Anglers from across the United States hit the ice at 9 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 13, as the 17th Annual Mobridge Chamber of Commerce Ice Fishing Tournament’s main event was underway.
There were 526 teams registered for this year’s tourney and by all reports, the fishing was better than in the past couple of years. With the cold temperatures taking a bit of a break (it was 13 degrees above zero at noon), anglers were busy pulling in fish, walleye and others.
All but three teams in the top 25 finishers weighed in six fish, with multiple whoppers coming in, including a 10.58-pound walleye that pushed that angling team into the top spot. Several anglers at the weigh-ins reported large northerns being caught, along with catfish, perch, bass and a ling.
But it was Jeremy Gouldin’s big walleye that was the hit of the weigh-in event. He said the big fish hit his line but he missed setting the hook. As he let the line back down, the whopper hit again and Gouldin was able to secure the beast and pull it through the ice. He and his partner James Gouldin of Black Hawk, S.D., brought in 17.40 pounds of walleye to finish first in the tournament.
His was not the only big fish brought in as Mobridge angler Bo Kaiser brought in a 6.15-pound walleye, Scott Gates of Fort Yates, N.D., weighed in a 6.53-pound “goldeye” and Randy Straatmeyer weighed in a 9.82-pound “hog.”
Straatmeyer, of Viborg, and his partner, Robert Kolthoff, of Hurley, took second place with 16.58 pounds; Brent Reilley and Corey Sandmeier, both of Selby, weighed in 15.99 pounds for third place; Darrell Van Beek, Strasburg, N.D., and Mike Kelsch of Linton, N.D., brought in 14.61 pounds for fourth place and fifth place finishers Dustin Hahne and Josh Rupert, both of Sioux Falls, weighed in six fish for 14.18 pounds.
Sixth place finishers Kevin Krueger and Dan Krueger of Groton weighed in 13.86 pounds of fish. In seventh place, Tony Volk of Aberdeen and Justin Goehring of Herreid weighed 13.56 pounds. Jade Drause and Chad Patch, both of Madison, took eighth with 13.54 pounds. The ninth-place team of Terry Heese, from Omaha, Neb., and Gary Smith of Mondamin, Iowa, brought in 13.48 pounds. Brandon Faehnrich of Hill City and Brent Smith of Aurora, took 10th-place weighing in 12.68 pounds of walleye.
To finish off the top 25 teams: 11th place- Kyle Kaiser of Edgemont and Mark Kaiser of Spearfish, weighed 12.36 pounds of fish; 12th place- Jared Larson and John Olson both of Mobridge, weighed in 12.27 pounds; 13th place- Mike Nehls of Groton and Jordan Nehls of Lincoln, N.D., weighed 12.22 pounds; 14th place- Mike Klug and Jeremiah Quam, both of Mandan, N.D., weighed in 11.81 pounds; 15th place- Ryan Petersen of Fargo, N.D., and Brett Allen of Sioux Falls, weighed 11.43 pounds; 16th place- Josh Olson and Monte Olson both of Lemmon, weighed 11.39 pounds; 17th place- Shawn Grismer of Bowdle and Shannon Grismer of Sioux Falls, weighed in 11.37 pounds; 18th place- Colton Wientjes of Watertown and Chad Wientjes of Milbank, weighed in 11.20 pounds; 19th place- Brian and Tara Kramer of Mobridge, weighed in 11.17 pounds; 20th place- Tatum Sandquist and Sonny Sandquist of Trail City, weighed in 11.10 pounds; 21st place- Jason LaFave of Aberdeen and Justin Karst of Selby, weighed in 11.08 pounds; 22nd place- Chris Hoffman of Pierre and Brendan Peterson of Mobridge, weighed in 11.05 pounds; 23rd place- Craig Koening and Shane Koening of Bismarck, N.D., weighed in 11.02 pounds; 24th place- Jacob Moes of Goodwin and Rob Konold Watertown, weighed in 10.98 pounds; and 25th place- Patrick Thorstenson of Selby and Steve Bull of Dakota Dunes, weighed in 10.95 pounds of walleye.
Winners of the three Ice Castle Ice Shacks were Travis Coffey of Glenwood, Iowa, Troy Stenberg of Mobridge and Keith Carlson of Erwin, S.D.
The three Honda Wheelers went to Jackie Keller of Mobridge, Joel Kuehl of Omaha and Cameron Lux, of Aberdeen. The two grand prizes of the night went to Robert Kolthoff of Viborg who took home a package that included an Artic Cat Wild Cat and the angler who took home the Polaris Ranger 900 prize package got away without his name being recorded.
Tournament Co-chair Jesse Konold said the tournament was again a great success.
“I think the resounding message here is that Lake Oahe is back as a great walleye fishery with all of the nice that came in,” he said. “It goes against the predictions and makes this summer look very promising for anglers.”
Konold said one of the main goals of this tournament is to bring people into town, show the anglers the best time that they can, while having them spend money in Mobridge. He said the Tourism Committee could not pull the tournament off with out all of the help of volunteers and Mobridge community.
“This was one of the easiest years from our end,” he said. “All of the volunteers showed up and jumped in where they were needed. We could never do it without them.”
There were 1,040 walleye weighed in adding up to nearly 1,900 pounds of fish.
– Katie Zerr –