The Tolna, North Dakota Volunteer Fire Department held its annual ice fishing tournament on Stump Lake in northern North Dakota in February. Historically, this event attracts hundreds of ice anglers with the goal of obtaining yearly bragging rights by catching the largest walleye, perch, or northern pike. In spite of -30F temperatures and -50F wind chills, the event was well-attended.
Another attraction that weekend was the annual Youth and Family Fishing Clinic held by Yamaha Outboards Pro Angler Spencer Deutz. This would have marked the fourth consecutive year of the clinic with upwards of 50 youth anglers. In a non-COVID year, the youth clinic takes place inside the event center, but this year the decision was made to hold the clinic on the ice.
However, with windchill temperatures reaching -50F, Spencer decided the only option to educate the youth this year would be to provide PowerPoint slides with an exam attached. Kids were asked to read thought the slides, fill out the exam and then mail it to Spencer. Once received, each participant would receive an ice rod/reel combination and a Future-Pro t-shirt courtesy of the National Professional Anglers Association’s (NPAA) Future Angler Foundation (FAF).
Spencer’s message in the previous years was Clean, Drain and Dry and this year was no different. With the exponential growth of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) invading our waterways, it is imperative that the Clean, Drain and Dry message is embraced by everyone who plans to be on the water, especially our youth. If our youth want to have healthy waters in years to come, we need to involve them in preventing the spread of this potential disaster.
The exam also taught the youth anglers safety rules, different reel types, fish identification and much more. Regardless of COVID and the weather, the event was a success and organizers are already planning for 2022!
Deutz, the NPAA, and the FAF would like to thank the City of Tolna and the Tolna Volunteer Fire Department for their assistance with these events. Since 2010, Deutz has hosted over 80 clinics and believes he can make a significant impact on the sport through education and outreach.
For more information on the event, contact Spencer Deutz @ 701-361-2521.
Deutz’s Sponsors Include: Yamaha Outboards, Ranger Boats, Luther Family Buick GMC of Fargo-Moorhead, Blackfish Gear, Optima Batteries, VisionBANK, Moritz Sport and Marine, Off Shore Tackle Company, Northland Tackle, and Airwave Pedestal.