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Poorman's fishing tournament set for Sunday on Lake Mitchell

The Poorman's fishing tournament on Lake Mitchell keeps on getting more and more popular. It's the longest running tournament in Mitchell and the 21st annual event will take place on Sunday at the lake. The tournament will start at 7 a.m. and wil...

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The Poorman's fishing tournament on Lake Mitchell keeps on getting more and more popular.

It's the longest running tournament in Mitchell and the 21st annual event will take place on Sunday at the lake. The tournament will start at 7 a.m. and will run until 2 p.m.

Tournament organizer Dave Allen said he decided to limit the number of teams to 50 a few years ago to keep the tournament small. As of late Thursday, 48 teams were signed up and Allen expected those spots to fill up quickly. The tournament has been filled the last nine years.

"We kept it at 50 so everybody has a place to finish," Allen said. "If we had more than 50, I don't think the boat docks could handle that much. And, its everybody's lake. Public boaters, other fisherman and water skiers have to have room out there, too."

The first-place team is awarded $300 and two trophies, the second-place team wins $230 and two trophies and the third-place team wins $190 and two trophies. The entry fee for the tournament is $30.

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The tournament is limited to panfish and walleye. The largest fish earns a trophy and $100. That fish can either be a northern, walleye, catfish, crappie or bluegill. The limits are 20 bluegill and 20 crappie. No perch or bass are allowed in the weighing. Off-shore or boat fishing is allowed on the lake from the spillway to the first cement bridge on the west end.

In the previous 20 years, more than 8,000 pounds of fish have been weighed in at the tournament. A total of 270 pounds of fish was weighed in 2005 and 100 pounds were released back.

The weigh-in is at 2 p.m. and the teams must be present to receive their prizes. Payback is based on the first 50 teams and 100 percent payback is guaranteed.

Allen has been on the winning team at the tournament the past five years. He and his son, Tyson, won the tournament last year with a total of 20.62 pounds. Allen said the competition will be hard this year if he wants to make it six in a row.

"There are some really good teams this year and it should be really competitive," Allen said. "The way the panfish are biting out there, it makes for a better tournament. It's going to be a close race for everybody."

Allen said he hasn't fished as much as he would like this year but did say "the bays are starting to get hot on the lake with bluegills and crappies. They're coming right up to that 8-foot range. I expect a lot of limits of bluegills coming in. Crappies are hit and miss and a 25-pound total should win it."

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