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Glenn Pursley, Published July 29 2012

Fargo man finding fishing success

FARGO – Fargo fisherman Brian Bjorkman is not only in the running for a national title, he has found himself on the cover of a national magazine.

Bjorkman, ranked third in the standings for the FLW Walleye Tour angler of the year, earned a spot on the cover of FLW Walleye Fishing magazine.

Bjorkman, originally from Marshfield, Wis., moved to Moorhead when he was 12 years old. He joined the Fargo-Moorhead Walleye Club and began fishing in local tournaments back in 1995. He competed in his first professional event in April of 2003.

Fishing entered his life at a young age, as his father, Kenneth Bjorkman, brought him and his siblings out on the boat whenever he could. What started off as a childhood activity quickly became a passion for Brian.

“We all were placed in a boat at a young age,” Brian said. “We’d go fishing and come back with a lot of fish. We’d always talk about it, and one day my dad said ‘Hey, let’s just enter this tournament and see how we do.’ ”

Kenneth and David Bjorkman, Brian’s brother, also participate in the FLW Walleye Tour.

It wasn’t until 2009 that Brian Bjorkman made his presence known on the tour. That year he finished in third place for Angler of the Year, with a total weight of 186 pounds, 10 ounces.

Brian has already reeled in 193 pounds, 10 ounces with one event left this year, and that caught the eye of FLW Walleye Fishing writer Curtis Niedermier.

Niedermier’s articles talk about Bjorkman’s style of fishing walleye in deep-weeded areas during late July and heading into early September. The consistently high temperatures force the walleye into deeper depths and keeps them tucked away in the weeds.

“The fish kind of go dormant in the summer, they get harder (to catch),” Bjorkman said. “As the temperature rises, the fish tend to get a little non-aggressive, lethargic and just lay there a little bit. You got to do some extra things to actually get them to bite.”

Bjorkman’s techniques include pulling crankbait on a lead core and trolling live-bait along the edges of heavily weeded areas. The lead core keeps the lure deeper in the water for a better chance to catch a walleye during this time of the year.

At a professional level of fishing, good decision making and good preparation play crucial roles in the outcome of an event. Knowing where and when to fish a certain area, along with choosing the best fish to keep can make or break any angler’s day. Bjorkman has spent up to five days preparing for upcoming events.

“I choose five days just because it gives me ample amount of time to get accustomed to all the conditions, but once you think you got it figured out it all changes anyway,” Bjorkman said with a chuckle.

The last event of the season will take place at Bays de Noc in Escanaba, Mich., on Aug. 4. Bjorkman is trailing the current leader, Brett King, by just five points for the coveted Angler of the Year award. In order to win the title, Bjorkman will have to finish six places in front of King.

“Every fisherman out there dreams of doing that, it’s one that’s on my bucket list,” Bjorkman said. “There are years you start to say it’s impossible and that it’s never going to happen, but you start to make good decisions and get on a roll.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Glenn Pursley at (701) 451-5549