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Nelson, Balcer win Battle of the Pines

The weather cooperated, along with the fish at the first annual Battle of the Pines fishing tournament held last weekend.

"A lot of fish were caught and everyone had a good time," Organizer Craig Swanson said. "We were worried about sunburn rather than rain and clouds."

39 teams participated and between both Pine lakes there was room for plenty more, while keeping lake traffic acceptable for area residents.

The tournament was a break-even proposition for the Perham Sportsman's club.

"We would have done quite well with 59 team," Swanson said.

Profits were not the main concern of tournament organizers, which ran smoothly due to exceptional volunteer work.

"The fisherman had a good time wasn't as hard to run it as we had really good volunteers," he said. "It went really smooth and everything was perfect."

The Historical society provided a meal at the end of both days at the Grandview Ballroom as part of a fundraiser. Volunteers also manned man the tournament headquarters station at Zorbaz.

Barrel O' Fun, Mulligan's and The Cactus sponsored the event.

Plans for next year's second Battle of the Pines are under way.

"We'll do another one for sure."

Winners of the inaugural event were Joe Balcer and Miles Nelson. Over the two-day tourney, the duo brought in their limit of six fish per day with a winning weight of 19.04 pounds.

Nelson is in the middle of a couple of busy fishing weekends, as he'll be defending his title at the upcoming Lund Mania fishing tournament.

The Perham Sportsman's Club seeks to restore the opportunity for the outdoor experience that is equal to our fondest memories while enhancing the social aspects of the outdoor experiences we cherish today.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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