Marina sets its sights high for ice fishing tournament
STANDISH TOWNSHIP — On Feb. 8 ice fishermen will pack the Saginaw Bay’s frozen waters in Standish Township for an inaugural tournament hosted by Eagle Bay Marina and co-sponsored by other Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe enterprises.
But the tournament may be the first and last one, since Josh Ososki, General Manager of the Marina, has bigger plans for the future than just an ice fishing tournament.
“What I want to do in upcoming years is become an ice festival,” Ososki said, adding if all goes well, he hopes the event could grow to become like Perchville, held annually in Tawas, or Tip-up Town, an annual festival in Houghton Lake. “It’s the winter blues. … We got to get out there and have something to do locally.”
This year, however, the event will be solely a tournament. Ososki says the contest will have a $1,000 prize for first place, based on 100 entries, and pay down to tenth place. Entries will not be teams, but individuals, and fishermen will be able to hit the ice as early as they want, as long as they weigh in a five-fish stringer by 9 p.m.
And Eagle Bay will have some help with the weigh-ins.
“The Sterling Sportsmen (Association) club is getting involved with it too. They’re going to do the weigh-in,” Ososki said.
According to Ososki, a unique part of the tournament will be a seminar hosted at Eagle Bay the day prior to the competition. He says this will help direct novice ice fishermen how to be successful and encourage them in the tournament.
“You got guys who have never been on the ice before. We’ll go over safety, baiting, everything,” Ososki said. “The seminar’s absolutely free.”
He added vendors would also be on hand during the seminar to sell equipment. Currently, no time has been officially set for the seminar.
Ososki also says that during the tournament, an ice shanty, auger and charter fishing trips will be raffled off. He says entries will also receive free play at the Saganing Eagle’s Landing Casino for tournament entrants.
The tournament is $20 to enter. For more information on the tournament, its future or the seminar the day prior, contact the Eagle Bay Marina at 989-846-6065.