Updated: 05/30/2013 12:35 PM
Created: 05/28/2013 7:18 PM WDIO.com
By: Laura Kennedy
With the annual ALS Walleye Tournament on the horizon, anglers are getting their gear in order.
Scott VanValkenburg and his fishing partner, Phil Mannon, have competed in this tournament nearly every year. They love the challenge of Island Lake.
"There is so much body of water there and so many places that look good on the map but aren't good," VanValkenburg said. "It takes time to find the good spots. There is some dandy fishing there."
"You can go out there one day and catch a lot of fish and the next you'd swear they all packed up and left," Mannon said.
But this weekend, competitors may have the advantage. The ice melted off the lake just recently, and that could mean optimal fishing conditions.
"I said that right from the get go," Mannon said. "With the late ice, it could really do some good things for the catch in this tournament."
"I think it'll be better this year than in year's past," VanValkenburg said. "The fish spawn and then they go into a post spawn lull where the bigger female seem like they don't eat too much. But then they cut loose and I think it'll be just in time."
Because of the late winter, both anglers say pre-fishing will be critical for this year's tournament.
"The water is really really high. It gives the fish a lot more opportunity and places to be," Mannon said. "Until I get on the water and see what that water temp is, that'll dictate where I'm gonna go."
"I'm gonna try to fish shallow water because I've heard a lot of good things about that," VanValkenburg said.
The event is competitive, but when those boats launch on Saturday, the real focus is raising money for ALS.
"I don't want the tournament to stop, but I'd like for them to find a cure," Mannon said. "If we do find a cure, let's keep the tournament rolling for something else."
Melin: Stalemate with Law Enforcement on Minn. Medical Marijuana Talks
The author of a bill to legalize the use of medical marijuana in Minnesota has asked to postpone Tuesday's hearing on the legislation. The Minnesota Compassionate Care Act, authored by Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, made the request after offering a compromise bill to law enforcement over the weekend.
Wis. Bill Would Leave Mickey Mouse Out of Election Results
Mickey Mouse, Aaron Rodgers and other famous people and characters entered as write-in candidates for public office would not have to be counted any longer under a bill before the Wisconsin state Senate.
Duluth Council OKs $230K Loan for Seaway Hotel Purchase
A Duluth City Council decision made Monday night could open the door to revitalization in the Lincoln Park Business District. They voted 8-1 to approve a loan allowing the Housing and Redevelopment Authority to buy the Seaway Hotel. The $230,000 loan is from the Duluth Economic Development Authority. Once the HRA buys the building, hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state will be used to make repairs, resulting in about 70 rehabilitated low-income units.
Ice Breaking Begins for US Coast Guard Cutter Alder
Northlanders could feel the thaw on Monday, but Lake Superior was still locked beneath feet of ice in the Twin Ports.The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alder started breaking a path with the start of the shipping season just weeks away.
Superior Woman Sentenced for Helping Throw Molotovs into Ex-Husband's Home
A Superior woman has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for helping set her ex-husbands house on fire. Amy Pionk was charged last April with being party to the crime of arson after helping her boyfriend send Molotov cocktails into her ex-husband's basement.