Weekend fishing tournaments in jeopardy

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The Perch Assault and Ice Duels tournaments scheduled Saturday and Sunday on Smith Lake are at risk of being rained out.

That’s not the kind of thing you want to hear, especially for an ice fishing tournament, but this warmup has not been kind to the ice that only recently formed right after Thanksgiving. We do have alternate dates, so if you are entered in either of those events, stay tuned to the Web and Facebook pages for official information.

And if you are just going to casually venture out on ANY ice this weekend, please be careful since rain and wind will eat up the marginal ice we had.

Speaking of ice fishing, we just returned from the 23rd annual St. Paul Ice Fishing Show, a three-day showcase of all the newest and best in the ice fishing world.  

With the sport of ice fishing growing by leaps and bounds over the last eight to 10 years, this showcase grows each year as well. All the top brands as well as the pros who represent them were there, and there were more new products to try and buy then in recent years. Attendance was up over last year by a large margin, especially on Saturday, mostly due to the fact that the mild weather and no ice on area lakes kept anglers wishing instead of fishing.

Locally, Snappy Sport Senter kicked off the ice fishing season last weekend by hosting its annual open house featuring seminars by some of the best local ice anglers, along with new product introductions and giveaways. Cabela’s will host its winter kick-off this Saturday the 12th.  

Ice fishing is a very strong and growing segment here in Northwest Montana.

Lots of talk about the walleyes found in Swan Lake. I do not condone any type of “bucket biology” and fully understand the management issues that it creates. I also understand that more can and should be done to prevent these introductions from happening so that the types of actions proposed post-discovery can be avoided.

Whether this is the work of one person or many, we all are affected by it and it needs to stop.

Lastly, our local area and its incredible fishing opportunities, as filmed and broadcast by the nationally broadcast TV show Tom Gruenwald Outdoors, were highlighted during November.  

This program is seen by over one million viewers weekly and that two-part show using helicopters to access remote lakes, so far, has been the hit of the season. We had the shows playing on a loop at our booth in St. Paul and the feedback I received was awesome.  

These shows will all air again in January and February, but the last of the three episodes we filmed is set to be broadcast Dec. 23 at 11:30 a.m., and repeating Dec. 27 at 8:30 a.m. on The Sportsman Channel.  This show features the grayling and cutthroats of Lake Rogers and some great footage of us catching and releasing these magnificent fish.

In closing, please play it safe on the ice and consider the gift of fishing for someone this Christmas.

Howe runs Howes Fishing/A Able Charters. Contact him at www.howesfishing.com or 257-5214 or by emailing Mike@aablefishing.com.

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