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Sunday, February 26, 2006

More prizes added to ice fishing championship

More prizes added to ice fishing championship

The best ice anglers in North America will test their skills in the annual Canadian Ice Fishing Championship this weekend.
A one square kilometre area will be marked off in a different location on Lake Simcoe each day, the first in shallow water of eight to 14 feet and Sunday in a deeper area of the lake, 55 to 80 feet. Perch, pike and walleye are the target on day one and whitefish and lake trout on day two. Anglers will depart from the Sibbald Point Provincial Park boat ramp area to an area near Georgina Island, tourney organizer Rocky Madsen said Saturday.

The first exact location will be disclosed during rules night, starting at 7 p.m. tomorrow and the second Saturday at CIFC headquarters in the Kin Community Centre in Sutton.

Mr. Madsen said there will be $25,000 in cash up for grabs, with the winning two-person team collecting a cheque for $10,000 and having their names inscribed on the Georgina Cup, the symbol of ice fishing mastery. Second prize is $5,000. Teams can register up to and including rules night.

Last year's champs, brothers Mike and Norm Burden will be back to defend their title, Mr. Madsen said. Last year was their second win in a row, the fourth altogether for the ice fishing maestros, counting the old four-person team format. Mike is from Georgina and Norm from Toronto. Trophies will also be handed out for biggest lake and whitefish.

Popular last year and included this year is an on-ice taxi service for anglers who don't have a snowmobile or ATV.

And also new this year is a husband and wife team award, early bird draw, lunker pool and several promotional prize packages. Each angler has an opportunity to pay $20 to enter the lunker pool, Mr. Madsen said. Whoever catches the biggest fish will get all but 20 per cent of the money, he added.

The CIFC will donate 20 per cent of the event's proceeds to the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mandate is to restore the water quality of Lake Simcoe. Last year the CIFC donated $1,000.

This year we've made it easier for contestants to catch more fish, thus scoring more points, Mr. Madsen said, adding panfish have been included in the scoring system. On the second day in deep water, we will allow contestants to fish with two lines for big fish.

Scoring will be done by a team of eight experienced officials led by fish master Larry Ellis.

Mr. Madsen, a Sutton resident, took over the CIFC reins from Mike Burrows last year after serving on the tourney's board of directors for 10 years. In addition to his reputation as an angler, Mr. Madsen is also well-known for his Rocky Madsen's Fish Crisp coatings.

For full details see the website or phone 905-722-5425.


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