Rifle tournament puts anglers on ice | AspenTimes.com

Rifle tournament puts anglers on ice

John Gardner
Rifle correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Ice fishermen will gather at Rifle Gap Reservoir this weekend for the 10th annual Rifle Gap Ice Fishing Tournament. The lure: a chance at $20,000. (Kara K. Pearson)

RIFLE, Colo. ” The ice is solid, the fish are hungry and the Rifle Gap Reservoir is primed for the 10th annual Rifle Gap Ice Fishing Tournament this weekend. And it’s fixing to be a whopper.

“It’s a very popular event,” said Annick Pruett, Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce director. “It will be the same rules as last year and it should be just as fun.”

This years’ event takes place Saturday and Sunday.

At last year’s tourney, Rifle’s Mike Whitney took the first-place spot with his 24 1/4-inch brown trout to win the adult brown trout division. That catch gave Whitney an opportunity to draw one envelope ” out of 100 ” with a chance to win $20,000 in cold cash. Even though he didn’t win the $20,000, Whitney still left the ice with the first-place $500 prize and the thrill of being tournament champion.

Fishermen have the same chance at winning $20,000 if they reel in the biggest fish of the tournament this year. Pruett is looking toward the future and expects the event to grow beyond last year’s crowd of more than 400 participants.

“We have been able to get on the circuit between the Kremmling and Granby ice fishing tournaments,” Pruett said. “We see a lot of return fishermen each year and it’s just a great family event.”

This year, entrants will receive a registration gift bag filled with goodies from local retailers that are chamber members. Pruett said it’s another way to promote the businesses in Rifle to people who are visiting the community.

“We are soliciting Rifle businesses with shopping coupons,” Pruett said. “We get about 400 fishermen and women and a lot of them are from out of town. We would like them do a little shopping around town while they are here.”

The entry fee is now $50 per entrant, though youths, 17 and younger, can compete for free.

For more information on the tournament, contact the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce at 625-2085, extension 2, or visit the chamber at http://www.riflechamber.com.


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