Ice Fishing Derby lures 48 participants
By SANDY BLANES
It was a cold, cold morning for an ice-fishing derby unless you were tucked into your warm fish house with large homemade sausage sizzling on a small stove, and friends to keep you company. Saturday, February 22, the McClusky Sportsman’s Club hosted their first derby this year on Cottonwood Lake, just north of Butte.
Tina Majors, secretary/treasurer of the club, signed up 38 adults and 10 youth from Butte, Velva, Turtle Lake, McClusky and Bis-marck and wished them good luck. Director Harold Zinke and Vice-president Jim Haux greeted the anglers and President Dennis Bertsch dropped in for a while in the afternoon to check on things.
First fish to be weighed in at 10:50 am was Mike Striha’s, who came in to get things started. "It’s illegal to submit bait, "commented one of the onlookers as the tiny perch was weighed in at .02 pounds, which Tina declared as ‘a tad generous’. Nevertheless, it was champion for a few minutes and gave everyone a great incentive to come in and weigh anything that jumped out of the hole.
With a variety of ice houses scattered around the lake, a visit to some of the contestants came as a welcome respite to the windy cold. Anglers from Velva in a popup tent had a nibble just at picture-taking time, which resulted in getting a perch to weigh in. On to the next fish house and the contestants shared their warmth and a story of the ‘big one’ that got away.