SURREY - The 7th annual Shane Shipman Memorial fishing tournament was held May 18 at Buffalo Lodge Lake near Granville. A full field of 30 teams participated in the event.
"Our buddy Shane died in a car crash several years ago. We needed to do something in his memory," said Chad Hjelden, a close friend of Shipman. "I've got a great group of people to help me out and we started this. Most everybody that fishes it knew Shane."
Shipman's brothers, one from Carrington and one from Pennsylvania, attend the tourney each year. So too does his mother.
"She told me she'll fish it as long as she can," said Hjelden.
Entry fee for the tourney is $100 per team which can consist of two to four fishermen. First place paid $1,000. Anglers encountered high water conditions, but access was good and so was the competition
The winning team in the walleye division was Scott Rasmuson of Minot and Dave Parizek of Van Hook. They weighed a catch of 17.4 pounds, including the largest walleye of the day at 4.61 pounds.
Second place went to the team of Rich Lesmann, Glenburn; Jerrad Lesmann, Minot; Eric Hanson, Lisbon; and Ryan Grundy, Sheyenne. Third place was Tim Llewellyn, Minot, and Bob Weigel, Velva. Earning fourth was the team of John and Jeff Smette and Earl Anderson, all of Granville. Finishing fifth was Seb Trana, Granville; Johann Trana, Minot; and Joe Eberle, Granville.
Winner of the northern pike division was the team of John Dickman, Cody Anderson and Josh Gladbeck. Teams weighed their largest northern only. The winning weight was 7.4 pounds.
A portion of the proceeds from the event are used as a lasting tribute to Shipman.
"We have a yearly scholarship that goes out to a graduating senior from Granville or Surrey," said Elaine Christianson, one of the tournament organizers.
In addition to the $250 annual scholarship, other proceeds are designated to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department for restocking and improvements to Buffalo Lodge Lake, and to the Ashlar Lodge of Granville.
A youth fishing derby is held in conjunction with the team event. This year 21 children participated.
"I think I have more fun watching them than anything," said Hjelden.
This year's tournament was nearly postponed because of very late ice out. However, Buffalo Lodge Lake became ice-free one week before the event. Hjelden said consideration is being given to moving the tourney into early June as a precaution against late ice in future years.