Devils Lake anglers win 38th annual Chamber walleye tourney

The team of Jeff Trana and Rick Darling took first place in the 38th annual Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce walleye tournament, held this past weekend on Devils Lake.

The Devils Lake anglers weighed in their five-fish walleye limit each day for a two-day total of 45.84 pounds.

Rounding out the top five teams were:

Second: Chad Harberstroh, Sarles, N.D., and Mike Anderson, Devils Lake, 10 fish, 44.87 pounds.

Third: Bryan Morlock, Sykeston, N.D., and Ken Omlie, Lankin, N.D., 10 fish, 40.95 pounds.

Fourth: Kyle Klifton, Minnewaukan, N.D., and Brad Johnson, Bismarck, 10 fish, 40.64 pounds.

Fifth: Forrest Balvitsch, Grand Forks and Jeremy Sandvik, Devils Lake, 10 fish, 40.35 pounds.

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GF Builders and Traders take annual Obabikon fishing trip

Members of the Grand Forks Builders and Traders Exchange recently took their 65th spring fishing trip. As they have for the past several years, the Builders and Traders stayed at Amason’s Obabikon, an island fishing camp on the Ontario side of Lake of the Woods near Morson, Ont.

According to Pat Heffernan of Grand Forks, one of the trip’s organizers, the weather was great, but the fishing was not as good as some years.

Heffernan said 38 people attended this year’s trip, which included the seventh annual George Gardner fishing tournament, an informal competition among the Builders and Traders group participants.

Gardner was a longtime organizer of the annual fishing trip who died in February 2008 at the age of 94. He made the trip every year, including the spring before he died, and I had the privilege of being in the boat with him on a beautiful early June afternoon in 2007, when he caught the last walleye of his life in Miles Bay.

The fish, which he caught on a 40-year-old Zebco 33 reel, measured 22½ inches.

“I’m through,” George said after he caught the fish, setting down his rod with a satisfied look on his face. “I did alright today.”

This year, Heffernan said, organizers only offered prize money for the top walleyes and northern pike and not other species such as crappies, perch and smallmouth bass. Anglers also caught several smallmouth bass, he said, including some in the 18-inch class.

Winners in the two categories — all from Grand Forks — were as follows:

Steve Eickman, 26½ inches.
Steve Mack, 26½ inches.
Mike Peterson, 25 inches.
Pat Heffernan, 24½ inches.
Kevin Westburg, 24 inches.
Mike Compton, 24 inches.

Northern pike
Brett Erickson  40½ inches.
Jim Kasprick  30¼ inches.

Take Me Fishing lists ‘Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots’

North Dakota didn’t have any destinations on the list, but four Minnesota state parks were among the “Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots” list from the Take Me Fishing organization.

To qualify for the list, Take Me Fishing said the places had to be within an hour’s drive of a  major city or town, have a body of water known for having plenty of common fish species, be part of a park that offers family friendly amenities and offer plenty of places to cast a line such as fishing piers and boat ramps.

The four Minnesota destinations were Itasca State Park near Park Rapids, No. 48; William O’Brien State Park, Marine on St. Croix, No. 96; Fort Snelling State Park, West St. Paul, No. 98; and Father Hennepin State Park, Isle, No. 99.

Topping the list was Lake Berryessa, Pleasure Cove Resort and Marina, Napa Valley, Calif.

To see the full list of top 100 destinations, click here.