Tournament continues to grow
The ever-growing popularity of the Mobridge Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Committee Ice-Fishing Tournament keeps it evolving into a bigger and better event for the whole community each year.
The 500 two-man teams registered to hit the ice on Saturday, Jan. 11 will be vying for $175,000 in prizes.
The tournament will begin on Thursday, Jan. 9, with the Ice Fishing Expo at Scherr-Howe Event Center. The rules meeting will be held at the Event Center on Friday and prizes will be awarded on Saturday evening at Scherr-Howe.
“It amazes me every year how it grows,” said Rick Bolduan co-director of the tournament.
“We had 21 spots open after last year’s teams registered and we had 243 entries for those spots.”
Bolduan said part of the popularity of the tournament is the fact that anyone can ice fish. It is an activity that everyone can enjoy.
“You can take the whole family out onto the ice to fish,” he said.
He said seeing the popularity of the sport explode the past 15 years in the Mobridge area has been unbelievable.
“There are more and more people out on the ice each year,” he said. “It has been a boost to our economy. Businesses are selling permenant shacks, bait and more equipment throughout the winter months.”
Bolduan said the tournament is able to grow every year because of the support of the community and the volunteers.
“We are so happy with the community support we get,” he said. “With some events you have to beg people to help. With this tournament they are coming to us to ensure we have them on the list to help.”
He said the tournament sponsors have grown every year and that prizes for the tournament are still coming into the committee.
This year he said they are going to hold an auction of 10 ice fishing suits of different sizes. Those people who win the auction will then be in the running to win a $2,500 Aluma Trailer. The money raised during the auction will go the outdoor pool fund.
Bolduan said because the tournament has grown so much over the years, the committee has been able to put some money back into the community.
In the past couple of years they have donated $4,500 to local nonprofits.
The tournament starts off at the ice fishing expo at Scherr-Howe to be held on Thursday, Jan. 10 from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. and again on Friday, Jan. 11 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The event will give anglers who are fishing the tourney, and anyone else who wishes to attend, the opportunity to hear and see what is new to ice fishing in 2013.
Pro staff from sponsoring companies will be on hand to answer anglers’ questions both days.
On Thursday at 7 p.m. there will be several experts holding a panel discussion on several topics. Anglers can hear Chad Schilling of Oahe Wings and Walleye, Kerry Konold of Outrageous Adventures Guide Service and Brent Kemnitz of MoPro Guide Service discuss various topics about fishing through the ice.
With an additional $10,000 in prizes, anglers have a good chance to win some sort of prize during the three-day event. The prizes include a $20,000 Custom Cottage Shack, three Honda 4-Wheelers, and a 2013 Bobcat side-by-side all-terrain vehicle.
Other prizes $2,500 in Runnings merchandise; $2,500 in Scheels gear; 20 Strikemaster augers; 20 Vexilar graphs; 12 flat-screen TVs; 10 Clam Shacks; and 10 iPads for the anglers.
Payouts will be made to the top 25 teams and to every team with numbers ending in zero (30, 40, 50 etc.)
Other prizes to be given out at the prize event Saturday evening at Scherr-Howe are A Rappla Ion knife will be awarded for every place ending in 1 and a $500 Beadle’s big fishing package for the largest walleye caught and for largest walleye caught by a young angler, continuing Denny Palmer’s tradition a $100 ice fishing package.
With the very cold temperatures in December, the ice on Lake Oahe should be safe for anglers and their equipment.