’Tis the season for ice fishing fun

By Tracy McNew
Despite temperatures that have been hovering right around freezing over the last few weeks, the ice on many area lakes has remained sufficiently thick to support ice fish-ing.
Ice fishermen have had no shortage of events to participate in this winter.

Bull Lake’s fourth an-nual ice fishing derby was held on Jan. 20 and 21. The event brought in around 80 participants and a new record-winning pike.
Kory Peltier claimed the record on Saturday with a pike weighing in at 13.8 pounds. He ended up claiming second place overall and second place in the combined weight pike category as well.
Chuck Ekstedt set a new derby record with his 22.2 pound pike caught on Sunday, Jan. 21. Ekstedt finished the derby taking first place in the largest pike category and first place in largest combined weight pike category.

The Libby Elementary School fourth grade class was also out on the ice fishing recently. The fourth graders went to Middle Thompson Lake on Friday, Jan. 26. They were accompanied by teachers, chaperones, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and Fisher River Valley Fire and Rescue for their half day field trip.

Above: Kory Peltier with his 13.8 pound pike. Top: Chuck Ekstedt with his 22.2 pound pike. Both fish were caught at the annual Bull Lake ice fishing derby held Jan. 20 and 21. Photos courtesy of Jennifer Williams.

Below: Libby Elementary school fourth graders ice fishing at Logan State Park on Middle Thompson Lake on Friday, Jan. 26. The fourth grade students are participating in a program called Hooked on Fishing this school year. Photo by Zach McNew, The Montanian.

The ice fishing trip was part of a program called Hooked on Fishing that has helped teach LES fourth graders about fish-ing throughout the school year. As part of the pro-gram, students are learn-ing about fish species, habitat, and fishing equip-ment, dissecting fish, and of course going on fishing field trips to try both ice fishing and regular-season fishing.
Last weekend, Jan. 28 and 29, Fisher River Val-ley Fire and Rescue held an ice fishing derby on the Thompson Chain of Lakes, and Crystal and Loon Lakes. The event was held until 4 p.m. on Sunday so The Montanian was not able to publish results before our deadline.

Coming up on Feb. 10 and 11, the McGregor Lake Fishing Derby is scheduled. The event will be hosted by the Lodge at McGregor Lake. For more information call 858-2253.