COLEHARBOR The weather was about as perfect as could be expected for a few hours of ice fishing, so nice that it attracted 150 entrants. The occasion was the 30th Annual Bis-Man Reel & Rec Ice Derby held at Lake Audubon Feb. 18. Fishing hours were 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"It is one of our major fundraisers," said Keith Lipp, Bis-Man Reel & Rec. "It goes into our general fund. Most of it is tagged for docks and repairing campsites along the river. We use a little for our "Take A Kid Fishing" program that we do every year."
The event headquarters was the Totten Trail. The boundaries of the tournament were within site of the nearby boat ramp. Volunteers helped serve hot food at the conclusion of the derby.
Kim Fundingsland/MDN - - Lake Audubon was the site of an ice fishing derby Feb. 18. The weather was ideal. The event was hosted by the Bis-Man Reel & Rec club.
A pair of Minoters had very good days on the ice. Mike Hutchins, Minot, brought the largest northern pike of the derby to the scale. It weighed 9.79 pounds. According to Lipp, other pike weighed in included an 8-pounder, 7-pounder and three in the 6-pound range. Smelt was said to be the most effective presentation for pike. Minoter Stone Morin joined Hutchins in the winner's circle by topping the perch competition with a catch of 0.42 pounds.
The winning walleye was a 1.55-pounder caught by Matt Deitz, Bismarck, on a jigging Rapala tipped with a minnow head. In all, 40 fish were officially weighed.
There was a fisherman's tough luck tale to tell too.
"It was kind of humorous. One guy caught an 8-pound walleye but he hadn't entered the tourney because he thought he'd be fishing outside the boundaries," Lipp said. "As it turned out, he wasn't and would have had the top walleye."
All children 13 years of age and under received a complimentary gift packet for attending the derby. Bis-Man Reel & Rec is scheduled to hold its annual "Cabin Fever" event Saturday at the Bismarck Eagles Club.
"It gets everybody out of the doldrums and thinking about fishing," Lipp said. "We'll have some fishery guys there, some raffles and a good meal."