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2011 Anglers of the Year announced

Dean Christofferson and Jon Gravdahl have earned the distinction of Park Rapids Area Anglers of the Year for the second consecutive year. (Submitted photo)

Nobody would dispute that the Park Rapids area has one of the greatest concentrations of quality fishing lakes in the state.

What often goes unnoticed is that the Park Rapids area also has a concentration of talented anglers as well.

Though not all successful anglers participate in tournaments, the ones that do enjoy the idea of outsmarting more and bigger fish than the rest of the competitors.

Several fishing clubs as well as four multi-species events keep competitive anglers busy throughout the summer.

Winning one of those tournaments won't make you rich, but the accomplishment is honorable, since the competition is so skilled.

Yet the Park Rapids Enterprise decided that honoring the angler or team of anglers that consistently placed ahead of the majority in all four multi-species was even more prestigious so we created the Park Rapid's Area Angler(s) of the Year award.

The formula is simple. A first-place finish earns as many points as the boats that entered the tournament. For example, if a tournament has 45 boats, first place receives 45 points, second gets 44, third earns 43, etc.

The honor of earning the Park Rapids Area Angler of the Year doesn't include any monetary compensation, trophy or prize other than a hand shake and verbal "congratulations."

The 2011 Anglers of the Year goes to the duo of Dean Christofferson and Jon Gravdahl. Dean and Jon were also Anglers of the Year in 2010.

To solidify their accomplishment, the two started the tournament season by taking first place on Straight Lake for the Walt Winskowski Memorial Tournament. Their catch included six bass, three northerns and two walleyes.

The following week, the two took 14th place in the Gene Cirks Memorial Scholarship Tournament on Lake Belle Taine.

In September, Dean and Jon won the Long Lake Fall Classic (for the second year in a row) with a spectacular bag of fish that included six bass, three northerns and one walleye. Their largest bass was 4.53 pounds and their only walleye weighed 9.66 pounds. This was the largest walleye ever entered in an area tournament. Both their bass and walleye were the biggest in their respective categories that day.

Dean and Jon earned 4th place in the Fish Hook Fall Slam with 31.03 pounds, exactly five pounds out of first place.

Congratulations to Dean Christofferson* and Jon Gravdahl on their success this year. Fishing alongside these two on the water is always a treat because even if they're not landing a fish at the moment, they've always got a smile and a laugh to share. They are two true sportsmen who are genuine both on and off the water.

The four multi-species events are already beginning their planning for next year. Many anglers both from the area and out of town come to participate. However, earning the Park Rapids Area Angler(s) of the Year title requires participation in all four events.

*Dean also won the Park Rapids Bass Club's Tournament of Champions this year with teammate and longtime friend Dick Peterson.