By Steve Weisman
The ice is as good as it’s been in years, so how about entering the third annual Pure Fishing Foundation Perch Ice Fishing Tournament set for Saturday, February 23 on Big Spirit Lake?
Check-in and weigh-in will take place at Marble Beach. Check-in starts at 8 a.m. followed by the blastoff at 9 a.m. Contestants are required to be back at the weigh-in site by 3 p.m. An important rule instituted for this year: weight reductions will take place for anglers checking in after 3 p.m.
Cost to enter will be $30 if you pre-register and $35 if you enter the day of the tournament. For another $5, anglers can get into the Big Fish contest. The first 100 pre-registered entrants (by Februrary 18) will receive a fishing tackle package with exclusive new product valued over $40.
In addition to the fun and competition of the ice fishing tournament, all of the money goes to the Pure Fishing Foundation to help coworkers and their families with hardships that might occur requiring emergency financial assistance.
Anglers can bring up to a 10-perch limit to the scales with the angler placing based on total weight for each angler’s fish. Prizes and raffle items will be awarded at the weigh-in. Top raffle item will be a Vexilar UP22PV FL-22 Ultra Pack with Pro View Ice Ducer. Cost to enter is $10, and the winner must be present to win.
According to Dan Spengler, Project Manager for Bait and Terminal Tackle and also one of the organizers, “We’re expecting another great year. “Sign up early and take advantage of our exclusive tackle package, then try your luck on one of Iowa’s top perch fisheries
The top three places will receive gift certificates from Fisherman’s Factory Outlet: 1st place, $500; 2nd place, $250; 2nd; 3rd place, $125. Additional prizes will be awarded for places 4th through 9th place and for every 10th place.
To enter the contest, anglers can stop in at Fisherman’s Factory Outlet on HWY 71 across from Pure Fishing in Spirit Lake, email the Pure Fishing Foundation at email@example.com or call (712-336-4535.
A total of 92 entrants participated in last year’s second annual Pure Fishing Foundation Perch Ice Fishing Tournament. The results found 26 teams weighing 10-perch limits with a total of 395 perch weighed in by all of the contestants.
Cody Christians from Blue Earth, MN took home the first place with a 10-perch weight of 6.796 pounds. He also weighed in the biggest perch, an .84-ouncer.
Second place went to Austin Full from Royal, IA with a 10-perch weight of 6.242 pounds.
Joel Donahue from Spencer, IA took third place with a 10-perch weight of 5.81 pounds.
Christians and Full were the only two anglers with a weight over six pounds, but the top 10 placers all broke five pounds with their 10-fish weights.
In reference to last year, Spengler added, “Last year’s event was a huge success for the Foundation. Several skilled anglers participated and we gave out some great prizes.”