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Local walleye wizard wins top prize

Bruce Boyne of Wadena won a Lund boat, a prestigious fishing tournament and a little respect from some of the best walleye anglers on the planet this month.

Boyne, an auditor for an accounting firm based in St. Paul, was the top amateur angler in the In Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail Lund Pro-Am held on Otter Tail Lake June 13-15. He was also the Coleman Big Fish award winner, reeling in a 6.62 pound walleye, the best overall catch, in the tournament's inaugural visit to Otter Tail Lake.

"I certainly didn't expect to win," said Boyne. "You just hope you end up in the money."

The amateur fishermen were paired with a different professional each day of the tournament. Boyne fished the first day with Marty Glorvigen of Grand Rapids, Minn., and the pair finished in 14th place. For the amateur, Boyne explained, you fish with the pro's gear and guidance. They pick the spots, the bait and the presentation.

"You don't have any input on where you fish or how you fish," he said. "They have to make all the decisions."

On the second day, Boyne and new partner Mark Christianson of Walker, Minn., made their move. Not only did Boyne catch his big fish, the pair tallied 14.22 pounds, propelling them to the top of the leader board. Boyne admitted he spent a lot of time thinking about whether his lead would hold up on day three, as he ventured out with his third pro, John Butts of Dryden, Ontario.

"Needless to say, the third day was a long day sitting out on the lake, wondering if four regular-sized fish would be enough to win it," Boyne said.

Only four fish could be kept each day between the pro and the amateur.

By the afternoon, Boyne was quietly confident. He and Butts had boated just over six pounds of walleyes. Soon, Boyne learned he was the top amateur in the tournament.

He won a Lund 1600 Explorer boat, 50-horse Mercury outboard, a trailer and $500 cash. Boyne said he also values the experience and the memories.

"The professionals are pretty serious and intense, but they took the time to explain what they're doing and why they're doing it," he said. "They really were helpful."

Boyne didn't just catch the tournament by the tail. He caught the tournament bug. Instead of relaxing at home right after winning the top prize, he was back out on the water on Otter Tail Lake.

"I fished a tournament the next two days with my son, Brian," Boyne said a little sheepishly.