Ice fishing tournament kicks off in Big Lake

Ice fishing
Ice fishing(KFYR-TV)
Published: Jan. 10, 2021 at 10:27 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Still Cold Open ice fishing tournament started at Big Lake Saturday.

Teams of two ice fish every two weeks for three months, with the goal of catching the most inches of fish over the six fishing days.

This is the catch and release tournament’s seventh year.

“It’s challenging. It’s single hook, artificial only, no bait, no scent. So you really got to be in tune with, with what the fish want. And fish are just like people. They want to eat, and they want a place to hang out. So if you can find the combination of those two things, you’ll have a pretty good day,” competitor Jason Terrego said.

“Just being able to come out here, spend the day with a whole bunch of like-minded people, get away from the real world for eight hours, is pretty fantastic,” he said.

Halfway through the tournament, it splits into two divisions -- pro and recreational. It’s to keep everyone competitive through the 3 months, tournament organizer Jim McCormick said.

“The competitiveness is... is pretty awesome,” he said.

“This tournament was a dream of mine for a long, long time,” McCormick said. “To watch it grow, and to have the Fallen Outdoors and American Legion involved with this tournament is huge. You know, we get to give back. And that’s what this is about. This is about giving back to our ice fishing community and to our vets.”

There are 41 teams this year, and with space for nine more. There is a bonus day for teams to make up Saturday’s missed catch. Registration for a team costs $150.

McCormick said 35% of the money raised is donated and the rest goes back into the tournament.

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