The 2014 Cabela’s Colorado Classic Ice Fishing Tournament series is in full swing at Eleven Mile State Park. The first event of the three ice fishing contests in the series was the Grand Slam held on January 11th. Cash prizes were awarded for 1st through 8th place for each of three species of fish caught including trout, northern pike and kokanee salmon based on total weight for a specific number of fish per team (four trout, ten pike and ten salmon). There was also an optional “Big Fish” cash award for the heaviest fish in each category which cost a two-person team an additional $20.00 and includes a 100% payout for this portion of the contest. 82 of the 121 teams bought into the Big Fish Pot for a total payout of $1,640.00 in addition to all the other cash prizes.
The next two contests are the South Park Ice Masters on February 8 and the Marina March Madness on March 8. The Ice Masters is a trout-only contest with two fish, heaviest weight taking first place. The Tournament pays cash to 20% of the field. The Marina March Madness is an all-species event that includes prizes for making free throws on an on-ice basketball court, and has a unique format with all contestants fishing in a designated area with three separate fishing sets, lasting two hours each. Each set is like a new contest with prizes awarded to the team catching the first fish and to the top three teams in each set.
For a listing of all the winners from previous tournaments, statistics and tournament entry forms, please visit 11milemarina.com. The early entry fee for a team of two for each tournament is $80 for entries received at least six days prior to the tournament. You can down load an entry form or call 719-748-0317. Entry fees received less than six days prior to a tournament increase $20 per team.
In addition to all the money that can be won, door prizes including a new power auger, Vexilar Flasher fish finder, ice shelters, tackle, dinners and lodging from the participating sponsors are available even if you do not place in the contests.
A valid daily or annual Colorado State Park pass is required for all vehicles entering the park. A valid Colorado fishing license is also required for all participants.
Park officials remind ice fishermen that ice thicknesses may vary considerably within relatively short walking distances. Anyone venturing out onto the ice should always go with a partner, drill test holes to determine ice thickness, wear a life jacket and carry ice picks, 50 feet of rope and a cell phone. Park rangers also recommend that anglers stay away from pressure ridges, open water and ice that is porous, soft or has granulated crystals.
For more information on the tournament and entry forms, please visit www.11milemarina.com or call 719-748-0317. For Eleven Mile State Park information, please call the office at 719-748-3401 or visit www.parks.state.co.us.
Logo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife