The Denny's Outdoor Sports Fishing
Derby is something everyone looks forward to. The following
is an article written by The Roseau Times Region's writer
Jeff Olsen, discussing the 7th Annual Derby of 2009.
The Champs - (front) Mike Burkel, Danny Spindler and Bob Dunn (back) Roger Fuller, Rachel Kieson, Monica Burkel, Justin Kjos and Mike Vacura (missing) Darryl Norstebon Ullman
With the winners at the 7th annual Roseau River fishing derby
by Jeff Olsen
Last Saturday, it was impossible to
miss the enthusiasm in the faces of the potential winners
inside the outdoor tent at the American Legion in Roseau.
They scanned the leader board and sized up their catches
before officially being weighed in.
Around 2:45 on
Saturday afternoon, here came Mike and Monica
Burkel carrying a couple of northerns that looked very
respectable as money fish, which this derby is all about.
Monica had landed her 9.13 pound northern almost right away
on Saturday morning.
I caught it on a Shadrap, she said.
Ms. Burkel appeared to have runner-up money unless somebody
bumped her from second place in the remaining moments.
This, of course, would have hurt Mike, who shortly weighed
in his northern at 7.01 pounds and good for third place.
I caught it near Stoes at about 2:20, he said.
just time enough to reel it in and get their boat ashore and
head to town.
With just minutes remaining before
tournament director Denny Kjos declared the weigh-ins for
the 7th annual Roseau River Fishing Tournament officially
closed, you couldnt miss the next group.
The three of
them, all huge, came across the grass at the Roseau American
Legion and made rapid strides toward the weigh-in tent.
Daryl Big D Mickelson, and his sons, Ethan and Zac, appeared
like they had a winner.
But some people were thinking
along different lines: That theres no way all three of them
could fit in the same boat.
But more about that later.
At precisely 3 p.m., Mr. Kjos declared that his main man,
Ivan Hedlund, would weigh in no more fish.
that those in win, place and show on the leader board were
in the money ¬ $300 for first, $150 for second, and $75 for
Standing off to one side was Chad Fuller, who was
beaming that his 10-year-old son, Roger, was in the
money with a 4.13 pound sheephead carp, good for third place
and $75 in the Other Category.
Hes happier than hell,
said Mr. Fuller.
It took a little prompting, but the
Roseau fifth grader found his tongue.
I caught it on a
spinner near High Pockets, he said.
And then his dad
took over, explaining that High Pockets is the favorite
fishing spot of the renowned Ben Ullman, a two-time
Young Roger Fuller was fixing to share
and share alike. And why not? He had a trophy almost as big
as he is.
He was going to split the loot with his dad and
his dads girl, Misty Yonke.
Badgers Bob Dunn
earned runner-up in the Other category with a five-pound
Its my first time in the tourney, he
said, mentioning that hed caught it on a crawler with a
For a brief moment, Mr. Dunn almost apologized
that he had caught such an ugly fish.
Its a rough fish
to win on, but its still money, he said.
Norstebon, the winner in the Other category with a
six-pound sheephead carp, didnt bother to stick around for
the awards ceremony.
Mr. Kjos will hold his 1st place
trophy and $300 check until Mr. Norstebon hits town again.
For the second consecutive year, the walleyes were downright
So scrawny that the eventual winner, Justin
Kjos, hadnt even planned to weigh his in.
I caught it
as we were waiting to end the day, he said, explaining that
his partner, Scott Kofstad, had gotten his boat tangled up
with a tree underneath the bridge.
I made a cast, he
said, mentioning there was a strike and that he had seen the
white top fin as the fish swam away.
Mr. Kjos wasnt about
to let a good opportunity pass.
I just flipped the Rapala
back in the water and did a figure eight.
caught it while his partner was heading up to the boat
I wasnt even going to weigh it, he said about
his $300 walleye that weighed in at 2.02 pounds.
had changed his mind?
When I saw the leader board, he
Yes, the leader board told the story on the skimpy
Which gets around to the Mickelsons, who had
one bright spot on the day.
They were in two boats and
they had a winner in Rachel Kieson, who earned
runner-up honors with a 1.13 pound walleye.
18 and a Goodridge native, mentioned that it was her first
time in the tourney.
I was fishing with my boyfriend Zac,
and I caught it on a Rapala with the brand new fishing rod
that he bought me, she said. My boyfriend will get kissed
Zac Mickelson smiled like he had won something
better than money.
Danny Spindler could only grin
and bear it. By one-hundredth of a pound, he got edged out
for second place honors.
I was fishing just west of
Trangsrud off the bridge, he said, mentioning that he caught
his 1.12 pound walleye on a worm.
The big winner in the
northern category was Mike Vacura, who easily won top
honors over Monica and Mike Burkel, the
respective second and third place finishers.
caught his 12.11 pound northern on a Rapala west of Stoes
I caught it when my partner, Dan Christopherson,
was pulling in a fish, he said, recalling that it wasnt
exactly like reeling in a sunfish.
It went under the boat
three times, he said. It looked like Moby Dick.
got it into the boat eventually.
And he was a happy
angler on Saturday afternoon at the 7th annual Roseau River
I never won nothing before, he said,
glancing down at the $300 check that proves he is the champ
until next year.
There will be an eight annual Roseau River Fishing
Tournament in 2010, according to Denny Kjos, tournament
Yes, he said, the number of entrants were down
this year with 85 compared to 105 a year ago.
wanted to thank the staff at the Roseau American Legion for
allowing him the use of the facilities.
He credited Ivan
Hedlund, the sheriff of the weigh-ins, for a super job. He
also thanked Nancy Taylor and Teri Kjos for handling
everything from registration to ordering trophies to photo
Well be back next year, he said, as he prepared to
move the leader board back to Dennys Outdoor Sports, where
this years top three will hold bragging rights until next