Mother Nature ruins plans for ice fishing tournament

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 18:00:38-05

The annual Midwest Open Ice Fishing Tournament near Brooklyn, Michigan, has been canceled for 2017.

Organizers are blaming Mother Nature, after a fluctuation of temperatures, snow and rain has ruined ice conditions in Lower Michigan.

“I checked Devils Lake and all of the other options on February 2 and with what we have now and the current forecast, there is no way we can put on the tournament,” organizer Tom Knutson said. Knutson went on to say safety is the number one concern and with scattered snow on the lakes, there is no way of knowing where the safe spots and unsafe spots are.

The two-man tournament pays $20,100 to the winning team and was scheduled for Devils Lake near Addison. The annual tournament has become a nationwide event, with a prize money and merchandise of more than $35,000. A change in the draw system a few years ago allowed anglers from all over the United States to enter the one-day tournament. Teams were scheduled to be coming from 11 different states and Canada for the tournament.

Last year Canadians Rusty Heron and Erick Hodgins became the first non-Michigan anglers to win the top prize.

The 2018 event is scheduled to be held January 28, 2018, and teams have until Jan. 19, at 5 p.m. to make any team changes. For more information, click on the link within this story. You can also email or call 517-592-2786.