LAKE VERMILION — Twin Cities anglers Brian Fitzpatrick and Jeff Fitzpatrick fished their very first City Auto Glass Walleye Classic on Saturday, May 19.
The pair, Brian from Eagan and Jeff from St. Louis Park, set several tournament records on their way to winning the 13th annual classic,held on a rainy and blustery day on Lake Vermilion out of Fortune Bay Resort Casino.
The Fitzpatrick’s set a tourney record with a total catch of five walleyes weighing in at 21.13 pounds, breaking last year’s record-setting total by almost six pounds. And for the first time in the tournament’s 13-year history, the pair brought in two fish measuring more than 26 inches, the largest being a 7.21 pounder. The new champs took home first-place trophies, plus $15,000 in grand prize money.
Both the second and third place teams also broke last year’s total weight record. Mitch and Chuck Harmston of Menonie, Wis., finished in second place with a six-walleye catch totaling 18.52 pounds.
Finishing third was the team of Peter Ferry of Tower and James Johnson of Shakopee, with 16.30 pounds of walleyes, including the tournament’s biggest single fish, a 10.28-pound lunker.
Fourth place went to Ryan Aker from Tower and John Jesme of Britt. Their total catch weighed 13.82 pounds. Finishing fifth were Tim Lescarbeau of Chisholm and Todd Lescarbeau of Hopkins with 12.65 pounds of walleyes weighed.
The tournament record field of 125 boats brought in 499 total walleyes, including eight larger than 26 inches. All fish were returned to Lake Vermilion as part of this annual catch-and-release event.
Proceeds form this non-profit event produced by The CAG Foundation benefit area youth through merit-based college scholarships, while also going to support area youth athletic programs. Volunteer help was provided by the Hibbing Kiwanis Club, the Eveleth-Gilbert baseball program, and countless friends and family, without which the tournament could not be conducted each year. A big thank you goes out to all.
The tournament also thanks its many sponsors, including title sponsor City Auto Glass, presenting sponsor American Family Insurance, and platinum partners First National Bank of Gilbert and Range Regional Airport.
For complete information and a full listing of results from this year’s event, visit www.cityautoglasswalleyeclassic.com.
Next year’s tournament will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2019.