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Fish contest offers up to $8,000 prize for anglers on Lake Osakis

The Osakis Lions Club will host its 33rd annual Walleye fishing tournament on Lake Osakis Father's Day weekend, June 15 and 16.

Registration for the tourney requires two-person teams, a $350 entry fee per team and entry forms must be received by the Lions by midnight on June 14. The tournament entry fee includes the Friday night banquet and must be submitted with the entry form. There are still openings available and anyone is welcome to register.

Entry forms are available at various bait shops in the Osakis and Alexandria areas, or for more information, contact Mike Thesing at (320) 859-4781.

"It's a fun event," said Thesing, Osakis Lions Club member. "Last year, we brought in a lot of quality fish. This year, with the late spring, I expect it to even out by tournament time and I think the teams will catch some good fish again this year."

The first place team will win $8,000 based on 100 teams entering. The top 15 places will receive payout of cash prizes with trophy plaques awarded to the top three teams. The angler who catches the largest walleye each day will receive up to a $1,000 cash prize (based on 100 teams participating) and a $50 gift certificate toward taxidermy services.

On Friday, June 14, a mandatory rules meeting and banquet will be held at the Osakis VFW at 6:30 p.m. Then, on Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June, 16, fishing starts at 7 a.m. and the weigh-ins will be held at 3 p.m. at the downtown Osakis boat access. The community is welcome to attend the weigh-in events.

"This is one of our major money makers for the year," Thesing said. "The tournament also brings in money for the community at hotels, restaurants and bait shops in the area."

Last year's tournament brought in 38 teams and 382 walleye weighing in at 935 pounds total. Most of the fish caught at the tournament are released back into Lake Osakis. Fish that don't survive are filleted and donated to Galeon for a fish fry for the residents.

In 2012, Barry Mielke of Osakis and Jeff Trende of Corcoran took home the top prize. They teamed up to bring in a total weight of 31.45 pounds of fish. That gave them the top payout of $4,400.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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