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Reeling in winners

| June 24, 2010 9:00 PM

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Brandon Palaniuk placed first in the adult division of the Western Divisional for the state of Idaho.

Two Coeur d'Alene residents did well recently in the 2010 BASS Federation Western Divisionals at Lake Martinez in Arizona, and will move on to the national championships.

Ethan Peterson, 13, caught a limit of five fish for a total of 9.14 pounds in the one-day tournament for the Jr. Bassmaster competition and won the 11-14 age group.

"I went down there and I tried my best," he said.

Peterson raised money for a year for the trip and took a week off from classes at Woodland Middle School. Teachers there raised $300 to support his efforts. Other sponsors were Clearwater Springs and Big Sky Development.

"The reason I was able to go was all the support I got," he said.

He said the junior division anglers followed the adults, so there was a lot of pressure on the lake's fishery. With 156 competitors in a small lake, Ethan found a place where the fish were biting in the 100-degree conditions.

"I found a spot that no one else knew about," he said.

His wins send him on to the National Championship in October in Shreveport, La. If he wins there, which he plans to do, he'll receive a boat and a college scholarship.

"It hasn't really hit me that I'm going to the junior bass championship," he said Tuesday. "I've always dreamed about going."

Ethan, son of Mike and Katie Peterson, has been fishing "ever since I could hold a fishing reel," and began competing in tournaments three years ago.

Winning the Jr. Bassmaster competition is a highlight in his young career.

"I was very proud of myself," he said.

Brandon Palaniuk also placed first in the adult division of the Western Divisional for the state of Idaho, which earns him a spot to fish the Qualifier for the National Championship this fall in Shreveport.

The adults fished for three days and Palaniuk's total limit was 23.9 pounds. He placed 14th overall out of 146 fishermen. His main sponsors were Axtackle.com, Parker Toyota, Baitsmith and Deka Batteries.

In team competition, Team Idaho claimed 7th overall.

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