2016 Open Qualifier

Hebgen Lake, MT

Sunday, January 17th, 2016
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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Alaska and Utah Combine to Win Montana's Premier Ice Fishing Tournament

Hebgen Lake, West Yellowstone MT, January 17, 2016 The team of Shane

Hofstad, Alaska and Brent Cummings, Utah topped the 72-team NAIFC (North

American Ice Fishing Circuit) Hebgen Lake Qualifier. Hofstad/Cummings' 6

Rainbow bag tipped the scales at 13.81 pounds netting the pair $4,400.00 and more

importantly the "Wood" (NAIFC plaques). Second place went to the team of Dan

Zitto, MT and Zack Dekay, MT with a 12.96 pound bag. St Croix Rod's Big Fish

award and 4-rod prize package went to Dana Driggs, MT and RC Pierce, MT with

a 3.11 pound Rainbow.

Hofstad reported "Hebgen is a great fishery." "Saturday's pre-fishing had a couple

of weather fronts move through but Sunday the bite was on." "Even with the 14-18

inches of snow that fell Saturday night we had a shot at 19 rainbows to get our 6."

Open to any 2-person team the Hebgen Lake Qualifier attracted a strong field

representing 10-States and a Canadian Province that included 5 past/present Team

USA members. All teams that finish in the top-ten at any of the NAIFC Qualifiers

earn an automatic invitation to the NAIFC National Championship to be held in

December. The NAIFC paid 14 places a total of $10,080.00 cash, along with

$1,000.00 worth of product prizes provided by HT Enterprises, Aqua Vu

underwater cameras, Honda Power Equipment, Work Sharp Knife Sharpening and

St Croix Rods.

Jack Baker NAIFC Tournament Director remarked "People think of West

Yellowstone MT as snowmobile country but deep down this is a fishing

community". "Everybody fishes here, West Yellowstone throws out the red carpet

and the competitors know they are welcome." "It is like going home."

In addition to competition on the best lakes in North America the NAIFC is about

education. A free Friday Night Seminar was held at the West Yellowstone Holiday

Inn with Jason Kamrath/Peter Hupf, Clam Corp, discussing tournament tactics.

Chad Schaub/Anthony Rodriguez, HT Enterprises-Team USA detailing European

fishing styles and Ben & Luke Blegen demonstrating Aqua Vu underwater camera

use. Saturday's education focused on kids and family with 148 parents and

children attending a NAIFC Kids Ice Camp held at Kirkwood Marina and Resort.

Ice safety, Aqua Vu Underwater Cameras, live bait, and jigging techniques using St

Croix Rods were demonstrated by NAIFC Pro-staff. All the kids attending

received a free HT Enterprise ice fishing rod.

For more information on the NAIFC, NAIFC Qualifiers, NAIFC Championship,

NAIFC Friday Night Seminar Series, or NAIFC Kids Ice Camp go to

www.naifc.com or contact Jack Baker at jbakersports@hotmail.com. To enter a

NAIFC Qualifying tournament click on Registration at www.naifc.com or call

Kathy Roberts at 320-229-0106. For more information on the West Yellowstone

MT area contact West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce

www.destinationyellowstone.com or www.kirkwoodresort.com