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Bragging rights one of the rewards of local fishing league

The Morris Area Fishing League recently finished its eight-week season.

Though there are rankings and winners at the end of the season, who actually wins the tournament at the end seems irrelevant.

"It's just for fun" said Cary Bergo, league organizer.

The league is comprised of 14 teams and the fishing is done on one of 15 lakes that are chosen by a drawing the morning before which eliminates the possibility of cheating.

The teams meet at the lake and fish from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Wednesday night.

There are five types of fish that can be caught, including walleye, bass, northern, sunfish, and crappie. Carp do not count for a score.

A team's score is determined on a points system by the type and length of the fish caught. Just showing up nets a team two points, assuming the team has two people. Only five fish per team are allowed to be counted toward the score each night, regardless how many fish are caught. Any type of boat or bait is allowed, Bergo said.

According to league rules, if a trophy fish is caught and the fisherman believes it should be released to help the survival of the fish, it can first be measured by another team to verify species and size. Catch and release is strongly encouraged by the league, he said.

The teams must pay a fee to the league to ensure there are end-of-the-year prizes for the winning team.

The prizes are not the reason the teams participate, but it is always nice when the team is able to pay the fee with the prize money from the year before, Bergo said.

Since the league is mainly for entertainment purposes, he said, the real victories are what fishermen truly treasure: bragging rights.