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Beckie Joki/For

For the last ten years, the Hodag Bassmasters and the Shawano Red Nek Bass Busters have held their Challenge tournament. Each angler, boaters and nonboaters alike, attempt to bring in their 5-fish limit, just as in any other tournament but this one has a twist.

At the end of the tournament, what counts the most is the average weight per angler.

This was my second experience fishing this annual tournament. The loser of the tournament picks the lake that will be fished the next year. This was my second experience fishing this challenge tournament between the clubs.

Last year we fished on Shawano Lake because the Shawano club lost the challenge the previous year. Last year we, the Hodag Bassmasters, lost. So, this year, we picked Boom Lake and the Rhinelander Flowage as the site for the tournament.

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Ten anglers made the tournament for the Hodag Bassmasters, and eight for the Shawano Red Nek Bass Busters. At the 2 p.m. weigh-in, the average for the Hodag anglers was 4.84 pounds of bass per angler. The Shawano club put up a battle, but their 4.31 pound average was not quite enough to take the title away for 2013.

As for my fishing day, our boat caught fish on rock points early, and then moved to target wood and slop later in the day.

The largemouth seemed happy to inhale my frog, but many of them were short fish. While I am a member of both the clubs, my weight counted for the Hodag side in this tournament. I was only able to bring less than three pounds to the scales, but at least I was able to help my "home" club win the victory over the opponent.

As tournaments are being set for next year, the Challenge will again be in the first weekend of August, but the Shawano club will decide the lake for 2014. The Challenge is a tournament that both clubs look forward to each year, and, no matter the lake, it's always a great time.

Beckie Joki blogs about bass fishing and bass tournaments including club, jackpot, and open tournaments throughout northern Wisconsin.

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