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Lund Mania strikes again

Jason Merickel (L) and Marshal Koep celebrate as they are announced the 2010 Lundmania champions.1 / 2
The second place team of Chad Sonnenberg and Scott Perala wait eagerly in the "hot seat" for the final results to be announced.2 / 2

It was a windy and choppy day on Otter Tail Lake, but Mother Nature didn't put a damper on the excitement and drama provided by the 2nd Annual Lundmania Fishing Tournament July 2.

45 teams competed for over $30,000 in prizes, including a 1625 Rebel XL SS Lund boat, Mercury 50 4-stroke ELPT EFI motor and Shorelander trailer to the winner.

Jason Merickel of Wadena and Marshal Koep from Urbank took home the new boat with top honors.

The combined weight of their fish totaled 12.79 lbs.

"The fishing was actually pretty slow for us. We had five of our six fish in the boat by 10 a.m. but we didn't catch the sixth until 1 p.m. and really didn't catch a lot of other fish. We just made every bite count and they happened to be the right size fish. We stayed in the same general area the entire day. It was rough, but had it not been, those fish wouldn't have been active on the spot we were fishing. I would rather see a 30 mph wind versus no wind at all," Merickel said.

This isn't the first tournament Merickel and Koep have participated in on Otter Tail Lake. They met each other six or seven years ago and their friendship has grown while fishing various tournaments on Otter Tail Lake over the years.

"We both try to do as many tournaments as we can, but would of course like to fish more of them. They can be addictive. We both fish about four or five of them a year. This is the only one we fish as a team," Merickel said.

The top 10 entrants and their Lund Boats were featured in the New York Mills parade the same day as the tournament.

After the parade, the top ten finishers each made their way to the stage of the awards ceremony to find out their final placings.

Second place finishers, Scott Perala and Chad Sonnenberg, had been sitting in the "hot seat" on stage for a lengthy amount of time, beating out the other top eight finishers. Merickel and Koep were the final contestants to take the stage in a dramatic finish to the ceremony.

"Marshal and I figured we had about 12 lbs. When we heard Perala and Sonnenberg had 12.07lbs we knew it would be close. Those guys are good sticks, which didn't help our confidence level once we hit the stage," Merickel said.

The large New York Mills crowd gasped and cheered as Merickel and Koep were announced as the winners by only .72 lbs barely squeaking past Perala and Sonnenberg.

"We were both pretty excited at the awards ceremony. No other tournament around here has the catch, photo, and release format and I think it is a great thing. Plus, in most tournaments you know where you stand right after you weigh in your fish, but with this one there is no way of really predicting what place you are going to be until the ceremony," Merickel said. "They let us know that we were in the top ten, and we knew we had a good shot at the top five, but it still came as a big surprise, to say the least, that we won it. And then to have a legendary angler like Al Linder hand us the trophy was an awesome experience."

Place Participants Weight Spotter

1 Jason Merickel, Marshal Koep 12.79 Sam Long

2 Scott Perala, Chad Sonnenberg 12.07 Richard Dykhoff

3 Scott Schultz, Christ Peters 11.73 Dan Schik

4 Chad Frederichs, Larry Rick 10.50 Alien Schmitz

5 Mike Flath, LeRoy Flath 10.23 Elman Becker

6 David Rudolph, Mike Rudolph 9.45 Tom Richels

7 Mark Christianson, Hary Lueck 9.41 Byron Zitzow

8 Brian Tangen, Brad Laabs 9.29 Wayne Kazitka

9 Ray Sonnenberg, Miles Nelson 8.99 Tom Becker

10 Tom Johnson, John Taylor 8.80 Jay Sorenson

11 Phil Jensen, Todd Cameron 8.76 Kris Koli

12 Mike Woodard, Shawn Woodard 8.53 David Harper

13 Brian Gronewold, Wayne Johnson 8.44 Rob Reed

14 Brian Olmstead, John Olmstead 8.12 Bill Lauer

15 Tom Neustrom, Jason White 8.10 Jacob Ellingworth

16 Dave Randish, Adam Randish 7.65 Jim Patrick

17 Paul Zarn, Cody Roswick 7.55 Clyde Gimball

18 Scott Glorvigen, Terry Weller 7.01 Landon Usher

19 Matt Johnson, Mitch Anderson 6.75 Matt Olson

20 Bret Setterholm, Mike Kerzman 6.60 Jake Norton

21 Larry Hodgson, Eric Niemi 5.42 Travis Hofland

22 AI Linder, Brian Boyne 5.37 Brad Ellingworth

23 Marty Glorvigen, Myron Bernu 4.07 Pete Wolden

24 Roger Stearns, Jay R Kulis 4.04 Rich Ericksrud

25 Jason Gauthier, Dr. Jason Hamilton 3.59 Mitch Wagner

26 Nicholas Pederson, Ryan Pederson 3.55 Brian Zitzow

27 Gary Roach, Roger Setterholm 3.39 Mike Roberts

28 Zach Sheeley, Cad Reddv 3.33 Trisha Loerzel

29 Chet Setterholm, Kurt Setterholm 3.31 Conrad Mack

30 Kerrie Steinbach, Steve Steinbach 2.96 Ben Waldon

31 Todd Macheledt, Bob Wugehet 2.94 Paul Schik

32 Todd Becker, Duwayne Roberts 2.78 Tim Meehl

33 Leon Moss, Mike Dretsch 2.70 Daren Berube

34 Duane Koehler, Loren Koehler 2.52 Brian Mammenga

35 Duane Anderson, Frederick Anderson 1.86 Jason Bauck

36 Bob Casperson, Steve Johnson 1.39 Bruce Hurt

37 Dave Sonnenberg, Bruce Albright 1.32 Derek Berube

38 Jim Peters, B J Peters 1.12 Craig Lavoi

39 Ken Peltier, Patrick Peltier 1.12 Mike Casey

40 Chuck Dube, Christian Dube 0.89 James Olson

41 Bruce Boyne, Dawn Boyne 0.00 Lon Hanson

42 Dan Weller, Trent Baumgart 0.00 John Peeters

43 Joe Balcer, Erik Gaudette 0.00 Jerry Kline

44 Chad Anderson, Troy Salo 0.00 Bill Taylor