DOCK TALK: Summer's full of tournaments, leagues for anglers
As open water approaches, anglers are beginning to etch dates into their calendars for competitive fishing events to be held over the next several months.
These tournaments, open to both past and first-time participants, fall into two categories; multi-species events and league events.
The four local multi-species events permit teams of two anglers per boat to enter walleye, northern pike and bass.
The first of the multi-species tournaments, The Walt Winskowski Memorial Fishing Tournament, will be held Saturday, June 4 on Straight Lake in Osage.
Historically, the 45-team field fills quickly and since boat take-off position is determined by the date entries are received, it's important to get your entry form in the mail quickly. More information and entry forms can be obtained by contacting Jerry Gordon at (218) 573-2414.
The second multi-species tournament stop is on Lake Belle Taine for the Gene Cirks Memorial Scholarship Tournament on June 11.
The annual event has a few changes, including a two day cut-off for pre-fishing (it ends at midnight on Wednesday, June 8), a new award (the Uff Da! Days Ole & Lena Award given to the top placing male/female team) and a historic trophy.
The trophy memorializes the past champions and biggest fish from each year.
The Gene Cirks Memorial Scholarship Tournament allows a 50-boat field which typically fills, so entries should be expedited to ensure a reserved spot. Entry forms and information is available from Kelley Cirks at (218) 556-5843.
After the two early season multi-species events, a lull takes place for a few months until the Fall Classic (September 10, on Long Lake) and the Fall Slam (September 24, on Fish Hook Lake). Both lakes are outstanding fisheries and take place during a superb time; fall! Call Jeff Renner at (218) 732-3654 for more information on these two events.
To fill the competitive void between June and September, three local leagues keep tournament anglers busy, all of which invite new members.
In it's third year of operation, the Fish-On! Walleye League will be holding an open meeting on Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m. at Bogeys for anglers interested in participating in any one or all of their tournaments, which run from May to September.
Organizer Bryan Hanson can be reached at 218-237-4199 for details.
The Northwood's Bass League meets on Thursday nights for several events throughout the summer. The club's focus is socialization, camaraderie and of course, bass fishing. Mike Johnson has additional information at (218) 252-0798.
The Park Rapids Bass Club invites new members and holds their events on Tuesday nights, visiting Eagle/Island Lakes (June 7), Fish Hook (June 14), Belle Taine (June 28), Mantrap (July 5), 8th, 9th, and 10th Crow Wing (July 12) Long Lake (July 26), Straight Lake (August 9) and Potato (August 16).
The one-day Park Rapids Bass Club Classic, which is open to anyone, will be held on Fish Hook Lake on July 9. Call Kenny Barr at (218) 366-1154 for details on all Park Rapids Bass Club events.