WHITNEY, NE - The rods and reels don’t go away once the cold sets in and area lakes freeze over for the winter. This year’s Whitney Lake Ice Fishing Tournament outside of Whitney, Nebraska, will attract courageous fishermen from across the Midwest.
Spectators and competitors from Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and more, will join northwestern Nebraskans vying for the biggest fish they can pull out of the ice Saturday, Jan. 13 at Whitney Lake.
The tournament, brainchild of Chadron, Nebraska native Scott Gooder, now in its third year, is more than just competitive fishing, it’s a way for those involved to have a good time while also giving back to Whitney Lake itself.
Each year the Whitney Dock Club takes proceeds from the tournament and applies them to improvements at the lake. In the past the club used the money raised to give the lake’s dock area a much needed rebuild. With improvements to the dock all but completed, Gooder says this year’s proceeds will be used toward upgrading and improving restrooms at the lake.
One hundred of 1,000 total tickets are still available to anyone wishing to compete at the tournament, with tickets costing $25. If you’re interested in purchasing tickets and attending the event contact Gooder via telephone at 308-430-4896.
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If you’re an ice fishing aficionado, there’s more than enough reason to want to attend. Each ticket provides the holder the opportunity to compete in the tournament, gives entry to the chili supper held at 5 p.m. at the Crawford, Nebraska, community building, and enters the holder into what can only be referred to as a “lucrative” raffle.
In total, over $20,000 worth of prizes will be raffled at the chili supper, including a 2017 Polaris 450 four-wheeler, multiple firearms, televisions, tree stands, and much more.
With regard to the competition, the tournament features three divisions: walley, crappie, and “other.” Each fisherman or fisherwoman is allowed one entry per category and entries will be judged by length. The winner of each category will be awarded $250, with the second and third largest fish being rewarded with $150 and $100 respectively.
Pre-registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will conclude at 9:30 a.m. at the Whitney Lake boat ramp. The tournament will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the chili supper to follow.