A cold, successful tournament is on the books

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Even though Mother Nature threw another curveball at organizers of the Mobridge Chamber and Tourism Committee Ice Fishing Tournament, Saturday, Jan. 12, the group once again came through with flying colors and presented a quality, successful event, according to event organizers.

With a winter storm blanketing the area Friday and cold socked in for Saturday’s fishing, the tournament date again presented out-of-the-ordinary circumstances for the tourney organizers. In 2012, ice conditions were unsafe as warm weather through December kept Lake Oahe from freezing over. This year’s weather didn’t keep the anglers off of the ice and brought nearly all of the 500 teams to Mobridge for the tourney. Those who hit the ice Saturday said the fish were biting, but they had a hard time bringing in those big enough to weigh in.

Four hundred eighty five teams checked in to fish, with 256 weighing their catch before the prize giveaway at Scherr-Howe Event Center Saturday night. The team of Kasey Wipf of Bowdle and Gary Grismer of Aberdeen brought in six fish weighing 13.55 to take first place of $650 in the tournament. Local fishermen Kurt Rolf and Toby Mauck, both of Mobridge, finished second with 11.55 pounds of walleye winning $550 and Cody Bier of Mandan, N.D. and Kelly Howe of Hettinger, N.D., were close behind in finishing third with 11.50 pounds of fish taking home $450.

Fourth place went to Jim and Casey Glines, both of Rapid City, with 10.98 pounds of fish. Barry Volk of Bowdle partnered with Bob Young of Mitchell to take fifth place. Shawn Grismer of Bowdle and Shannon Grismer of Sioux Falls finished sixth with 10.57 pounds, but only weighed five fish. The seventh place finishers were Rod Ruen and Rich Kueter of Pierre, with 10.454 pounds and Jess Jung and Linda Hengel of McIntosh took eighth with 10.19 pounds. Josh and Aaron Fischer of Mobridge took ninth with 10.17 pounds and the 10th place team was Joshua Vanderwerf of Tea and Andrew Nielson of Lennox with 9.85 pounds of walleye. The team of Clayton Wulf of Lennox and Dustin Reiff of Colman weighed in the largest walleye of the day at 8.05 pounds, which put them in 11th place. Other local fisherman who finished in the top 20 were: 12th place, Marty Looyenga and Bryan Zahn, of Mobridge with 9.52 pounds; 13th place, Jay Ritter of Mobridge and Doug Olson of Lemmon with 9.10 pounds; 14th place, Spencer Gosch and Nate Graf of Glenham with 8.95 pounds; 15th place, Jason Dallman of Mobridge and Mike Dallman of Spencer Minn., with 8.94 pounds; 16th place, Quintin Schlomer of Glenham and Levi Duncan of Mobridge with 8.90 pounds and in 17th place, Brent Riley and Corey Sandmeier of Selby with 8.87 pounds.

Former Mobridge resident Brig Schilling of Sioux Falls was the winner of the big fishing package which included a Bobcat UTV, a Clam Ice House, a Vexilar Flasher and a Strikemaster auger. Other big prize winners were Cody Imberi of Mobridge, Lanny Stiklestam, of Java and Corey Sandmeier of Selby, who all won a Honda four-wheeler. Jim Forrette, of Milbank won the Custom Cottages Ice Shack and Darrell Sterry of Presho won the Aluma Trailer. Debra Mistelski of Morristown was the winner of the Basseri 12-gauge shotgun raffle.

Schilling said he had commented during the trip from the shore to their fishing spot that they needed an ATV for next year’s tourney. He said now he won’t worry about getting stuck on the ice. He laughed and said the vehicle would probably be in his dad’s (Bob Schilling) garage for a while this winter. Winner of the best seat in the house was Drew Hermes of Mobridge.

Tourism Committee member Jesse Konold said the committee was pleased with the results of the event and feel they are close to having the best formula for a successful tournament.

“After doing this for a few years, we are working the kinks out,” he said on Tuesday. “But in the grand scheme of things, with all of the volunteers we had working on this, it was a solid success.”

He said in years past, he had phone calls from anglers that might not be satisfied or about certain improvements that could be made. He said he hadn’t received those calls this year. Konold said two changes that really had an impact on this year’s event was allowing for early check-in at the fishing expo on Thursday and allowing anglers who didn’t weigh fish to check in at another location than those who weighed fish.

“I think this was a huge success for the committee, the tournament and community,” he said. “We got great praise from some other tournament organizers who said it was a well-oiled machine.”

Konold praised the work of the committee and all of the volunteers who helped make the tournament a success over the years. He said he is seeing more anglers on the ice over the past couple of years and hopes part of that can be attributed to this tournament.

“I think we are starting to gain notoriety in this region as an ice-fishing destination,” he said. “It is great for our town.”

Konold said he thinks the committee may be underestimating the value of the tournament as far as bringing revenue to the city. The committee estimated that the event can mean as much as $175,000 in revenue to area businesses.

Top 25: 1. Kasey Wipf, Bowdle, Gary Grismer, Aberdeen, 6, 13.55; 2. Kurt Rahlf, Toby Mauck, Mobridge, 6, 11.55; 3. Cody Baier, Mandan, N.D., Kelly Howe, Hettinger, N.D., 6, 11.5; 4. Jim Glines, Casey Glines, Rapid City, 6, 10.98; 5. Barry Volk, Bowdle, Bob Young, Mitchell, 6, 10.8; 6. Shawn Grismer, Bowdle, Shannon Grismer, Sioux Falls, 5, 10.57; 7. Rod Ruen, Rich Kueter, Pierre, 6, 10.45; 8. Jess Jung, Linda Hengel, McIntosh, 6, 10.19; 9. Josh Fischer, Aaron Fischer, Mobridge, 6, 10.17; 10. Joshua Vanderwerf, Tea, Andrew Nielson, Lennox, 6, 9.85; 11. Clayton Wulf, Lennox, Dustin Reiff, Colman, 2, 9.6; 12. Martin Looyenga, Bryan Zahn, Mobridge, 6, 9.52; 13. Jay Ritter, Mobridge, Doug Olson, Lemmon, 6, 9.1; 14. Spencer Gosch, Nate Graf, Glenham, 6, 8.95; 15. Jason Dallman, Mobridge, Mike Dallman, Spicer, Minn., 6, 8.94; 16. Quintin Schlomer, Glenham, Levi Duncan, Mobridge, 6, 8.9; 17. Brent Reilley, Corey Sandmeier, Selby, 6, 8.87; 18. (tie) Jeremy Roe, Jared Hill, Hartford, 6, 8.35, Ryan Lueck, North Platte, Neb., Casey Sherlock, Alba, Neb., 6, 8.35; 20. Justin Kuylen, Kim Rohr, Dickinson, N.D., 6, 8.1; 21. Dustin Peters, Dickinson, N.D., Roger Peters, Wall, 6, 8.05; 22. Chase Spiry, Mobridge, Courtney Davis, Aberdeen, 1, 7.95; 23. Brian Kramer, Mike Kramer, Mobridge, 6, 7.94; 24. Alvin Martinmaas, Orient, Caleb Martinmaas, Pierre, 6, 7.75; 25. Stacy Collins, Astoria, Stephanie Aberle, Brookings, 6, 7.68.

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