By Steve Weisman
Pure Fishing Foundation’s fourth annual Ice Fishing Tournament is set for Saturday, February 15 on West Lake Okoboji’s Emerson and Little Emerson Bay.
After three years of holding the tournament on Big Spirit Lake, the tournament will be held on Emerson Bay. The reason for the change?
According to Nick Shaffer, one of the organizers of the event, “Perch are a cyclical species and right now Big Spirit is at the bottom of the cycle. We’d like to give anglers the best experience on the water, so we decided while the cycle was low we’d move the tournament to West Lake where the clear water is great for sight fishing, and the bluegill fishing is best.”
Check-in and late registrations will take place at the Emerson Bay boat ramp from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. with the tournament blastoff taking place at 9 a.m. and the weigh-in scheduled for 3 p.m.
Cost to enter is $35 if registered by February 8 and $40 after that date. The first 75 entrants receive a Pure Fishing gift bag worth over $40 in product.
Anglers can weigh up to 10 bluegills with an optional Big Fish Contest costing $5 with a 50 percent payback.
Top prizes include a $250 Fisherman’s Factory Outlet gift certificate and a Clam 1-person portable fish shack for first place; $250 Fisherman’s Factory Outlet gift certificate for second place; $125 Fisherman’s Factory Outlet gift certificate for third place. Additional prizes will be awarded for fourth through ninth place, along with special prizes for every tenth place.
A wide range of door prizes will be given away at the weigh-in, including a raffle for a Clam Voyager TCX 2-person ice shack.
Shaffer added, “We’d like to thank all of the volunteers and angler participants that help make our Pure Fishing Foundation Ice Tournament a success every year. It’s a fun way to support a great charity! We’d also like to thank all of our sponsors – Abu Garcia, Berkley, Fenwick, Pflueger, Hodgman, Johnson, Shakespeare, Spiderwire, Stren, Fisherman’s Factory Outlet, Clam Outdoors and Scheels – for making this charity event successful.”
In addition to the fun and competition of the ice fishing tournament, net proceeds will benefit the Pure Fishing Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization with the mission of helping co-workers and their families with hardships that might occur requiring emergency financial assistance.
Anglers interested in entering the tournament can email the Pure Fishing Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can call (712) 336-4535 or stop in at Fisherman’s Factory Outlet to sign up.