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DEVILS LAKE: GF man lands new truck with .76-pound perch

A perch weighing .76 pounds might not seem like anything to get too excited about, but it proved to be the fish of a lifetime for a Grand Forks man during Saturday's 26th annual Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department ice fishing tournament on Devi...

A perch weighing .76 pounds might not seem like anything to get too excited about, but it proved to be the fish of a lifetime for a Grand Forks man during Saturday's 26th annual Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department ice fishing tournament on Devils Lake.

Jamie Lembke's perch was "only" good enough for third place. But in a tournament where bigger doesn't always mean better, Lembke landed a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado pickup for his third-place catch.

It was the top fishing prize during the tournament, which offered various prizes for the top five perch, northern pike and walleyes.

Lori Frith, Devils Lake, landed the top prize during Saturday night's raffle drawing in the Devils Lake Memorial Building, winning a 2010 Dodge Crew Cab SLT. Dale Neuhalfen, Granville, N.D., won a Hawaii trip for four, the prize for 25th place in the raffle; and Matt Zies, West Fargo, N.D., won a 2010 Ford Fusion for 115th in the raffle drawing.

Always held the last Saturday in January, this year's tournament and raffle featured more than $170,000 in prizes.

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Jim Moe, Devils Lake fire chief, said 4,440 anglers took to the ice Saturday afternoon on Six-Mile Bay for the fishing portion of the event. And this year, Moe said, 140 of the participants were age 14 and younger, which set a tournament record.

Saturday's weather was cool, but the sun was shining and there wasn't much wind. As a result, Moe said, more people than usual decided to try their luck at landing one of the tournament's fishing prizes. Moe said the tournament attracted anglers from as far away as Washington, Wyoming, Nevada and Kansas City, Mo.

"It was comfortable," Moe said. "The wind wasn't a factor. Overall, the weather cooperated."

Anglers caught a total of 38 fish, Moe said, but managed to fill the top five places in each of the three categories. Here's a look at the winners in each category:

Perch

First: Ben Dahl Minot, 1.04 pounds, $1,000.

Second: Shane Heisler, Fargo, 1.02 pounds, $750.

Third: Jamie Lembke, Grand Forks, .76 pounds, 2010 Chevrolet Silverado.

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Fourth: David O'Hara, Pembina, N.D., .5 pounds, $200.

Fifth: Jerry Reinisch, Bismarck, .44 pounds, $150.

Northern pike

First: Mike Aanes, Fergus Falls, Minn., 10.1 pounds, $1,000.

Second: Dave Bax, Parkston, S.D., 6.5 pounds, hard shell fish house.

Third: Preston Lund, Brandon, Minn., 5.52 pounds, $400.

Fourth: Chris Paulson, Devils Lake, 4.1 pounds, $200.

Fifth: Randy Clark, Maxbass, N.D., 3.4 pounds, $150.

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Walleye

First: Thomas Johnson, Grand Forks, 2.36 pounds, $1,000.

Second: Lynette Gallow, Bisbee, N.D., 1.36 pounds, $750.

Third: Jake Owens, Breckenridge, Minn., 1.24 pounds, $400.

Fourth: Travis Halverson, Rugby, N.D., .54 pounds, $200.

Fifth: Jermey Gizinski, Neche, N.D., .5 pounds, Kawasaki 4x4 ATV.

For a complete list of the 115 raffle winners, check out the tournament's Web site at www.dlvfdicefishingtourney.com .

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