West Yellowstone, Montana will host an NAIFC (North American Ice Fishing Circuit) National Qualifier from January 8-10,2021. 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 on Saturday, January 9 before the rules meeting.
The tournament is located on Hebgen Lake just outside of West Yellowstone. Kirkwood Marina is the location for the tournament starting point and Kid’s Ice Fishing Camp.
For the second year, the NAIFC will host a High School Division/SIF (Student Ice Fishing). The SIF High School Qualifier will be held Saturday morning. Open to students 12 years of age and older, in a 2-person format. Coaches and parents are allowed on the ice to assist the student anglers but are prohibited from fishing.
There are no entry fees to the High School Championship or High School Qualifiers. The anglers will be competing for scholarships/grants and trophies. The High School anglers will join SIF (Student Ice Fishing – youth division of the NAIFC). $25.00 SIF membership includes: in-school seminars, meet-n-greets and VIP merchandise programs.
To help slow the spread of covid-19, the format of our event weekend will look a little different. We will be implementing health and safety procedures including the social distancing, face masks, hand sanitizing and limited group sizes.
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 9th. The classroom portion will begin at 1pm at the Holiday Inn Conference Center, then move out to Kirkwood Marina on Hebgen Lake for on-ice fishing. Groups limited to 25 people or less, so classroom instruction will be by pre-registration only starting Dec. 15, 2020. Times will be 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:00pm & 2:30pm with each group heading the on-ice after each session. Face masks and social distancing required in classroom. One parent will be allowed per family to allow for as many children as possible in the guidelines. The classroom instruction and demonstration will cover ice fishing equipment, techniques, safety, conservation & environmental stewardship. At the Kirkwood Marina everyone heads out onto the ice for demonstrations delivered by experienced, certified NAIFC Pro-Staff instructors.
On Sunday, the NAIFC will conduct the Hebgen Lake Qualifier with two-person teams fishing from approximately 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. Cash and prizes will be awarded to the top teams. The top ten finishing teams also receive an invitation to the NAIFC National/North American Championship.
For more information on the NAIFC, tournament events, the Kids ICE CAMP, information about the West Yellowstone/Hebgen Lake lodging and activities for tournament, go to www.westyellowstonemticefishing.com. To enter an NAIFC qualifier please go to www.naifc.com. 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.