The winter Classic has become one of Colorado's premier ice fishing contests. In addition to Colorado fishermen, the tournament draws hard water anglers from Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska.
"Last year's Classic Champions won over $4,000.00 in addition to the hundreds of dollars won by other participating anglers. When that much is at stake, the contest sees lots of folks from all over,"¯ said tournament director Larry Falk. The tournament series is an annual rite of winter for ice fishermen who want to test their skills against others in friendly competition.
All tournament contests are team events and each team consists of two anglers, one of whom must be at least 18 years old. Each event stands alone as a separate contest. If a team competes in all three events, there is a point system that yields additional prize money. Entry fees are $80.00 per contest per team or $180.00 for all three events.
All contests start at 7 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. In addition to the thousands of dollars to be won, there are numerous door prizes provided by participating sponsors that are given away at each contest's award ceremony. National tackle manufacturer sponsors include Berkeley, Shakespeare, Trilene and Mitchell along with a host of local participating sponsors. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Lake George Charter School.
A valid daily or annual Colorado State Park pass is required for all vehicles entering the park. A valid Colorado fishing license is also required for all participants.
Park officials remind ice fishermen that ice thicknesses may vary considerably within relatively short walking distances. Anyone venturing out onto the ice should always go with a partner, drill test holes to determine ice thickness, wear a life jacket and carry ice picks, 50 feet of rope and a cell phone. Park rangers also recommend that anglers stay away from pressure ridges, open water and ice that is porous, soft or has granulated crystals.
For more information on the tournament, go to www.11milesports.com or call 1-877-725-3172. For Eleven Mile State Park information, call the office at 719-748-3401 or visit http://cpw.state.co.us
Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, all of Colorado's wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. For more information go to http://cpw.state.co.us