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Father-son duo captures Shetek walleye fishing title

Photo by Jake Przytarski Chris Diekmann of the Shetek Area Sportsmen Association is handed a fish to be weighed during Saturday’s Walleye Fishing Tournament on Lake Shetek.

LAKE SHETEK — Over 100 teams of eager anglers braved the heat and took to the waters of Lake Shetek at the crack of dawn Saturday to compete in the annual Shetek Area Sportsmen Association Walleye Fishing Tournament.

With a grand prize of $1,500 on the line, the teams comprised of two anglers each returned to shore at Pelican Cove at 3 p.m. where they had their bags of fish weighed by members of the Shetek Area Sportsmen Association. After a brief pause to calculate the results, Shetek Area Sportsmen Association President Steve Illg announced the grand-prize winners were Rick and Derick Ourada of Walnut Grove. The father-son duo edged out the competition in the largest walleye category (9.5 pounds) and total weight (14.32 pounds).

After leaving tournament empty-handed last year, the Ouradas were excited to take home the grand prize.

“We did (the tournament) last year, and we didn’t do worth a hoot,” said Derick Ourada. “We didn’t even weigh fish at last year’s so it’s nice to win it this year.”

The Ouradas are no stranger to Lake Shetek as the two have been fishing there for over 25 years. The two began the day trying their luck with live bait before switching things up later on in the afternoon by “pulling raps.” After a few fumbles, the team was able to land the winning fish.

“(We were able to land it) in the net, thank God,” said Derick Ourada. “A lot of them fell off at the side of the boat and (we) missed a lot.”

Overall, the 110 teams combined to haul in 240 walleyes for a total of 523 pounds. Illg said the event was a huge success this year in spite of some early challenges with registration.

“We were a little overwhelmed there in the morning. We only had 21 teams pre-registered, so we had to register the rest of them as they came in, so we got a little overwhelmed on that deal,” said Illg. “But I think everything went OK, everybody was patient with us. Nobody got upset, it all went well.”

Illg went on to thank Kevin Carlson of Key Largo on Lake Shetek for allowing the Shetek Area Sportsmen Association to park all of their tournament equipment on their property.

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