Fishing Challenge Raises Over $611,000 for Addiction Recovery

Fishing Challenge Raises Over $611,000 for Addiction Recovery

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The Minnesota Fishing Challenge has once again proven its impact, raising over $611,000 this year for Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge's drug and alcohol recovery programs. This annual event has now generated more than $5 million since its inception in 2008.

This year's challenge, held on June 1, featured 120 two-person teams who enjoyed favorable weather and excellent fishing conditions on Gull Lake. Anglers of all ages participated, catching various fish species to support the cause. The event, which attracts a diverse group of participants including professional anglers, fishing celebrities, youth, and seniors, focuses on raising funds to help those struggling with addiction.

The top fundraisers, Stu Nelson and Rich Brummer from Cloquet, brought in $102,000. Overall, 14 teams raised at least $10,000 each, contributing significantly to the event's success. The funds raised help Teen Challenge continue its mission of addiction recovery, with programs expanding to Alexandria, Mankato, and a new women's campus in Brainerd.

Ryan Schwieters and Becca Schruers from Brainerd took top honors in the Navillus Land Company Walleye Division with a total weight of 17.48 pounds for their best three fish. In the Lindner Media Bass Division, Andrew Shae and Randin Olson from Fargo led the field with a combined weight of 13.37 pounds for their top three bass. Tony and Steve Ward from Zimmerman won the Nisswa Lions Panfish Division with three crappies totaling 6.45 pounds.

Other notable winners included Jessalyn Roussin and Brendon Chester from Clearwater, who secured the Nor-Son Pike Division with two pike weighing 9.85 pounds. The Premiere Marine Mixed Bag Division, which requires catching one pike, one walleye, one bass, and one panfish, was won by Dave Wagner of Baxter and Josh Johnson of Cambridge with a total weight of 14.04 pounds.

Special awards were given to Ryan Schwieters and Becca Schruers for the Navigate North Big Walleye, a 7.43-pound catch, and to Tim Hanske and Tim Thoele for the McDonald's Big Bass, a 4.58-pound largemouth. Warren Arnold of Sauk Rapids won the Beaudry Oil and Propane "Ugliest Fish" category with his dogfish.

The challenge also featured prize drawings, with each team raising at least $500 eligible to win a new Lund boat. This year, Chris and Ben Reierson from Surry, North Dakota, won the boat after raising more than $17,000.

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