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Lake Ida producing again for area bass tourneys

The fishing tournament season is going in full force around Minnesota, and lakes in Douglas County have seen anglers hit the water over the last month.

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Farwell's Matt Klemm (left) and Alexandria's Trevor Trousil hold up four of the smallmouth bass they caught on Lake Ida in early June that helped them set a new record weight on the Reel Team Bass Series with an eight-fish limit of 30.02 pounds. (Submitted photo)
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The fishing tournament season is going in full force around Minnesota, and lakes in Douglas County have seen anglers hit the water over the last month.
Here is a look at how the fishing was on a couple of those local tournaments.

Reel Team Bass

The Reel Team Bass circuit, which consists of many local anglers, kicked off its tournament season on June 2 when 27 two-person teams competed on Lake Ida.

Alexandria's Trevor Trousil and Farwell's Matt Klemm got the win on Ida as they brought in an eight-fish limit weighing 30.02 pounds. That was almost four pounds more than second-place finishers Jon Englund and Kyle Wicklund (26.04 pounds).

"We found them during prefishing and basically went back and were able to catch them," Trousil said.

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Trousil and Klemm's big fish was a 4.37-pound smallmouth. Their whole bag was smallmouths as they caught three fish over four pounds with a small fish of about three and a half pounds.

Ida produced plenty of bass as 27 teams brought in the eight-fish limit. Fourteen of those weighed in at more than 20 pounds.

Dave and Jen Mays finished third with a 25.41 bag. Clarence Rasmussen and Pat Daniels were fourth at 25.23 and Shawn Olson and Terry Cosgrove finished fifth with a limit of 25 pounds. The team of Cody Rupert and Dustin Ziesemer were sixth (24.92) and caught the biggest fish of the day weighing in at 4.65 pounds.

Last year's Reel Team Bass tournament on Ida produced a record-weight catch for the circuit of 29.78 pounds by Alexandria's Jeremy Fuller and Bucky Scholl on Aug. 5. Trousil and Klemm's catch in early June set the new record on a lake in Ida that Trousil said is fishing as good for bass as it has in the circuit's nearly 20 years of existence.

"It's pretty crazy out there right now," Trousil said. "It's getting better, and it would not surprise me to see that record broken again next year."

The Reel Team Bass circuit has three tournaments this summer. The next one is July 14 on Lake Le Homme Dieu before the final one on Minnewaska on Aug. 11.

Amateur Bass Series

Another tournament on Lake Ida on June 23 brought in 29 two-person teams for an Amateur Bass Tournament Series event.

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The series got going on June 9 on the Clearwater Chain of Lakes in Annandale. That produced a first-place weight of 16.55 pounds with a five-fish limit, while Saturday's tournament on Ida saw Eric Tessmer and Kevin Carver win with a 15.71 total weight.

Tessmer and Carver brought in a top fish of 3.63 pounds. The big fish for the whole tournament was 3.83 pounds, caught by Brian Neal and Paul Shimek.

The Amateur Bass Series will be back in the Alexandria area on July 28 with a tournament on Lake Le Homme Dieu.

Fishing for our Heroes coming in August

The Fishing for our Heroes Walleye and Bass Tournament will be back in Alexandria again this year when it comes to town on Aug. 26 on the Alexandria Chain of Lakes.

The tournament is hosted through the Daniel Drevnick Memorial Fund. Drevnick is a Woodbury native who joined the Army National Guard in 2005. He was deployed in Iraq on March 2, 2009 when a hostile rocket was launched into his compound. Drevnick and two other American soldiers were killed in the attack.

Drevnick wanted to be a Minnesota State Trooper. The mission of the Daniel Drevnick Memorial Fund, a 501c3 non-profit, is to raise money that is put back into scholarships for military veterans who are going to school to become police officers.

The tournament in Alexandria will feature a fun day of fishing with military veterans on Aug. 25 before the fishing tournament for paid anglers on Aug. 26. The tournament is open to 100 two-person teams at $125 per angler.

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Last year's bass tournament on the Alexandria Chain saw local anglers Shad Schmidt and Bill Infanger finish first with a six-fish limit weighing in at 20.33 pounds. The winning walleye team brought in 17.12 pounds of fish.

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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