Brian Tangen family competes at International AYA fishing tournament
By Louis Hoglund
A family of three anglers competed the weekend of August 14 at the Angler and Young Angler fishing championship fishing tournament in Kenora, Ontario.
Representing the area were fishing guide Brian Tangen, with his son Matthew and daughter McKinzie--who won the Perham AYA tourney in May. The victory here qualified them, along with teams from 26 other regions, for the international final on Lake of the Woods.
The trio, from Frazee, finished 12th at the Canada event.
But the best part was the family time, according to McKinzie.
"The tournament is mostly about the kids," said McKinzie, who has been only a casual fisherperson in the past. "But it is a lot of fun...it made me want to fish even more. It's a great sport."
McKinzie even got accustomed to hooking up leeches for bait--though she said she didn't especially enjoy that aspect.
The purpose of the Angler-Young Angler tournaments is to excite young people about fishing and introduce them to the fun of tournament while learning a lifetime sport. The teams consist of one adult, with two young anglers 17 years old or younger.
Joining the family on the trip was mom Brenda, who shopped and enjoyed Kenora and the scenery. Tangen is a teacher in the Frazee school district. McKinzie will be a sophomore, while Matthew will be a seventh grader in the Frazee schools.
Brian caught the largest fish among the Tangen clan, with a 25 inch walleye. Each angler was able to keep one walleye.
The AYA program began in 1998 with tournament founder Andrew Klopak, now president of Lund Boats. Having the tournament format with youth anglers gives the young angler the opportunity to experience and learn what competitive sport angling is all about.
The Tangens qualified by winning the Perham tournament on Little Pine Lake on May 30.
The event was sponsored locally by Hoot's Sports, and the Perham contest was headquartered at Zorbaz on Little Pine. Other sponsors for the local tourney included United Community Bank, Ottertail Rod and Gun Club, Dean's Country Market, Zorbaz, Northland Tackle, Berkeley, Arvig Communication Systems, AquaView, KLN, Mulligan's, Lakes Radio, Perham Enterprise Bulletin, Service Foods, J and H Signs, Gene's Sport Shop, Daggett Truck Lines, Perham Memorial Hospital and Home, Bremer Bank, Dairy Queen, Whitey Schuett, Beach King Docks and Lifts, Kit Masters, Farmers Union Insurance and TheWild Goose.
For more information on the tournament, visit the angleryoungangler.com website.