“Tip-up.” If you know what this means you may be getting ready for the annual Rhinelander Lions Club Fisheree on Boom Lake at Hodag Park. We’ve participated in the past and we look forward to it each year, because we both love ice fishing, we love walking on the ice, we love the fact that you have to fit the fish through a hole that it may not want to go through and you never know what you have until it pops up through the ice, and we love being outside.
Getting ready to hit the ice is part of the fun. First, we check the temperature to see if the weather is ok to fish. Next, we pack the truck. It may take a little time to load up all the tip-ups, auger, jig poles, food, something to drink, an ice shack if you have one, but we agree that it is worth it. Then, we head over to Hodag Park.
We have to register for the tournament by pre-buying tickets or buying a ticket at the booth on the ice the day of the tournament. After we get registered, we find our hot spot on the ice. We start fishing immediately by drilling holes with our auger and then we set up our tip-ups. Each person can have up to three lines in at a time. Then, we set up our shacks. After we’re all set up we wait for a fish to set off a tip-up. When that happens, you set the hook and pull the line up and hope there’s a big one on the end.
At this tournament, we are hoping for the biggest fish of its species. The biggest Northern will bring $500. Winning fish are usually more than 30 inches long. While we’re waiting for the fish to bite, we eat food and visit with our friends and aunts, uncles, dad, brother and cousins. Our favorite part of participating in the tournament is the chance to win the great prizes while doing one of our favorite things…ice fishing. We both agree that this is one of the best tournaments we’ve participated in. There is a kids division and adult division. This allows kids that maybe don’t want to fish all day but just for an hour or two to fish and they won’t have to compete against all the adults that fish all day.
This annual ice fishing tournament will include fun family activities including the broomball tournament Saturday and snowshoe dash Sunday. Like always there will be great prizes and the paddle wheel. Fishing will start at 7 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. People who are 12 years and older get in for $10 which includes door prizes, people under 12 get in for $2. This is all happening Feb. 8 and 9.