For the second straight year, Minnesota Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo was joined by Minnesota Wild players, local celebrities and fans for the Mike Yeo Classic on Tuesday.
Yeo, an experienced fisherman, started the event last year to help raise money for the Pinky Swear Foundation and the Angel Foundation, two local groups that provide aid to those closely related to someone with cancer.
"We caught a lot of fish, we had a great time, a great group," Yeo said. "It's good conversation while we're out there, and good action. You don’t even realize while you're out there having fun that we’re raising money for a couple of great charities. Along the way we did some good too."
Most boats consisted of one celebrity, one fan and one professional fisherman. As the day concluded and each boat docked, their hauls, which were allowed to be up to five fish, were weighed, tallied and a winner was declared.
It wasn't Yeo though, or another experienced celebrity fisherman who came away with first place.
Jason Zucker, joined by pro Cody Zdrazil, brought in the winning catch at a combined weight of 15.88 pounds.
Zucker, who claims he only fishes in the Mike Yeo Classic, said he didn't catch a single fish in last year's event and was hoping Tuesday's performance was redemption.
"For me to get one this year was definitely an upgrade," said Zucker, who also hauled in the heaviest of the five fish his boat kept. "It's nice to get the win.
Our guide was great; he showed us all the hot spots. Our other companion was awesome too, and it worked out well. I guess I get the invite back next year after this, I get to defend our title."
Yeo said he would take the loss in stride.
"We’ll forgive him," Yeo said. "There’s enough time — if camp started tomorrow, he might have started on the fourth line, but I’m smart enough to know that he’s too good of a player for that to happen."
Of the 10 participating Minnesota Wild players, there were varying levels of fishing experience.
"I'm a big fisherman. We have a cabin up north that I get up to quite often and fish quite a bit, so I enjoy this," said Jordan Schroeder. "It's always a bonus when you can help someone and organizations out. Just to take a little bit out of our day to help them, it goes a long way. We're fortunate to be able to help them out, and we do it whenever we can."
Last year's champion, Justin Fontaine, and his boat, fell under a pound short of this year's winning weight.
"There weren’t as many boats last year, but it's always good to win," Fontaine said. "Coming in, we were talking about trying to repeat, which it didn't turn out that well.
We had a chance to but we lost a couple of fish that probably would have put us over the top. It's a lot of fun regardless of where you finish."