Welcome to “The Hottest Tournament on Ice”
Two person teams competing in a multi event run to the championship. Best bag of ten perch determines the winner at each event with a big fish pot just to make it interesting! 2015 is our 10th season we look forward to continued success, with new and returning anglers.
Perch Assaulters get their exercise at Middle Thompson event.
At 6:40AM Saturday, all 104 anglers at the Perch Assault on Middle Thompson Lake 2015 headed off into the darkness, after being released to walk out to their chosen area. Yes, walk. Todays “shotgun start” looked, and sounded much different than the usual starts to a Perch Assault. Instead of revving engines and red taillights fading into the distance, only the sound of pull sleds and portable ice houses scraping across the surface, and the occasional nasal cleansing. Sun and warm temperatures for the 12 days before the event had many anglers worried the lake would not even be safe at all, walking or not. But, cold nights trumped the warm days the 72 hours before and the call to walk was a conservative one; but most anglers seemed to enjoy a little change of pace. The fish rewarded their efforts, despite weather conditions changing every 20 minutes once fishing began at 7:00AM sharp.
Several bigger fish hit the ice early, as is the case almost every single tournament, no matter the lake. Moving was a calculated decision, as a walk could cut into valuable fishing time, and several teams took that risk early, while others never strayed more than 50 yards all day. Rules state teammates must remain within 30 paces of each other, so one could not just go check another spot, it was all or nothing. By the time the sun first peaked out at 11:00AM, there were several teams that made huge moves, and a couple paid off.
At the 2:00PM weigh in, the first ten baskets showed what the rest of the weigh-in would look like. Some nice half pound average fish, and some fish that needed nine of his friends to make that same weight. Typical Perch Assault results! One thing interesting, not one Perch broke the one pound mark. Middle Thompson has always been known for big Perch; not many of them, but a one and a half pound fish is not uncommon. But today, two .85 pound fish split the big fish pot, with several .83 pound fish rounding out some other very nice baskets.
Earning the top spot today was Chance Evenson with David Meeker subbing for Chances wife Codi. They managed a #5.97 top weight followed closely by Russ Geldrich and Jacob Link who was subbing for Jeff Absolonson with #5.67. Ross Ganz and Ben Therrien coming in third with #5.48. Five pound weights continued down into 8th place with the last two teams at #4.77 and #4.74. Dozens of prizes donated by sponsors Clam/Ice Team, HT Enterprises, Polar Fire, Vexilar and more were given away via door prize drawings, and organizers and anglers alike left with the hopes that winter would hang around for just a couple more weeks, for the final round at Lake Mary Ronan March 7th.
The first event of 2015 saw 52 teams turn out for some pretty sloppy lake conditions and a very slow bite. Twenty six teams weighed fish, and the top three teams had some pretty nice weights. Even the pike were not very active, with most teams reporting a blank on them as well. Congratulations to Jeremy Taylor and Tyler Frost for the overall win, #8.08 as well as big fish of the day at #1.15! Following up on their second place overall finish in 2014, Matt and Anna Mccomb began this season with a solid runner up placing, followed by Dennis Gherke and Greg Anklam in third. Fair to say, a LOT of teams will be looking to redeem themselves at the next event!
There were a total of three episodes that were filmed here in Montana. Go to Tom Gruenwald Outdoors for days and times, where it’s “All Ice Fishing, All the Time!”