First Ice Affliction event a success

LAKE METIGOSHE – The region’s newest ice fishing circuit, Nodak Ice Affliction, held its inaugural event at Lake Metigoshe Dec. 14-15. Nine two-man teams participated in a quest to entice bluegills from under the ice.

“It was a good tournament. It turned out good and there was a good group of guys fishing it,” said Jared Baier, Minot.

Baier and teammate Collin Barnard of Minot won the event and captured first place price money of $400. The duo teamed for a catch of 16 bluegills that tipped the scales at 10 pounds, 14 ounces.

“We got right on them,” said Barnard. “It was nice to get out with a good group of guys, have fun and a little competition.”

Ice thickness at the time of the derby was generally about 18 inches. Most of the bluegills, the signature fish for Lake Metigoshe, were in the 9- to 10-inch range. However, the biggest bluegill checked in at a whopping 1 pound, 10 ounces.

“That was a hog,” remarked Baier. “All of ours were pretty much the same. I used little tungsten jigs and wax worms. We didn’t move around whole lot.”

Second place went to the team of Ryan Christen of Minot and Jeff Zavada of Lignite. They weighed 16 bluegills totaling 10 pounds, 12 ounces, a scant 2 ounces short of the leaders but good enough to earn $200. In third place, with 15 bluegills, was the team of Jesse Larson and Zach Lemieux of Minot. They weight total was 8 pounds, 6 ounces. Third place price money was $100.

“It was kind of laid-back, a well-run tournament and not too much pressure,” said Christen. “We’ll fish the other ones.”

Two fishing dates remain on the Nodak Ice Affliction calendar, a bluegill event at Lake Smishek on Jan. 12 and a perch derby Feb. 9 at Antelope Lake. Further information about Nodak Ice Affliction can be found at (teamextremeicefishing.com).