While most of the sports world shut down in July due to COVID-19, Minnesotans could still go out to their favorite lakes this summer to catch fish as long as they followed social distancing guidelines. For two Elk River High School students, however, fishing is more than an hobby.
Elk River High School seniors Logan Huewe and Gavin Melcher won the Minnesota SAF State High School Championship on July 7 at Lake Minnetonka. With the win, Huewe and Melcher have qualified for next summer’s SAF National Tournament on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina. This will be the pair’s fourth national championship appearance in four years of high school fishing. Huewe and Melcher are coached by Bryan Holte.
Holte said Huewe and Melcher have a passion for fishing.
“They are really good fisherman,” Holte said. “They pay attention to the details. That is a key in fishing is paying attention to the small things. They’ve been easy to coach because they love what they’re doing.”
Huewe said angling is difficult because each lake has different conditions that affect an angler’s ability to catch and reel fish in.
“I can pull up to [Lake] Minnetonka and you know I’m going to catch fish almost every time I’m out there,” Huewe said. “I can pull up to a new lake that is dirty and not a lot of weeds, and I’d have kind of a struggle, because there’s not much for fish to stick to other than shallow water and rocks.”
Huewe and Melcher caught five fish in the championship. Their catch weighed in at 19 pounds, 9 ounces. Finishing behind them in second place was the team of Nehemiah Glenn and Joe Gorman of the Lakeville Fishing Team. Glenn and Gorman caught five fish weighing 17 pounds and 13 ounces.
In past seasons, Huewe and Melcher would pre-fish together to prepare for tournaments. Huewe said that they haven’t pre-fished as much this season because both are concentrating on their jobs. When they fish together, they think alike.
Holte said both Huewe and Melcher are passionate about the outdoors, which has inspired them to love fishing.
“That’s their circle of friends,” he said. “They’re always outside. They love hunting. They love fishing. They love being out in the woods bird hunting. Whatever they’re doing, they love being outside. We used to go practice before a tournament. I’d drop them off and I’d [say] ‘What are you guys going to do?’ [They’d say], ‘Oh, we’re going fishing again.’ They’d be going somewhere else fishing. They love it.”
Huewe said he was happy to win the state fishing championship with Melcher.
“I’m going into my senior year,” Huewe said. “[Lake] Minnetonka’s pretty much been a very good place for me. The last few years we’ve taken top three in the last three tournaments or so, and we’ve placed in the top five every time we’ve fished out there. It felt good to get another grab out there.”#1