BISMARCK, N.D. Sept. 24, 2011– Staff Sgt. Eric Anton, Bismarck, N.D., and Chief Warrant Officer 3, Shane Arlien, Devils Lake, N.D., won the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament held on the Missouri River Saturday. The team, fishing with pro Tom Miller, caught three walleyes for a total of 11 pounds, 10 ounces to take the title and bragging rights amongst their peers.
“What a great day,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Arlien, who has 26 years of service under his belt. “I tried new baits that I never tried before and learned a few new techniques. It really was a lot of fun. You couldn’t ask for anything better.
“The presentation that we learned was real crazy,” said Staff Sgt. Anton who has served in the National Guard for 14 years. “This was an awesome experience and I am so glad to have had the opportunity.
Each of the participants in the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament are members of the North Dakota National Guard and most have had at least one tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. In this tournament, National Guard FLW Tour pro anglers took teams of two and three, which consist of members of the National Guard, fishing to compete amongst their peers. Each team was allowed to bring in three walleyes. FLW Outdoors is operating the tournaments in conjunction with the National Guard to show appreciation to our service members of the National Guard.
“What an honor to share the boat with these guys,” said Miller. “All we were doing was pitching a jig in shallow water. Nothing too special or crazy. We were using soft plastics, Gulp!. It was a great day and the weather was perfect. We really did have a lot of fun and what a thrill to be able to participate in this tournament.”
A total of 20 service men and women, 9 teams, participated in the tournament. Rounding out the teams were:
- 2nd: Sgt. 1st Class Chris Dietz, Mandan, N.D., and Sgt. 1st Class Troy Balkowitsch, Mandan, N.D., fishing with pro Glenn Vinton, Winona, Minn., three walleyes, 11-4
- 3rd: Maj. Sean Lund, Bismarck, N.D., and Master Sgt. Dean Richter, Bismarck, N.D., fishing with Eggo pro Brian Brosdahl, Max, Minn., three walleyes, 9-5
- 4th: Spc. Nathan Berhardt, Linton, N.D., and Spc. Samuel Kerr, Dickenson, N.D., fishing with pro Nick Murphy, three walleyes, 8-7
- 5th: Sgt. Sean Hogan, Mandan, N.D., and Spc. Brandon Brady, Bismarck, N.D., fishing with Castrol pro John Campbell, Marco Island, Fla., three walleyes, 7-15
- 6th: Staff Sgt. Maty Mosbrucker, Bismarck, N.D., Sgt. 1st Class Todd Wetsch, Bismarck, N.D., and 1st Sgt. Kevin Magstadt, Bismarck, N.D., fishing with pro Kevin McQuoid, Isle, Minn., three walleyes, 7-13
- 7th: Staff Sgt. Daniel Upgren, Bismarck, N.D., and Sgt. Bryan Odegaard, Bismarck, N.D., fishing with pro Gary Parsons, Glidden, Wis., three walleyes, 7-5
- 8th: Sgt. Melvin Lynn, Devils Lake, N.D., and Pfc. Kasey Lynn, Devils Lake, N.D., fishing with pro John Schneider, Shawano, Wis., three walleyes, 5-12
- 9th: Pfc. Philip Degreef, Mandan, N.D., Sgt. Steven Rorer, Oberon, N.D., and 1st Sgt. Jason Magnuson, Hillsboro, N.D., fishing with pro Paul Meleen, Isle, Minn., three walleyes, 5-10
The Soldier Appreciation Tournament was held in conjunction with the National Guard FLW Walleye Tour Championship on the Missouri River hosted by the Bismarck-Mandan Convention & Visitors Bureau.