Hebgen Lake NAIFC Ice Fishing Tournament Qualifier weekend in West Yellowstone Montana: January 15-17, 2015
West Yellowstone, Montana will host an NAIFC (North American Ice Fishing Circuit) National Qualifier from January 15-17, 2016. The qualifier – an ice fishing tournament – takes place on Sunday and is open to any two-person team. Teams range from locals to national level pro’s to teams just wanting to learn more about ice fishing. Teams can register up to 6 PM at the Saturday night reception and rules meeting.
The tournament is located on Hebgen Lake just outside of West Yellowstone. Kirkwood Resort & Marina is the location for the tournament starting point and Kid’s Ice Fishing Camp.
Throughout the two days preceding the tournament, there are many educational opportunities. These activities are free and open to the public. Friday night kicks-off with a social hour from 5 to 7 PM followed by seminar designed to put attendees on the fast track to becoming highly skilled anglers, eventually becoming teachers to their friends and fishers in the local community. This is free and open to the public.
Friday night’s presentation include Ice Fishing Pro’s Peter Hupf and Jason Kamkraft (Wisconsin) talking about ice efficiency and catching more fish in a shorter period of time. Pro partners and brothers, Ben and Luke Blegen (Minnesota), will be demonstrating features and tips for working with Aqua Vu cameras. USA Ice Fishing Team members Chad Schaub and Anthony Rodriguez will be describing how to use European ice fishing techniques in USA waters. And, NAIFC Director Jack Baker will demonstrate jogging motions and strike detection.
After the speakers are done those attending the seminar are invited to get up close and personal, talking to NAIFC Pro Staff one-on-one about how they go about catching fish. Join locals and pro’s for dinner at local eateries after the seminar. It’s also a chance to talk with members of the USA Ice Fishing Team.
The Rocky Mountain Ice Fishing Product Fair, featuring national manufacturers and regional suppliers, will be set up at the Holiday Inn Conference Center for both Friday and Saturday Nights. This is a chance to see the latest in equipment, talk to manufacturer’s pro staff and area distributors. On-ice equipment demonstrations will be set-up on Saturday morning on Hebgen Lake, along with pre-fishing with the pros.
One of the most popular activities of the weekend is the free NAIFC Kid’s Free Ice Fishing Camp will be back again on Saturday, January 16th at Kirkwood Resort & Marina on Hebgen Lake. All kids can participate, along with family members, regardless of age. This is largest kids’ ice fishing camp in the Intermountain West where kids get to meet ice fishing pros, and members of the USA Ice Fishing team.
There will be two different starting times. The first group begins at 11:00 AM with classroom instruction and demonstration of ice fishing equipment, techniques, as well as safety, conservation and environmental stewardship. Then, everyone heads out onto the ice on-ice fishing tutorials delivered by experienced, certified NAIFC Pro-Staff instructors. The second group begins at 11:45 AM. A hot dog lunch will be served after on-ice demo’s and practice. The NAIFC Kid’s Ice Camp is sponsored by ice fishing industry supplies along with local businesses, food suppliers, and Kirkwood Resort and Marina.
On Sunday, the NAIFC will conduct the Hebgen Lake Qualifier with two-person teams fishing from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. At 2:00 PM the NAIFC Tournament weigh-in will be conducted at the Holiday Inn Conference Center. Cash and prizes will be awarded to the top teams. The top ten finishing teams also receive an invitation to the 2015 NAIFC National/North American Championship to be held in December in Minnesota.
Make sure to bring the family and enjoy our other events and activities happening throughout West Yellowstone. Friday and Saturday the Fun Run Sled Dog Races will be taking place, and Saturday and Sunday children and their families can enjoy activities like snowshoeing, M120 Kids snowmobile rides, live raptor programs from the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, s’mores, sledding and skating for free during the Kids’N’Snow Weekend.
For more information on the NAIFC, Friday Night Seminar, the Kids ICE CAMP, information about the West Yellowstone/Hebgen Lake lodging and activities for tournament, go to www.westyellowstoneicefishing.com. To enter an NAIFC qualifier please go to www.naifc.com or please call Kathy Roberts at 320 252 0428. For information on lodging and other winter activities, please go to www.DestinationYellowstone.com or contact the West Yellowstone Visitor Center at 406.646.7701.