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Local angler wins two fishing tournaments on Gull Lake

Levi Christianson, left, and fishing partner Hays Baldwin won the Full Throttle fishing tournament on Gull Lake on Saturday, June 21. Submitted Photo

It was an eventful weekend for fishing on Gull Lake June 21-22, when the lake hosted the Full Throttle and Fishing for Heroes tournaments. It was especially memorable for local angler Levi Christianson and his fishing partner, Hays Baldwin, who snagged the win for not one, but both tournaments.

The Full Throttle tournament featured 21 teams Saturday, June 21. The contestants' fishing time was cut short when foggy conditions delayed the tournament. Despite the shortened time, Christianson and Baldwin caught the biggest bass, which weighed in at 3.84 pounds, and their total weight for five fish was 15.27 pounds, good for first place.

The Fishing for Heroes tournament Sunday, June 22, was hosted at Cragun's, with around 16 teams participating. This time, Christianson and Baldwin were able to use the full time fishing without a delay. They returned to the locations they fished the day before, but eventually took a break and started skipping docks. Afterward, they went back to their first spot and had more luck.

The total weight for their six fish was 17.31 pounds, another first-place finish.

"This is one for the books," said Christianson. "I'm not taking this for granted, because these things don't happen that often when you're competing in bass fishing against so many other good anglers."

Christianson graduated from Pequot Lakes High School in 2008 and has been tournament angling since age 16. He won a couple of tournaments in 2010 on Leech Lake and Whitefish.

He's also the owner and inventor of IfishPro, a tip up that allows anglers to use their favorite fishing rod and reel rather than trying to manage fish by hand.

"Fishing has been in my family for a long time. My grandpa, known as 'Big John Christianson,' is well known around the area for his knowledge and passion for bass fishing. My dad, Mike, has been teaching me to fish since I can remember," said Christianson.

Baldwin, 17, is from Wayzata. He stays at his cabin in the Brainerd area during the summer.

The weekend of June 21-22 was the first time they fished together, and Baldwin's first big event beyond the smaller local club tournaments in the Twin Cities and Brainerd area.