Anglers Fish for a Cure

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“We decided pretty early on after the first hour or two that we were gonna go for bass,” said Gary Hage.

They started hitting Island Lake at 7 a.m.

“Juts gigging you know,” said Serena Sherrett.

In two person teams, 166 anglers casted a line.

“I like to cast, I like to cast spinner baits mainly,” said Hage.

The fished for walleye, bass and a cure.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” said Sherrett. “I mean you get everything you love about Minnesota and living here and you get to support a great cause that does wonderful things with people with a horrible disease.”

This marks the 20th year for the Kolar Toyota ALS Walleye Tournament.

“Over the 19 previous years combined total has been over $2.3 million dollars just from this tournament alone,” ALS Tournament director Blake Kolquist said.

This year they’re hoping to raise $200,000 to help pay for anything from medical equipment to lifestyle changes for the estimated 30,000 people battling the disease that attacks the central nervous system.

“Ultimately helping the families and the patients adapt as well as funding research efforts and generating awareness as well,” said Kolquist.

On the breezy and sunny day catching walleye and bass was a waiting game for the fishermen.

“Not a lot of fish,” said Sherrett. “A lot of little ones here and there, it was a little bit tough.”

“I didn’t see a walleye caught and we didn’t catch one,” said Hage.

The lake level is five feet lower this year.

For some it was an advantage.

“As far as fishing goes I like shallow water,” said Hage.

For others it presented a problem.

“The fish were kind of moved out a little,” said Sherett. “It’s a little tougher to get to your usual spots. “You gotta go slower and watch for things that you’re not used to being there.”

After they fished for seven hours anglers head off the lake.

On shore whatever they caught is weighed and the team with the largest fish will be declared the winner.

But for many it’s not about the prize.

“When it’s for the ALS cause it’s just a wonderful event,” said Hage. “I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”

“Next we go home and change and take a nap,” said Sherett.

The duo of Bryan Kershaw and Jeff Romosz bested a field of 166 teams to capture the title at the 20th Annual Kolar Toyota ALS Walleye Tournament.  

Kershaw of Duluth and Romosz of Saginaw, MN, boat six fish weighing a total of 10.73 pounds to win their first ever Kolar tournament crown.

Kershaw and Romosz also caught the day’s biggest walleye, tipping the scales at 4.79 pounds to win the tournament’s Big Walleye Bonanza.

In the Bass Challenge, Duluth’s Shark Kishida and Roger Olson of Superior had the largest basket of bass for the second consecutive year, with 14.73 pounds of bass. 

The pair of Brandon Kolquist and Jeremy Olsen, both of Duluth landed the day’s largest bass at 3.65 pounds. 

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