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Youth crappie tournament is tomorrow

Alexis Holt of Walker proudly holds a nice Leech Lake crappie from last year's MarineMax Youth Crappie Contest. This year's event will take place tomorrow, Sunday, May 2. (Jason Durham / For the Enterprise)

The annual MarineMax Youth Crappie Tournament invites kids 13 and under to join them tomorrow, May 2 at the MarineMax marina in Walker.

This event is free for all participants, with pop and hotdogs served throughout the day. There are prizes in separate age categories for the largest fish, but you don't have to catch a lunker to go home with some great gear. A mountain of door prizes await even the youngsters who watched the big one get away.

Minnow races and an annual visit from Smokey Bear keep kids entertained between nibbles.

Participants are required to bring a fishing pole and life jacket (youth anglers must wear a personal floatation device during the event) and children 10-years and under must be accompanied by an adult while fishing.

It's also a good idea to bring a 5-gallon pail along, so the fish can be transported to the scale in water. The event is catch and release, so protecting those panfish is important.

Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Community Education organizes the Youth Crappie Tournament while numerous local businesses donate prizes, food and money to ensure that all anglers have fun fishing on Leech Lake.

To get to the contest sight, take Highway 34 into Walker and turn left at the stoplight. Look for the banner on your right and follow the signs to the contest area.

The kids are sure to have a blast on the marina docks tomorrow, yet it won't be long until the adult tournament season kicks off in our area.

Weekly fishing leagues have become quite popular, specifically the bass leagues, but one series of team events you may not have heard of is the Park Rapids Area Walleye League. With eleven events scheduled on the best walleye waters in our area, the participants are sure to have success.

This is the second year the group has organized events and interested anglers are invited to join.

The team fee to participate is $150, which covers your entry fee for all eleven events. Anglers fish as a two person team and each team is allowed two substitutes to circumvent scheduling conflicts.

Teams may bring five walleye to the official scale and earn points based upon their finish. The team with the greatest number of points after the final night of competition earns 40% of the overall pot. Second through fifth place earn 25 percent, 15 percent, 10 percent, and 10 percent respectively. Payback is 100 percent.

A big fish pot takes place at each event, where each team pays $10 and the angler who catches the biggest fish of the evening takes home the entire amount.

All events are catch and release.

The season's schedule includes Fish Hook (May 20), Big Sand (May 27), Potato (June 3), Boulder (June 10), Lake George (June 17), Belle Taine (June 24), Island (July 8), Itasca (July 29), Two Inlets (August 12), Long (August 19) and Eagle (September 9).

For more information and to sign up for the walleye league, contact Bryan Hanson at 237-4199.