2014.


2013 Fishing Derby Prizes:

15th largest fish caught prize:

Ice Castle Fish House


Larry Stromback

from Park Rapids

Northern 2.06 lbs.

Ticket Sold By


2013 Fishing Derby Prizes:

Division I: Bluegill & Crappie

_____Darrin Hoverson from Park Rapids .95 Crappie

1. Polaris ATV (American Legion)

_____Justin Barrick from Baxter, Mn .80 Crappie

2. $500 Walmart gift card (American Legion

_____Kent Voelker from Duluth, Mn .69 Crappie

3. $250 Cash (Elsner Well Drilling)

_____Damian Hanke from Park Rapids .63 Sunny

4. $200 Cash (P.R. Ford)

_____Jack Aronson from Northfield, Mn .53 Crappie ( caught at 1:07 p.m.)

5. Vexilar Gens Pack (American Legion)

_____Jesse George from Sebeka, Mn .53 Sunny (caught at 2:47 p.m.)

6. Bushnell Sport 850 (American Legion)

_____John Dottenway from Moorhead, Mn .52 Sunny

7. $200 Cash (Dick Walsh Forest Products)

_____Al Kurth from Park Rapids .50 Sunny

8. Moultrie Game Camera (American Legion)

Tim Pancelet from Akeley, Mn .50 Sunny

9. Bonus Prize Donated by Rapid Spirits Liquor Store Cooler

2013 Fishing Derby Prizes:

Division II: Northern, Walleye, Largemouth Bass

Ben Vennes from Golden Valley, Mn 6.26 Northern

1. Polaris ATV (American Legion)

Chris Torkelson from Park Rapids 3.73 Northern

2. $500 Cash ( Citizen's National Bank)

Jeff Masner from Park Rapids 3.63 Northern

3. $250 Cash (Super 8 Motel)

Adam Bjark from Bemidji, Mn 3.00 Northern

4. Ice Auger (Bernick's)

Michelle Waln from Wadena 2.93 Walleye

5. Covert MP6 (American Legion)

Tyler Swanson from Monticello, Mn 2.70 Northern

6. $300 Cash (P.R. Ford)

Andy Fischer from Brainerd, Mn 2.64 Northern

7. $250 Cash (Bridgman Tax/Rapid Print)

Matt Boese from Morristown 2.56 Northern

8.Rhino Ground Blind (Delaney's Sports Center)

Tony Johnson from Byron, Mn 2.54 Northern

9.Bonus Prize Donated by Rapid Spirits Liquor Store of a 32" Television

2013 Fishing Derby Prizes:

Perch Division

___Tracee Ness from Park Rapids .71 Perch

1.Polaris ATV (American Legion)

Tom Lamb from Park Rapids .70 Perch

2. $500 Cash (Pine Manor)

____Pat Wheeler from Eagan, Mn .65 Perch

3.$250 Cash (Advanced Automotive)

_____Paul Kangas from Osage, Mn .62 Perch

4. Vexilar Gens Pack (American Legion)

____Tyler Eide from Cass Lake, Mn .59 Perch

5. Black Powder Kit (Northern Bait)

_____Ron Pachel from Ponsford, Mn .55 Perch

6. Marcum VS-385 Underwater Camera (American Legion)

_____Allison Offerdahl from Park Rapids .54 Perch

7. Hummin Bird 35 Flasher (American Legion)

______Eric Smith from Park Rapids .46 Perch

8. Bushnell Spotting Scope (American Legion)

Tom Quinn from Park Rapids .42 Perch

9. Bonus Prize donated by Isle O'Dreams Resort weekend for 4 people

2013 Fishing Derby Prizes:

Rock Bass Division (Sponsored by Big North Dist.)

_____Keith Nyggard from Sauk Rapids, Mn 1.21 Rock Bass

1. Polaris ATV (American Legion)

___Kent VanRoekel from Park Rapids 1.19 Rock Bass

2. $400 Cash

___Dough Hanson from Sauk Rapids, Mn 1.13 Rock Bass

3. $250 Cash

___Zach Burns from Hanley Falls, Mn 1.06 Rock Bass

4. $200 Cash

____Richard Schieck from Sanberg, Mn 1.05 Rock Bass

5. $150 Cash

Wayne Hartman from Fort Ripley, Mn 1.05 Rock Bass

6. Bonus Prize donated by the Park Rapids Enterprise - depth finder

2013 Fishing Raffle Prize Winners:

_______Laurie Rainsberry/Elroy Johnson from Lakota, ND 861

1. $1000 Cash ( American Legion) Ticket #

______Kevin Troxel from Laporte, Mn 0553

2. $300 Cash (NEI Bottling) Ticket #

______Daaron Johnson from Baxter, Mn 3072

3. Rustic Furniture Piece (Kujawa-Landquist) Ticket #

______Bernie Hillman from Cohasset, Mn 0412

4. La-Z-Boy Rocker/Recliner (Royal Bar) Ticket #

_____John Kahlstorf from Akeley, Mn 0806

5. $500 Cash (Citizen's National Bank) Ticket #

_____Garsten Burros from Nevis, Mn 1300

6. $250 Gift Certificate (Northland Lumber) Ticket #

_____Laurie Elsner from Menahga, Mn 0228

7. $100 Cash (Itasca Region Insurance) Ticket #

_____Richard Henshum from Park Rapids 1150

8. $100 gift card (Hafner's Greenhouse) Ticket #

____Aaron Gray from Frazee, Mn 2255

9. Grill & $50 Cash (Nick's Conoco & Wilcox Insurance) Ticket #

____Jackie Campbell from Park Rapids 2430

10. $100 Delaney's gift card (State Farm- Andy Kueber) Ticket #

2013 Raffle Prize Winners (Page 2)

___Eric/Jacob Peterson from Granite Falls, Mn 1381

11. $1000 Cash (American Legion) Ticket #

____Al Shamp from Pequot Lakes, Mn 2986

12. $150 L&M gift certificate (Thielen Motors) Ticket #

____Jon Thorp from Fargo, ND 1021

13. $100 gift certificate (Hugo's) Ticket #

____Keith Jordahl from Hoople, ND 0589

14. Garage Door Opener (D.L. Overhead Doors) Ticket #

_____Jackie Carlson from Menahga 3242

15. $100 Cash (Northway Insurance) Ticket #

_____Ben Brichacek from Browerville, Mn 3301

16. $100 gift certificate (Jerry's Cabinetry) Ticket #

_____Jeff Mensink from Granite Falls, Mn 1399

17. Card Table & Chairs & $50 Delaney's gift card(Park Ace Hardware & State Farm - Andy Kueber) Ticket #

_____Marla Timm from Cottonwood, Mn 1729

18. $100 VISA card (TruStar Credit Union) Ticket #

______Joe Frank from West Fargo, ND 2739

19. HumminBird 35 Flasher (American Legion) Ticket #

______Dana Bakke from Grand Forks, ND 2121

20. $100 Cash (The Heat Source & American Legion) Ticket #

_____Joel Turgeon from Milroy, Mn 4740

21. $1000 Cash ( American Legion) Ticket #

2013 Raffle Prize Winners (Page3)

____Dennis Gackstetter from Echo, Mn 1108

22. Golf Package (Headwater's Golf Course) Ticket #

_____Jessica Horgeshimer from Crookston, Mn 0623

23. $150 Park Ace Hardware gift certificate (Thielen Motors) Ticket #

______Wayne Hartman from Fort Ripley 3716

24. 5 yards of Dirt (Cumber's) Ticket #

_____Todd Fostvedt from Granite Falls, Mn 1720

25. $200 Cash ( Northwoods Bank) Ticket #

_____Bill Maves from Park Rapids 0416

26. Golf Package (Blueberry Pines) Ticket #

_____Ervin Dahl from Carlos, Mn 2864

27. Microwave (Harvala Appliances) Ticket #

_____Julie Dahlman from Alvarado, Mn 2278

28. Ice Auger (L & M Fleet) Ticket #

______Randy Bitzau from Evansville, Mn 2454

29. $200 gift certificate(Main Street Meats) Ticket #

______Richard Myers from Park Rapids 2051

30. Complete Car Cleanup (John's Body Shop) Ticket #

______Mike Hauer from New Prague, Mn 2242

31. $1000 Cash (American Legion) Ticket #

______Jim Tronsgard from Park Rapids 0607

32. $100 Gift Cards (Coborn's) Ticket #

2013 Raffle Prize Winners (Page 4)

____Stephanie Heidinger from Elbow Lake, Mn 3094_

33. John Deere pedal tractor (Highway 34 East) Ticket #

_____Dude Trosdahl from Park Rapids 0164

34. 2 nights in the Grand Suite (AmericInn) Ticket #

_____Scott Totushek from Silver Lake, Mn 0962

35. $100 gift card (Hafner's Greenhouse) Ticket #

____Jeff Juge from Park Rapids 1488

36. Eagleview Golf Package & $50 Holiday gift card Ticket #

____Dan McFarren from Corcoran, Mn 0626

37. $150 Northern Bait gift card (State Bank) Ticket #

____Warren Braaten from West Fargo, ND 2220_

38. $150 Gift Certificate (Charlie's Boat & Marine) Ticket #

____Andrew Johnson from Laporte, Mn 2218_

39. $100 Cash (Coldwell Bankers) Ticket #

_____Mark Weckwerth from Montevideo 3863

40. $100 Main Street Meats gift certificate (Thielen Motors) Ticket #

____David Dahring from Park Rapids 3634

41. $1000 Cash (American Legion) Ticket #

____Harley Kaiser from Backus, Mn 2100

42. $150 gift card (Walmart) Ticket #

_____Clayton Tanney from Bemidji, Mn 0521

43. Ice Auger (Bernick's) Ticket #

_____Brian Meyer from Perham, Mn 0657

44. $100 Delaneys gift certificate (Legion Auxiliary) Ticket #

2013 Raffle Prize Winners (Page 5)

______Mike Sorenson from Menahga, Mn 0140

45. $100 gift certificate(Park Rapids Walker Eye Clinic) Ticket #

_____Melissan Vrieze from Osage, Mn 2361

46. $100 Cash (Pat Sullivan State Farm Ins. & ACS) Ticket #

_____Craig Campbell from Nevis, Mn 1293

47. Portable Fish House (American Legion) Ticket #

______Andrew Thomason 1285

48. $200 Cash (NEI Bottling) Ticket #

______Jesse Clack from Park Rapids 3510

49. Marcum VX-1 (American Legion) Ticket #

_____Jean Prater from Park Rapids 0598_

50. $100 Cash (Jones-Pearson Funeral Home) Ticket #

_____Mark Krueger from Hanley Falls, Mn 0534

51. $200 Cash (Lamb-Weston/RDO) Ticket #

_____Katie Miller from Coon Rapids, Mn 1437

52. $50 Cash & $50 Liquor Store gift card (Dick's Auto Wrecking & Dorset Liquors) Ticket #

_____Margaret Netland from Bagley, Mn 3266

53. $100 gift certificate (Lobo's) Ticket #

______Kari Weise from Park Rapids 2052

54. $100 Cash (Coborn's) Ticket #

______Penny Winter from Mahnomen, Mn 2145

55. $100 gift certificate (Jerry's Cabinetry) Ticket #

2013 Raffle Prize Winners (Page 6)

______Darrol Olsen from Granite Falls, Mn 0643

56. Portable Fishhouse (American Legion) Ticket #

_____Larry Claflin from Sebeka, Mn 3846

57. $100 Delaney's gift card (State Farm - Andy Kueber) Ticket #

______Larry Neuman from Hanley Falls, Mn 1114

58. 2 nights - excluding July & August (C'mon Inn) Ticket #

_____Kevin Kreuger from Little Falls, Mn 2897

59. $100 Cash (Cease's Funeral Home) Ticket #

_____Carol Stachowski from Park Rapids 2894

60. $100 Cash (Darkhouse Association) Ticket #

_____Steve Prenevost from Park Rapids 0162

61. $100 Gift Card ( Forest & Floral) Ticket #

_____Ron Soukup from Park Rapids 3835

62. $100 Gift Card combo ( Amish Oak & River Bend) Ticket #

_____Vance Gray from Park Rapids 3866_

63. $5000 Cash (American Legion) Ticket #

Raffle Grand Prize: 2013 Chevy Truck


Chris Carlson from Pequot Lakes, Mn

Ticket # 3074

Sold By: Backus Corner Store

2013 Fishing Derby Tackle Winners:

1. Kevin Tabery 2677

2. Debbie Sondrol 2926

3. Gerald Wilcox 2270

4. Jessie Vaura 0698

5. George Schmidt 1271

6. Brian J Heijerman 2330

7. Shawn Williams 2111

8. Harley Gummert 3837

9. Marvin Makela 0091

10. Arvid Risa 4119

11. Darrel Nesin 2141

12. Gary Mills 0475

13. Robert Vetter 3135

14. Alan Jechort 2995

15. Avic Haug 2551

16. Scott Maves 0780

17. Jenny Rittgers 2359

18. Kevin Hanson 0530

19. Donald Pachel 3613

20. Kevin Lindahl 1257

21. Clint Perrington 0357

22. Mary Safratowich 2149

23. Steve Bebus 1143

24. Kurt Peters 1354

25. Jenea Frederickson 1295

26. Jordis Jodoru 0279

27. Tomy Hegland 2881

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364