For those “hooked” on fishing


Ice fishing has come a long way over the years.  What started out as people cutting holes into the frozen Great Lakes for the sole purpose of finding food has morphed into a family pastime and/or sport.

Although a lot of people DO eat what they catch!

I began my research on this topic with hopes of diving deep into the trenches of the sport itself.  What I got was something totally different.  The first article I read started out, “For you rookies out there, ice fishing is the practice of catching fish through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water.”

Whew – good to know!

Personally, I always thought of ice fishing as an excuse for men to hide from their wives all day, consuming alcoholic beverages whilst socializing with the other menfolk.  I never understood the fascination of sitting out in the middle of the lake, in the cold, staring down a tiny hole for hours on end.

I’m more of a ‘sit in the warm house with a glass of wine’ kind of person myself.

Turns out, ice fishing is a multi-million-dollar activity enjoyed by thousands and thousands of people each winter and soon, Clear Lake will be swarming with ice fishermen who came to town to try their hand at winning a tournament.  They’ll bring their gadgets and gizmos and all the ice fishing things in search of catching the big one.  Or, in some cases, a lot of little ones.

First up is the “Frozen Feathers” Ice Fishing contest.  Held on Sunday, January 16th out at McIntosh Woods State Park, the purpose of this event is to have fun and raise money for Ducks Unlimited.  Registration begins at 7:30am and the event runs from 9am-1pm.  The cost is $110 per registered team with all proceeds going to the organization.

Even better, there will be a Saturday night kickoff party at the Ventura Community Center beginning at 5:30pm.  Food will be provided for all anglers who are part of a registered team.  They will also hold a silent auction, play games, have a raffle, and give out door prizes.  Customized sweatshirts and stocking hats will be available on site for purchase.

Ducks Unlimited is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of wetlands and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, other wildlife, and people. Since 2013, it has grown to a membership of around 700,000 people.

If you’ve already made other plans on that day, never fear, there’s another chance to get in on the frozen fun.

One of the largest ice fishing tournaments in the Midwest will be held right here in Clear Lake.  KP’s Yellow Bass Bonanza might have a new name and be in it’s first year, but it’s the same tournament you’ve enjoyed in the past.  Held on Sunday, February 13th from 10am – 2pm at McIntosh Woods State Park, this event is run by Clear Lake Bait & Tackle owner, Kevan Paul.

Each two-man team will weigh their best 50 yellow bass.  The cost is $225 per team and if you get signed up by January 15th, you’re entered in the early bird drawing to win your entry fee back.

With thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, it’s the one fishing tournament you don’t want to miss.

I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations, as well as any other tournament information, on their website or follow their Facebook Page

So get your ice rods rigged up with the best jigs and dig out your cold weather gear because it’s ice fishing season here at the Lake!