Two days after the 1st Annual Matthew’s Bait & Tackle ice fishing tournament and I have already made my list out of things to try differently for next year’s event. If you don’t learn and adapt, you get left in the dust, or ice chips…you get the idea.
The tourney was a lot of fun, and with having 17 entries for a first time event, it went very well. Fishing was tough, but I think most people caught fish. It was just getting those quality kicker type fish that pushed people ahead in several categories.
Perhaps the best part of the tournament was at the weigh-in. At $25 for the entry fee, this really was a fun tourney, and back at the bait shop all the anglers mulled around talked about their day’s experience on the ice. Trials and tribulations, what worked, and even what plans didn’t pan out. If you listened, even the most experienced ice angler could pick up a few useful bits of information.
As far as anyone could tell, even though we could fish either at Sterling State Park or Bolles Harbor, it looked like all the teams fished Bolles. The bite at Sterling just hasn’t panned out like it did last year. Most agreed if the crappie bite had been on like in 2014, Bolles would have been deserted.
There was some cool things that happened during the tourney. One angler picked up a 12-14 inch steelhead, I heard both sizes, so not quite sure. Also, it was said that was the 2nd one to be caught down there this year. Also, one angler saw a walleye in the harbor when he dropped down his camera. Either kind of fish would have been a blast to catch on light panfish line.
it sounds like next year will be a go for the 2nd Annual Tourney, the bait shop was humming, so pretty sure the owners were happy folks about the turnout. Next year can only get better, and am looking forward to getting in again. The fishing is fun, you learn a lot, getting together and talking fishing with everyone, even better.