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Annual Makoti Lake ice derby

Kim Fundingsland/MDN Nearly 100 participants showed up for the annual Hiddenwood Sportsman’s Club ice fishing derby on Makoti Lake. The event was held Jan. 16.

MAKOTI – A young boy raced his remote control vehicle across the shimmering ice. Not far away an empty bucket, pushed by the wind, moved across the ice with a fisherman struggling to keep his balance in pursuit. It was all part of several hours of good fun.

The Hiddenwood Sportsman’s Club hosted their annual ice fishing derby on Makoti Lake Saturday, January 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Seventy-seven adults and 10 children registered and participated. Many other youngsters, not taking part in the derby, could be seen playing on the ice and ducking in and out of portable ice houses.

“It is definitely nice to see the kids coming out and having fun,” remarked Amanda Hauf while looking out the window of the tournament headquarters house.

Hauf, Heather Underdahl and Shawna Schenfisch handled the registration and weigh-in, allowing other club members to participate in the event. It was, said Hauf, easy to do.

“We all hunt, fish, camp, and are involved with farming and ranching,” said Hauf. “We love to pass on our love of the outdoors to the kids and help make these moments memorable for them, to get them excited about getting outside and experiencing all that our area has in store!”

The weather was a bit windy but the temperatures remained very tolerable throughout the event. While some fishermen were tucked inside portable ice houses, others were not. Some chose instead to fish in the elements which, by North Dakota standards, were much more agreeable than in years past.

There were two targeted species of fish for the event – northern pike and perch. Makoti Lake has always had a well deserved reputation as a pike fishery, especially when it avoids low oxygen levels brought on by difficult winters. Right now the pike in the lake are healthy. The pike at the top of the leader board at the end of derby were over 8 pounds. Smelt was a typical presentation.

Perch populations can fluctuate greatly from year to year. At Makoti Lake they proved to be tougher to catch than the pike with only four being brought to the scale in four hours.

A much warmer than usual winter season, particularly with a lack of below zero temperatures, has meant ice is not as thick as it has been most years. Ice on Makoti Lake last Saturday ranged from 8-12 inches.

Hiddenwood Sportsman’s derby results:

Makoti Lake, January 16

Total catch: 21 pike, 4 perch

Adult northern pike:

1 – 8 lbs., 12 oz., Dalton Walsh

2 – 8 lbs., 5 oz., Logan Weber

3 – 7 lbs., 8 oz., Wayne Dahl

Kids northern pike:

1 – Wrenly Oen, 6 lbs.

2 – Cash Steele, 5 lbs.

Adult perch:

1 – 8.25 oz., Chris Lider

2 – 3.25 oz. Lane Underdahl

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