Fishing, Faith and Fun

A Look at the Fishers of Men Tournament Trail

In 1998 Al Odom began the Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail with the goal of not just bringing anglers together to compete against each other, but also being able to bring them together the night before the tournament for a meal and an inspirational message.  FOM began with four divisions that year, growing to eleven divisions in nine states the following year.

In 2007, the Legacy Series was created.  This team style event promotes the adult anglers fish with an up and coming youth angler, as one of the anglers must be 18 years or younger, and the other must be 18 years or older.  As you jump ahead, FOM now has had 37 Team Series divisions and 23 Legacy Series divisions.

This is Joe Lemmerman’s third year of being a tournament director for the Minnesota Fishers of Men division.  “I had fished the FOM circuit for 15 years and when the tournament directors said they would be moving on, I had an over whelming sense to step up and take the position,” said Joe.

There are several male/female teams, including Chris and Tammy Zakashefski

Being that Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, one would think that selecting lakes for a bass fishing tournament would be easy, but with the FOM circuit, they need to take into account that the lake can hold up to 50 boats, there is a location for the weigh in and lastly a Church is needed for the Friday night meeting.

After their first three tournaments, the Team of the Year point’s race is being led by Adam Bartusek and Aaron Knott.  By being in the lead, this team earned one invitation to fish the Classic Bass Champions Tour Open event, on the Whitefish Chain and accepting this invite was young angler Adam Bartusek.

Recently, the circuit wrapped up its fourth event on Gull Lake, the site of the upcoming Champions Tour event.   This event was won by the team of Nick Retka and Mark Hanowski, with a total weight of 17.94 lbs.  The final event of the 2017 FOM season is on July 29th, in Alexandria on the Le Homme Dieu Chain.

Following the conclusion of their season, the top 80 percent of teams will be invited to compete in the District 11 Championship, which will be held September 15th and 16th on Lake Minnetonka.  This is the first time in the history of FOM that a District Championship is being held in Minnesota!

Mark Shirley and James Chapman show off some nice Woman Lake smallmouth from their winning limit

Anglers fishing in one of the five District Championships have the goal of finishing in the top twenty percent, qualifying them for the FOM National Championship.  The 2018 National Championship will be held on Lake Guntersville next April and is a three day event, where the full field competes on Thursday and Friday, then the top twenty percent fish on Saturday, where one team will be crowned national champion.

If you want to learn more about the Minnesota Fishers of Men Tournament Trail, please visit their website,  This tournament circuit is a great way to fish tournaments with a family member, as the hospitality and camaraderie is top notch.



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