NAIFC makes it to Quicksilvers Home State
The 7th of 8 qualifiers for the 2018 North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) Championship was recently held on Lake Menomin in Wisconsin. After 3 days of prefishing in relatively steady weather conditions, most teams were confident they would catch fish and do well at the weigh-in. Their biggest worry was ice thickness. At 3 feet thick it may become thicker than their augers are long and they’d have to chop through the last few inches of ice with a spud bar, if they brought one along.
At the rules meeting on Saturday night when starting positions are determined, the talk turned to an impending storm that was forecast to dump 6 to 9 inches of snow overnight and be driven by 30 to 40 mph winds. The competitors were concerned about what impact the storm may have. Would the fish move to other locations? Would the fish be as aggressive as they have been? Would their ATV’s and snowmobiles make it through the forecasted deep snow?
Tournament Sunday broke clear and cold with only 4 inches of new snow but, the wind was blowing at a sustained 15 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph as the video of the Quicksilver starting line flags can attest. Everyone was able to travel around the 1,000-acre lake and found the fish were still biting. Most teams brought in their tournament limit of 16 fish. It was the best showing of the year for a NAIFC crappie, bluegill tournament. Four teams brought in over 10 pounds of fish and a total of 13 teams were above 8 pounds.
Education is a big of part of a NAIFC qualifier as is the competitive fishing. It seems fitting to highlight the NAIFC and their education efforts at this event because Lake Menomin is surrounded by the city Menomonie. It is here that public education in WI had one of its earliest and strongest supporters. James H. Stout was a major investor of the Knapp, Stout & Co. which was located in Menomonie and was the largest lumber firm in world at the time. As a firm believer in the benefits of education Mr. Stout helped promote and establish schools throughout WI. His teaching methods, manuals and reputation expanded on both a national and international level. The school that he started in Menomonie went on to become the University of Wisconsin – Stout.
The NAIFC Friday Night Seminars are free of charge and cover ice fishing fundamentals. NAIFC Pro Staff will explain and demonstrate the basic skills needed and techniques used in ice fishing. It is designed for beginners and intermediate fishermen and women. Seminar speakers will also discuss the best products and cutting-edge techniques used for ice fishing and answer any questions to help you catch fish.
The NAIFC Saturday Kids Ice Camp, free of charge, introduce kids and their parents to ice fishing. Each youth that attends will receive promotional Items for their future ice fishing adventures. NAIFC Pro Staff will demonstrate at an indoors classroom setting ice safety, bait, equipment and jigging. The kids and their parents will then be invited to ice fish on a lake. Equipment will be provided and NAIFC Pro Staff will be on hand to assist all that attend.
If you are looking for something to do in the wintertime and want to learn about ice fishing, the NAIFC educational seminars are a great place to get started.
The final NAIFC qualifier will be held in Watertown, SD. Find out more at www.naifc.com.