Ryckmans rule at Four Bears tournament

NEW TOWN – Holding your own after Day 1 of a fishing tournament is tough to do. Moving up in the standings on Day 2 is even tougher. The husband and wife fishing team of Mark and Roberta Ryckman of Bismarck managed to do both at the Four Bears Casino and Lodge Walleye Cup. The event was held August 3-4 at Four Bears Marina.

The team of Devin Dorval and Shawn Reisenauer of New Town took the lead after the first day of competitive fishing with a five-walleye limit of 17.34 pounds. The Ryckmans were in second place at 16.88 pounds. On Day 2, the Ryckmans weighed in the top catch of the day, 18.70 pounds.

“It was real slow until 11 o’clock. We didn’t have anything in the boat,” said Roberta Ryckman after the Day 2 weigh-in. “We decided to just stick with it, stay in the same place and don’t run.”

During the first day of the tourney, the Ryckmans fished shallow water. On Day 2 they moved deeper. The decision proved to be the correct one.

“We were in 23 feet of water,” said Mark Ryckman while waiting anxiously as the final flight of teams weighed their fish. “We caught seven keepers the first day and six keepers today, but one was 8 pounds. We pulled lead core and Ripsticks.”

At 8.03 pounds, the big walleye proved to be the largest of the tournament. It also gave the Ryckmans a two-day total weight of 35.58 pounds. Second place went to the team of Chris Johnson and Donny Opozda of Minot with 29.99 pounds. They moved up from sixth place on Day 1 in the 112-team field. Their best walleye was 4.95 pounds. Good, but not enough to overcome the hefty fish boated by the Ryckmans.

“It’s fun to catch a big fish, but it is exceptional fun to do it in a tournament,” said Mark Ryckman.

Top 10 teams, walleye weight and amount of prize money

1 – 35.58 lbs., Mark and Roberta Ryckman, $5,000.

2 – 29.99 lbs., Chris Johnson and Donny Opozda, $3,000.

3 – 29.36 lbs., Kyle Germundson and Craig Seykoya, $2,000.

4 – 26.53 lbs., Devin Dorval and Shawn Reisenauer, $1,700.

5 – 26.18 lbs., Jake Geltec and Luke Sundby, $1,500.

6 – 25.59 lbs., Neil Dorval and Nelson Dorval, $1,200.

7 – 25.51 lbs., Ronald Ritzke and Jace Ritzke, $1,000.

8 – 25.23 lbs., Jason Hall and Mike Hall, $900.

9 – 25.11 lbs., Jeff Brennan and Doug Ridge, $800.

10 – 24.90 lbs., Jason Sessing and Tom Rieger, $700.

Top five largest walleyes

1 – 8.03 lbs., Mark and Roberta Ryckman.

2 – 6.92 lbs., Randy Bechtold and Carter Bechtold.

3 – 5.78 lbs., Tyler Kueffler and J. Stancel.

4 – 5.66 lbs., Lonny Ellis and Conrad Ellis.

5 – 5.56 lbs., Jeff Skaare and Quentin Hiller.