NAIFC Hebgen Lake, MT
For it’s second championship qualifier of 2018, the North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) traveled to its western most venue, Hebgen Lake, MT. The location is just north of West Yellowstone, MT bordering Yellowstone National Park.
This qualifier is a bit different from most of the others in that the target species is rainbow trout instead of panfish like crappie and bluegill. Most of the competitors are also from the western states of CA, CO, ID, MT and UT instead of Midwest states like MN, IL, IN and WI. However, teams from MI, ND and WI were included in the 65 registered teams.
Another difference is the on ice transportation. Deep snow is usually the norm in the Rockies and for this tournament most teams rode snowmobiles instead of ATV’s. Cold temperatures and deep snow or not, Quicksilver lubricants and fuel care products perform well in all conditions. Quicksilver also contributed by having its wind flags mark the start/finish line where morning inspections are done and what teams must cross before the 2:00pm deadline.
Tournament pre-fishing yielded some beautiful fish and as Jack Baker (NAIFC Tournament Director) stated “the scenery is even better”. Once the tournament fishing began and the weigh-in was completed there were over 20 teams that had their 6-fish limit. Denise and Wayne Schlegel took first place with a total weight of 14.7 lbs. Jack was happy to see several other women compete and have one of the wood plaque awards going to one of them in addition to Denise.
As always, Jack is very thankful for all the fishermen, fisherwomen and volunteers who came out to the tournament and helped pull off another spectacular event. He also added, “we were delighted to welcome our very first sled dog to the NAIFC competition and add another page in our tournament history,”
The NAIFC now heads back to its home state of MN for a January 26-28 event on Cedar Lake near Northfield, MN. Find out more at http://www.naifc.com/