Klein brothers reel in Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic victory
It is a good thing Ryan and Shawn Klein decided at the last minute to enter into the Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic.
The brothers ended up taking home a check for $12,500.
Ryan, 29, from Blackduck, and Shawn, 26, from Turtle River, captured the Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving championship Saturday by catching five walleyes weighing a total of 17.66 pounds, with the heaviest of their fish weighing 6.02 pounds.
It was a last-minute decision to sign up for the event, Ryan said, and he was glad he did it.
Winning the Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic was one of Ryan's lifetime goals.
"This is the one thing I really wanted to win," Ryan said. "This event and one on Leech Lake are two I really want to win."
"It feels amazing," Shawn Klein added.
Fishing conditions were hot and the water was calm for most of the day Saturday and the brothers ended up catching most of their fish around 10:30 a.m.
"We just ran around and upgraded our small ones and found some better ones," Ryan said.
Fishing with big minnows in deep water proved to be the angler's recipe for success. However, they admitted, they still felt anxious coming into the weigh-in.
"(Ryan) was nervous in the boat at like 2 (p.m.)," Shawn said, chuckling.
"We knew it was close," Ryan added. "It was a long afternoon in the boat."
The largest walleye, weighing 6.92 pounds, was caught by second place winners Brock Anderson and Randy Topper, both from Grand Rapids.
Topper said he caught the walleye on the north end of Lake Bemidji around 1:30 p.m.
"We thought we were real close," Topper said. "We knew it would put us in the top 10, but there were a lot of big fish caught today. It was unreal."
The pair said Saturday's weather was a big change from one day earlier. They were pleased with how nice the weather turned out.
"The past two days was cold as heck, we were freezing every day and the fish were kind of slow," Topper said. "Then we decided (Saturday) we knew our spots and every bit of our plan worked everywhere we went."
"We stuck to the game plan, that's for sure," Anderson added.
The Grand Rapids duo said they were unhappy with how they placed at last year's Kraus-Anderson tournament so they spent more time preparing for this year's event.
"We had to revamp our whole game plan this year," Topper said. "We didn't want a repeat of last year so we put a lot of game time on the water, looking around with our graphs and it paid off. Everything worked out."
Kraus-Anderson Classic Top 10
1-Klein and Klein, 17.66
2-Topper and Anderson, 17.09
3-Amble and Schummer, 15.70
4-Schultz and Wagner, 15.62
5-Ross and Ross, 15.48
6-Eichstadt and Huderle, 15.27
7-Curb and Curb, 15.13
8-Shriver and Shriver, 14.92
9-Posner and Holm, 14.91
10-Holley and Sundquist, 14.75
Randy Topper, 6.92