Putnam second in Silverado Pro-AmEmotions ran high for the defending champion after the loss of his grandmother.
By: By Eric Morken, Sports Reporter, Alexandria Echo Press
Cory Putnam has had a lot of success fishing Lake Minnewaska over the years, but last weekend’s second-place finish in the Silverado Pro-Am Bass Tour took on a little added meaning for the Brandon native.
Putnam was fishing with a heavy heart on the Minnewaska tour stop for the second consecutive year. He finished first last year, while fishing for close family friends Carl and Nancy Langner, whose daughter was in intensive care after a four-wheeler accident. This year he had to go through much of the same feelings after his grandmother, Joan Putnam, died the Tuesday prior to the tournament.
“Leading into this tournament, I didn’t have the confidence like I did last year,” he said. “So the night before, I prayed for about an hour. I can tell you it wasn’t about me but other people and my own faith, which turned into my confidence on the water.”
Putnam and his amateur partner, Loren Berg, went out and finished second by weighing four smallmouth and two largemouth bass for a total weight of 16.56 pounds. His day featured some anxiety as he burned through three batteries on his electric trolling motor fighting through the windy conditions. He also had to bring in a smallmouth hand-over-hand after a tangle in his line kept him from reeling.
Tour pro Steve Lee and amateur partner Aaron Wilson won the tournament by weighing in six fish at 21.34 pounds. That impressive weight kept Putnam from repeating on the Minnewaska tour stop, but it did not keep him from being thrilled at the end of the day.
“This was a success for me, but mostly my family and the Langner family,” he said. “For me to go and fish tournaments, there is sacrifice at home when I’m away long periods of time. Even though I did not take first place, it was a bigger win than last year because I realized that it’s not about me, but other people.
“Life is not measured by the money you make, but the wealth that you can give others. In the times we are in, I think we need to look at ourselves more and see where we can help other people.”
Putnam, sponsored locally by Bug-A-Boo Bay, Traut Wells and Schwieter’s Chevrolet, did help himself out a little bit. The second-place finish was good for a $4,000 payday. It also helped him move into fifth place in the point standings after three tour stops.
He is not the only local angler fishing on the Silverado Pro-Am Tour. Osakis’ John Wicht Jr. finished fourth on the Minnewaska tour stop with a six fish, 15.66-pound limit. Terry Crosgrove of Carlos finished 12th at 13.70 pounds. He currently sits at 35th in the point standings with a total weight of 31.02 pounds.
Alexandria’s Clarence Rasmussen is behind Putnam in 17th place with a total weight of 41.51 pounds. Wicht currently stands in 22nd place with his 18 fish weighing in at 39.86 pounds.
A trio of other Alexandria anglers is also fishing the tour. Josh Wilcox is 29th overall at 38.28 pounds, Keith Beilke is 37th at 36.71 pounds and Wayne Ek rounds out the local anglers in 38th place with a total of 17 fish weighing in at 32.44 pounds.
The next stop for all these anglers will come on September 11 on Lake Minnetonka at Lord Fletcher’s in Spring Park. That stop will be the final one before anglers compete at the Tournament of Champions on September 19. A location for that tournament has yet to be determined.