A cool day on the lake

More than 50 compete at Lake Shetek fishing tournament

Photo by Sabrina Pankratz Fishermen on an Alumacraft boat casti their lines into the water during the annual Lake Shetek Walleye fishing tournament Saturday. More than 50 took part in the competition.

SLAYTON — Wade Kissner and his fishing partner Tyler Stimmler were a little confused about the rules for competing in the 28th annual Lake Shetek Walleye Fishing Tournament Saturday. But it ended well for the Twin Cities fishermen.

“We called our buddy, and he said the fish had to come in alive,” Kissner said. “The last fish we had caught, the biggest one, was dying in the live well. So, we were like better just haul a** in and that was two hours before fishing closed.”

Kissner and Stimmler placed first in the tournament.

“We started at shotgun start. We ended up finding the big ones at the end here,” Stimmler said.

A total of 54 competitors battled cool and rainy weather.

“We weighed in our four fish, two 23 (inchers) and two 19 (inchers) and we threw back probably 10 14-15 inchers,” said Todd Clark of Marshall, who was the second-place winner.

Eric Peterson reported a big haul of smaller walleye.

“We ended up catching 40 probably, but a lot of them were 13-14 inches. The weight was just short of 10.”

Jamie Thomazin, vice chairman of the Shetek Area Sportsmen’s Association, said the tournament has evolved over the years into a “sportsmen type group.”

“The tournament started off 28 years ago, mostly they were doing it for the clean water partnership,” he said. The Shetek Area Sportsmen’s Association does improvements to Lake Shetek, which recently included fixes to the boat landing and cleaning station on the lake, according to Thomazin.

He said donations and events like the walleye tournament fund upgrades on the lake.

“We also did some work on Lake Sarah on their buildings,” Thomazin said. “It’s not just Lake Shetek, it’s the area.”

Over the last couple years, the Shetek Area Sportsmen’s Association has given away more than 500 rods to youths under 12 years old.

“Today, we’ll give away to any little kids here, they’ll get a new fishing rod,” Thomazin said.

The weighing station and awards were announced by Thomazin at the Key Largo Restaurant. Names were drawn for the sponsor-donated door prizes and raffle items.

For suggestions to improvements around the lake, you can contact the Shetek Area Sportsmen’s Association at the Lake Shetek Walleye Tournament website or the Shetek Area Sportsmen’s Association website.