The first step towards fishing at the 2014 11th World Ice Fishing Championship (WIFC XI) in Belarus is by earning a spot on the USA Ice Fishing Team. The Unites States Freshwater Fishing Federation (USF3) is inviting the top ice anglers in America to compete in the 2013 National Team Finals in Rhinelander, Wis., on March 8-10.

Just making the team is a great individual accomplishment and is not easy. “To make the USA Ice Fishing Team, it takes speed, awareness, endurance and determination, but most of all, it takes pride. Pride in yourself and pride in your country,” USA Ice Team Assistant Coach Jason Gruett said. “We make the qualification process as challenging as possible and run ice anglers through five competitive heats in three days. Some of the heats will rely on the anglers’ catch rate to determine the winner, while other heats rely on total catch weight.

The Holiday Acres Resort in Rhinelander will be the host hotel and the angling competitions will occur at local lakes. To sign up for the event, anglers need a valid Wisconsin fishing license and donation of $50. Anglers can pay either at the informational meeting, or via the donation tab at www.usaiceteam.com. If anglers donate via website, email your donation confirmation to Gruett at gruett4@gmail.com.

The USA Ice Team Championship schedule will be as follows:

  • Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. – Informational meeting, registration and instructions
  • Friday, March 8, 2013 – Two open heats of head-to-head international-style ice fishing competition
  • Saturday, March 9, 2013 – Two heats of semi-final head-to-head international-style ice fishing competition
  • Sunday, March 10, 2013 – One final heat of head-to-head international-style ice fishing competition

Competitions consist of head-to-head heats with anglers split up evenly by zones. Anglers are limited to one jig rod and one line. Holes are hand drilled. Anglers may mark two holes and competitors cannot be within five meters of another competitor’s hole. The most weight in your competition grid or the fastest in a timed heat will decide order of placement. Placement points are tallied and top anglers move on to the next round. Open heats will be combined and the top 40 competitors will move to the semi-final round. The top 20 competitors will move to the finals. The top 10 anglers will make the 2014 USA Ice Team and compete in the 2014 WIFC XI, scheduled for Belarus.

Logo courtesy United States Freshwater Fishing Federation

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