Reel experts enter 2022 Woodsy Cup Ice-Fishing Tourney

Thursday, February 10, 2022
Reel experts enter 2022 Woodsy Cup Ice-Fishing Tourney

Reeling in a gigantic 3 pound and 3 ounce, 20.75-inch trout, Josh Thompson takes first place at the Woodsy Cup Ice Fishing Tournament last Saturday at Ackley Lake. Photo courtesy of Nancy Epkes

Reel experts enter 2022 Woodsy Cup Ice-Fishing Tourney

Bryton Mikkelson takes second place in the Children’s division by reeling in a 1 pound and 10 ounce trout measuring 16.5 inches. Photo courtesy of Nancy Epkes

Reel experts enter 2022 Woodsy Cup Ice-Fishing Tourney

Coming third in the adult division is Tim Horan, who caught a 2 pound and 1 ounce trout measuring 19 inches. Photo courtesy of Barbie Protsman

The Woodsy Cup, named in honor of the late Mike Woods, was a success Saturday, Feb. 5.

After a cold snap last week, more agreeable weather welcomed 85 participants at the fifth annual ice-fishing tournament. The 78 adults and seven children participants together caught 39 trout.

Like last year, 2021, with 45 entrants (44 adults and one child), no tiger muskies were caught during the ice fishing. However, they have been caught outside the tournament. Cody Monfils, for example, brought in a monster tiger muskie to win the 2020 Woodsy Cup.

Regardless of what is caught, the event is geared towards bringing more awareness to the lake, which the Ackley Lake Club continually improves such as through new fire pits, campgrounds, and shelters.

They are currently working on a new swimming dock, among other improvements.

For the winning anglers, the Ackley Lake Club paid out 50 percent of the gross entry fees and distributed them to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for trout, as well as the smallest fish.

There was both an adult and a children category.

Nancy’s Country Market donated $50 in cash for smallest fish, won by Luke Wildung, and another $50 for the biggest fish, which added to Josh Thomason's winnings from his share of the entry fees. The Oxen Yoke in Utica donated chili and barley soup at the awards ceremony.

The official results of the ice-fishing derby are as follows….

Adult Division

1st place: Josh Thompson (3 lbs. 3 oz., 20.75 inches)

2nd place: Rick Miller (2 lbs. 10 oz., 19.25 inches)

3rd place: Tim Horan (2 lbs. 1 oz., 19 inches)

Smallest fish: Luke Wildung (6 oz., 10.5 inches)

Children Division

1st place: Harlee Lefever (1 lb. 13 oz., 16.75 inches)

2nd place: Bryton Mikkelson (1 lb. 10 oz., 16.5 inches)

3rd place: Olivia French (8 oz., 11 inches)

Raffle winners

Garth French won the $500 gift certificate to Pine Ridge Arms.

Ty Ripley won the $100 gift certificate from Scheels.

Kyle Grimsrud won the $100 gift certificate from Sport Center.

Kourtni Wynne won the $250 gift certificate from Big R.

Ackley Lake’s History

Ackley Lake belongs to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. It is leased by Montana State Parks for public use. DNRC’s role is to ensure safety as a water storage facility, whereas State Parks maintains campsites and facilities. When Ackley was considered for removal from the list of State Parks, people banded together to create a sustainable mechanism to keep this lake accessible to the public. Largely as a result of the efforts of the Ackley Lake Group, Montana State Parks has kept Ackley Lake on its list and has extended its oversight of the facility.

Tax-deductible donations can be given to the Ackley Lake Club through checks made out the Central Montana Foundation, with Ackley Lake Club in the memo line, and mailed to P.O. Box 266, Hobson, MT 59452.