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Knutson-Davis team wins Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic title

Carl Knutson (left) and Brad Davis (right) showcase their biggest catches of the day after being crowned 2013 Anderson-Kraus Walleye Classic champions. One-hundred teams participated in Saturday’s tournament, making this the first year the competition has reached its maximum number of fishing teams. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI – After fishing for about three hours, Carl Knutson knew he and his fishing mate, Brad Davis, had a good chance at claiming the ultimate victory in Saturday’s 13th annual Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic.

And as it turns out, that feeling was correct.

The last of 100 teams to have their catch of five fish weighed-in, Knutson and Davis claimed the title of 2013 champions with a weight of 16.74 pounds, their heaviest fish weighing 5.02 pounds.

"It was a really good day," Knutson said, just as his catch was being weighed. "It was probably our best day fishing ever."

Going no deeper than seven feet, the winning duo said they caught more than six fish exceeding the 20 inch length, but only being able to bag a total of five fish, they had to decide which fish to keep that would eventually lead them to success.

"We found a good spot that I always fish at, and we knew it was going to be a good day," Knutson said, who has participated in the tournament three times.

"We never missed a fish today," Davis said. "We had heard about other teams losing theirs, but we didn’t have that problem."

The 2013 victors, who call Bemidji home, claimed a cash prize of $12,500, along with jackets and baseball caps.

After competing against each other in other various tournaments, Saturday’s tournament marked the first time Knutson and Davis teamed up.

"We’re going to spend the check," Knutson jokingly said after being awarded his cash prize. The duo suspects some of their winnings will go toward upgrading their fishing gear.

The largest catch of the day was brought in by second place winners Paul Kuhn and his partner Loren Ras.

The 6.69 pound Walleye helped to land Kuhn and Ras their second place finish, who were originally in first place until Knutson and Davis weighed-in.

Kuhn, who was driving the boat, said he watched Ras reel in the tournament’s biggest catch.

"It was fun for me to watch it (the fish) catch his (Ras’) line and then be reeled in," said Kuhn.

Of all 100 teams, the averaging weights that graced the scoreboard ranged from eight to nine pounds.

The top 16 teams received cash and prize awards, with a lucky "21" prize give-away and also a prize for the day’s heaviest fish.

Benefiting seven area charities and organizations, Saturday’s fishing tournament raised more than $40,000, although an exact amount had not yet been totaled.

Exceeding the tournament’s goal of donating more than $500,000 in the past 13 years, Bob Fitzgerald, who is an organizer for the event, said the turnout from the community was great.

"It’s always great to see so many people come out to the event," he said. "The weather participated, the fishermen were great as always and the crowd was here to support, too."

Fitzgerald estimates that about 2,000 people attended the fishing tournament and its accompanying activities.

2013 Kraus-Anderson Walleye Classic Top 10

Knutson/Davis, 16.74

Ras/Kuhn, 16.32

Peterson/Rude, 15.13

Colter/ Heinerman, 14.38

Ross/Ross, 13.57

Adams/Adams, 13.53

Benson/ Leeper, 12.98

Pogue/Erickson, 12.85

Haley/Bergeron, 12.78

Hendricks/Hendricks, 12.69