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Tourism

Major ice fishing event, reality show coming to Turtle Mountains

The Lake Metigoshe Mirror of Bottineau, North Dakota

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Local anglers really know their ice and this weekend will be their chance to prove it.

Les Thomas of the Turtle Mountain Tourism Association and Kade Ferris of the Turtle Mountain Natural Resources are excited about the Turtle Mountain area hosting an international ice fishing event and a national reality show.

This weekend begins the First annual North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) Series National Qualifying Tournament on Jarvis Lake, located north of Bel-court. January 20 to January 22.

The tournament's fishing hours are set from 8 am to 1 pm this coming Sunday and the species on the competition agenda will only be Bluegills and Perch. Ferris revealed that Jarvis Lake was stocked last year with 750,000 Bluegill and hundreds of thousands of Perch, so the lake has plenty of available catch in it. Thomas sees the NAIFC Turtle Mountain Qualifier as a step to even bigger fishing events as well as putting the Turtle Mountains "on the map" as a quality tourist destination.

Thomas also noted that the ice at Jarvis Lake is now 16 inches thick, but full-sized vehicles will not be allowed on the lake during the three-day family event. Only ATVs, snowmobiles and walking will be the modes of transportation allowed during the event. Thomas and other tournament organizers are asking for extreme safety precautions from any person utilizing an ATV or snowmobile since there will be many children on the lake most of the time.

Teams finishing in the Top 10 at the Turtle Mountain Qualifier will automatically advance to the December 14-16 NAIFC Championship, culminating in a 2012 North American Champion.

The Turtle Mountain Qualifying Tournament is open to the first 150 two-person teams that enter (no-age limit). Local fishermen should take note that it has been "locals." and not traveling teams that have won 10 out of the last 11 NAIFC Qualifying tournaments.

NAIFC tournaments are competitive in nature, but still considered family-oriented. Fishing boundaries are already set on Jarvis Lake and teams will drill their own holes to locate fish. Portable fish shelters are allowed with walking, ATVs and snowmobiles the modes of transportation.

Accompanying the NAIFC to the Turtle Mountains this year will be the "Ice Men" reality TV program. Camera crews will be on site at Jarvis Lake prior to and during the tournament as they film the Ice Men teams preparing for and competing in the Turtle Mountain Qualifying Tournament.

The first two days of the Jarvis Lake NAIFC Qualifying Tournament will focus on education for both kids and adults. A "Friday Night Seminar" will be held to open the first day leading up to the Sunday tournament. The seminar is free to everyone and features a nationally-known speaker. After the keynote speaker, everyone will be invited to split into small groups with the Ice Men and other NAIFC Pro-staff to discuss fishing techniques in detail.

On Saturday, a free "Ice Camp for Kids" will be held first in a classroom setting. After the classes, the kids, parents and instructors will all go out on the ice to use the equipment and receive "on-the-cold-spot" training. All kids in attendance will receive a free fishing rod from HT Enterprises.

Original Publication Date: January 18, 2012



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