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‘Big fight’ on Lake Shetek brings in largest walleye

Chris Rothmeier, Ryan Breisch capture first place at tournament

Photos by Mike Lamb Ryan Breisch and Chris Rothmeier show off their winning walleye after taking first place at the Lake Shetek Walleye tournament on Saturday.

LAKE SHETEK — Chris Rothmeier and Ryan Breisch finally found their luck on Lake Shetek during the annual Shetek Area Sportsmen’s Association Walleye Tournament.

“We fished it for years,” Rothmeier said. “We got hypothermia, we’ve got wet — drenched a lot — but we never placed. Never put anything together.”

On Saturday, Rothmeier and Breisch put it all together to take first place and collect a $1,500 check. The walleye they turned in weighed 16.31 pounds, edging out the team of Carmen Christensen and Kim Christensen with 15.8 pounds. They collected $800 and $75 for the biggest walleye.

“It was a big fight,” Kim Christensen said of landing the 10.15 pounder.

“Very heavy fish. There’s not much bigger fish than that in this lake so I released it. So it’s back out there. It released good,” he said.

Chris Rothmeier landed one of his fish at 8.04 pounds and 28 inches long.

“It was slow at the very beginning,” he said. “Then it would be good for two hours. It seemed like the fishing got better when the wind picked up just a little bit.”

Shetek Area Sportsmen’s Association President Steve Illg said 86 teams were registered for the tournament that was originally scheduled for May 16. It was moved to June 20 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Usually, this time of the year, the fish aren’t biting as well on this lake,” Illg said. “That is why we moved it up to May (in previous years). We had it June and the fish kind of slowed down — no fish were biting. We started losing teams. So we put it in May and there were more fish biting and teams started coming back.”

Illg is pleased with the turnout.

“Luckily, the fish were biting still at this time of the year. So it brought everybody in,” he said.

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