Luedke and Blumberg win Cirks
By Jason Durham / For the Enterprise)
The 27th annual Gene Cirks Memorial Scholarship Fishing Tournament on Lake Belle Taine entertained 41 teams of multi-species anglers last Saturday, June 8.
The teams have a great time, since the fishery is diverse, the camaraderie is strong and the volunteer effort is exemplary.
The event has seen numerous changes and modifications over the years. The tournament committee annually evaluates rules and prizes to ensure the anglers have a fun experience while simultaneously exhibiting conservationism.
For the first time in the events’ history, smallmouth bass were deemed off-limits. This was done to protect the species while they were spawning.
At the end of the day, the team with the greatest combined weight of northern pike, largemouth bass and walleye was Dave Luedke and Keith Blumberg with a whopping 44.20 lbs. The duo has regularly finished in the top few spots during this event but had never won it before. Luedke and Blumberg entered 6 walleye, 3 northern pike and 6 largemouth bass to earn their weight total. They also caught the largest walleye at 7.58 lbs.
Tom and Kiley Weaver finished in second place with a total of 38.27 lbs. The husband and wife team caught their limit of 6 walleyes before 9 a.m.
Third place went to the husband and wife team of Karie and Kevin Lindow. The past champions entered 31.20 lbs. of fish that included 6 walleyes, 3 northern pike and 4 bass.
Kelly Condiff and Dennis Daily of Park Rapids finished in fourth place with 30.92 lbs. They also caught the largest northern of the event at 4.54 lbs., which happened to be a silver pike.
Mike Lien and Will Wicks took 5th place with 30.01 lbs.
Guy Barr and Suzie Barr earned 6th place with 26.70 lbs. The pair was the only team to finish in the top ten places that did not catch a walleye. Guy also caught the largest bass of the event, which weighed 4.30 lbs.
Jeremy and Kayla Anderson of Nevis entered 26.52 lbs. of fish for 7th place. Jeremy won the Gene Cirks Memorial Scholarship Fishing Tournament the past two years. Kayla won it with him in 2011.
Eighth place went to Kirby Durgin and Luke Pidde with 25.34.
Dick Magaard and Paul Dierkhising had 24.78 lbs. and ended in ninth place.
The tenth place team, with a total of 22.88 lbs. was Gary and Eric Wolff.
The eleventh place team finishing just out of the money was Ray Scully and Jim Gleason with 22.29 lbs.
The field of 41 boats brought a total of 296 fish to the scale. There were 66 walleye entered (159.07 lbs.), 86 northern pike (193.44 lbs.) and 144 largemouth bass (265.61 lbs.) for a grand total of 618.12 lbs. of Lake Belle Taine gamefish. All fish were released and only two fish died during the tournament.
The Gene Cirks Memorial Scholarship Fishing Tournament is also looking for input and comments regarding potential changes for the future. Anyone willing to offer their insight can email Jason Durham at go_fish_guides@hotmail. com.