Fish, Fisheries and Queryomics
The 2013 World Ice Fishing Championship took place last weekend, February 16-17. The event was held on scenic Big Eau Pleine Reservoir, Wisconsin, USA. MnToday offered this tip to ice fishers: Stay warm. Good one, says Beel.
After five days of pre-tournament fishing, the contestants, from 11 different countries, got down to business: fishing for a grueling three-hours per day on each of two successive days.
After the first day of fishing, Team Russia led the pack with 0.971 kg (2.1 lb), followed by Finland (0.795 kg; 1.75 lb), and Ukraine (0.694 kg; 1.53 lb). Team USA had a disappointing eighth place finish, with 0.497 kg (1.10 lb).
By the end of the second day, Team Russia had won the event with a total weight of 2.041 kg (4.5 lb) and was followed by Finland (1.913 kg; 4.22 lb) and Lithuania (1.289 kg; 2.84 lb).
Team USA kicked butt on the second day, posting the largest one-day catch of the event, 1.460 kg (3.2 lb). However, this was not enough to medal and they finished in fourth place with a total weight of 1.957 kg (4.32 lb).
Yes, that’s correct. Team USA had the second largest total weight of fish captured, but placed fourth based on total points. (source)
Final standings were: Russia, Finland, Lithuania, United States, Ukraine, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Poland, Estonia and Japan.
Ice fishing enthusiasts have begun the long and arduous task of getting their sport into the Olympics. No really, Beel is not making this up. Presumably, they think this event will fill the seats! People love to see two-ounce fish being caught and brought to the weigh in.
Well, with the World Ice Fishing Championship’s odd-ball scoring system, it just might be a natural.
Being included in the Winter Games would will bring attention to the sport of ice fishing, but there are several hoops to be jumped through. One of these is that anglers will have to subject themselves to various probings and testings.
An official from the United States Anti-Doping Agency was present at the World Ice Fishing Championship and ordered four contestants to provide urine samples for a random test for the presence of steroids and growth hormones. Beel wonders if they thought Lance Armstrong was fishing for the US Postal Service Ice Fishing Team?
According to a New York Times report, tournament officials were puzzled as to whether doping would even help anglers jigging their worms for panfish, roughfish and crappie.
“We kind of joked about that,” said Joel McDearmon, chairman of the United States Freshwater Fishing Federation. “You’re obviously not going to have anybody out there oxygen doping or something like that.”
Bill Whiteside, a previous gold medal winner from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, said that physical strength often had little to do with fishing success.
“It’s not the best athlete that usually wins the events,” he said. “A lot of times it’s the experienced older guys.”
Well, there’s your answer, says Beel. Some of these guys are old. They have arthritis and are probably on steroids. This will give them a huge advantage over younger anglers who have not yet had their bodies ravaged by the demands of years of sitting on their asses out on the ice.
The World Ice Fishing Championship is not a live-release event (see photograph at top of page). The USA Ice Fishing Team website reports that fish captured in the event were donated to a local bird sanctuary, where they were fed to underprivileged birds.