Three times luckyMichael Fischer and Brian Mortensen found their way to first place at the Dakota Walleye Classic for the third time.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Michael Fischer and Brian Mortensen found their way to first place at the Dakota Walleye Classic for the third time.
The duo from Dickinson took home a first place prize of $14,000 and now has the most wins after the 17th annual Dakota Walleye Classic this past weekend on Beulah Bay.
“It means that we are successful,” Fischer said. “We put our time in on the water. We have cabins up on that end of the lake and we fish pretty much every weekend.”
Fischer and Mortensen’s two prior wins were in 2003 and 2006. They were in a battle with Bismarck’s Jeff Enzminger and Jordan Binstock for the illustrious third title. Enzminger and Binstock have been fishing the tournament the last five years.
“Mike (Fischer) and Brian (Mortensen) are solid fisherman,” said Enzminger, who with Binstock were back-to-back champs in 2010 and 2011. “The thing that’s always in the back of mind is we fish the same areas every year.”
The two-day total for Fischer and Mortensen was 41.72 pounds, while Enzminger and Binstock finished in third with 38.78. Mike Gietzen and Donnie Gietzen placed second with 39.94 pounds.
The unique part is the top three teams were fishing in nearly the exact same spot.
“We were fishing right next to them,” Fischer said. “First, second and third all came off the same point. We prevailed.”
Fischer and Mortensen don’t always fish together, but always find time to compete in the Dakota Walleye Classic. The duo has been fishing together in the Dakota Walleye Classic since 1999.
Not only do teams from North Dakota and the surround states compete in the Dakota Walleye Classic, but Fischer said there were five professional anglers hunting for the top prize.
“You end up having a lot of local people, but anyone that enters the tournament can win,” Fischer said. “There was probably five professional fisherman that fish it, husbands and wives, father and sons and it’s a mixed bag of competition out there.”
The key to any fishing tournament is having two consecutive solid days. Fischer and Mortensen did just that.
“They basically just outfished us two days in a row,” Enzminger said. “It was close, within a couple of pounds.”