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Tourism Committee ready for annual angler invasion

The final preparations are ongoing as the Mobridge Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee gets ready to entertain 1,052 anglers at the 18th Annual Ice Fishing Tournament Saturday, Jan. 12.
With $275,000 in cash and prizes, the Mobridge tournament is one of largest in the Midwest. Tourism Committee member Kelsey Majeske said there will be more big prizes to be given away this year.
“We have two side-by-sides and three four-wheelers for prizes, as well as three Ice Castle shacks and a Snowdog,” she said. “We were able to expand our prizes in part because Grand River Casino and Cloverdale upped their sponsorships to the platinum level.”
Majeske said this year the committee decided instead of using decals on the Ice Castle Shacks, the units will be wrapped with the tournament sponsors’ logos. Also new this year, the event T-shirts and sweatshirts have a new design and will be available for sale at Scherr-Howe during the events.
This tournament has a very loyal following in part because of the prize packages but also because of a reputation of being a well-run, fun tournament. Anglers come to Mobridge from across the country to enjoy the fishing experience, but also for the camaraderie around the annual event.
The three-day event begins with the annual fishing expo to be held at Scherr-Howe Event Center with some new vendors and old friends as well as a four-person panel of professional experts to discuss new technology, presentations and the latest enhancements to the ice fishing experience.
The Expo opens on Thursday, Jan. 11, at 3 p.m. and will continue until 8 p.m. and will open again Friday, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The rules meeting will be held on Friday, with the doors opening at 5:30.
Anglers will receive their bucket of goodies Saturday morning at the Mobridge Coke warehouse and will weigh-in their catches at Beadle Chevrolet.
Overnight temperatures dropped drastically this past week giving Lake Oahe a heavier coat of ice for anglers. Majeske said there is always room for volunteers to help at the event. Anyone interested should call the Mobridge area Chamber of Commerce at 845-2500.
Sponsors for the event include Northwest Beverage, Scheels, Ice Castle, Aluma, River City Sports, Pro Tackle, Big Frig, Schmeichels’ Repair, Techicolor, Runnings, Herreid Sporting Center, Cahill, Bauer and Associate’s, GTC/Car Quest, Merkel’s Sandwiches, Ion Augers, HT Fishing, Paylessfoods and Nebulous.
The $275,000 in cash and prizes given away during the three-day event includes two Polaris side-by-sides; three Ice Castle Ice Shacks; an Aluma trailer; three four-wheelers; Vexilar graphs; Strikemaster augers; flat screen TVs; Nebulous floatation devices, Runnings gear; Scheel’s gear and more.
Raffles will be held for two prize packages to be given away at the weigh-in on Saturday night.
Information about the tournament, prizes, videos and comments from anglers can be found on the Mobridge Ice Fishing Tournament Facebook page.
– Katie Zerr –