Ice Fishing Champion Expected To Break Records
Tournament records could be shattered. That's the feeling of tournament organizers as for the first time in the history of the North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC), two lakes will be fished for their national championship next month. Rhinelander, WI, designated by the state as, "The Ice Fishing Capital of the World", is the host community as nearly 70 teams will go after their portion of an estimated $20,000 pay out.
Set for December 18th & 19th, Lakes Thompson and George will provide two distinct challenges to competitors. While Thompson is largely a natural structure lake, George is littered with man made cribs and boulders and insiders believe the largest tournament catch ever could be realized. NAIFC tourney coordinator Brian Gaber of Rhinelander says, "I wouldn't be surprised to see crappie over 16-inches from this event". Crappie and sunfish are the primary species. This is the third consecutive championship held in this Northern Wisconsin community, the first two on Boom Lake. Rhinelander was also home to the World Championship last March when, for the first time, anglers from eleven countries came to the United States to compete, drawing thousands of spectators to the city and global news coverage.
Residents and visitors alike can also take part beginning with free fishing clinics Thursday evening (16th) for both kids and adults. Raffles and prizes will be available and live music is also being planned at the Northwoods Banquet Center beginning at 6pm. It's also the location for the weigh-ins at 2pm that weekend. Competition begins both days at 8am.
The NAIFC is a corporation established by fishermen, for fishermen. Their mission is to advance the sport of ice fishing in North America by providing the highest level of competition, education and product promotion.