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Father-son teams dominate ALS fishing tournament

26th annual event raised $200,000 to battle ALS

ALS fishing contest 2016
A flight of anglers wait to head out fishing during the 2016 ALS fishing tournament on Island Lake north of Duluth. The 26th annual fundraising event, held June 5, raised $200,000 to battle ALS. (Clint Austin / News Tribune File)
Clint Austin / file photo / Duluth News Tribune

Father-and-son fishing teams took first place in both the bass and walleye divisions of last weekend’s 26th annual Kolar Toyota ALS Fishing Tournament held on Island Lake near Duluth as well as virtually across the country.

Brian Johnson and his son, Ian, of Superior, took first place in the walleye category on Island Lake with a total length of 92 inches.

Hayden Anderson and his father, Kraig, of Poplar, measured a total of 92.25 inches of bass for the day.

Dustin Carlson and Phil Rust tied in the day’s longest walleye at 24.25 inches to win the tournament’s Big Walleye Bonanza. Erik Cooper of Duluth snagged the longest bass of the day at 19.50 inches.

Some 83 teams were entered in the event at Island Lake, along with more anglers entered virtually, all using the FishDonkey system of catch, measure, photo and release.

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Treven Ouellet of Ontario, California, had the longest bass of the day at 20.5 inches. William Purdy of Hibbing and the longest northern at 32 inches. Scott Monson of Perham, Minnesota, caught the longest crappie at 11.5 inches. Cody Lubeley, of Lakeville, Minnesota, measured a 26.75-inch walleye to take top honors in the virtual category.

The tournament raised $200,000 for research and to provide assistance for victims of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, an always fatal neurological disease.

The tournament is hosted by former UMD hockey star Jim Johnson, two-time Minnesota Twins world champion Kent Hrbek and three-time All-Star catcher (and 1988 All-Star Game MVP) Terry Steinbach. All three men are anglers in the tournament as well and help with the awards ceremony and live auction.

Over 26 years the event has raised nearly $3.8 million to fight ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Kolar Toyota became title sponsor of the event in 2007.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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