A lucky angler will take home $200 and a trophy for catching the biggest fish at the John Pato Sr. ice fishing tournament. The second annual tournament will be held in conjunction with Trout Unlimited Feb. 4 at Lake Davis in Portola.
Pato created this event last year to bring the community together for fun during winter months and to raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Association.
Pato says 70 people participated last year and they raised $2,000. He says that cancer affects all of us and he is anticipating many more participants this year.
When asked what a person would need to participate, Pato said, “They will need a fishing license and a fishing pole.” One-day licenses can be purchased at J&J Grizzly Store and Camping Resort when anglers check in.
Those who don’t have an auger to make a hole in the ice needn’t worry: there will be people at the lake to create one for them. Pato gave an example of four or five people going in together to pay $20 for someone to create some holes with an auger. Any bait or tackle can be purchased at J&J Grizzly Store.
Dress warmly, bring a chair and prepare to have some fun.
It is advisable that people use caution and be aware of the ice pack when crossing the ice. On Jan. 18 the ice pack on the lake was 4 inches thick.
There will be a big burn pit for anglers to warm themselves. Participants can fish anywhere on the lake; they just need to make it back to J&J Grizzly store by 3 p.m. for the weigh-in of fish.
Pato says there are three prizes/trophies for the biggest fish. Fish will be judged on weight and length combined and there will be a prize drawing including prizes such as golf trips, dinners, fishing poles, tools, etc. Tickets are $1 each.
After the trophies and prizes are given for the biggest fish, the drawing will begin. Entrants must be present to win their prizes.
Pato invites everyone, even those not participating in the ice-fishing tournament, to come up and be a part of the fun.
People don’t have to fish to participate in the drawing and Pato says that area roads are great and clear.
Registration forms are available at KS Market in Portola, Mill Works in Graeagle and J&J Grizzly Store at Lake Davis.
The entrance fee is $20. The check-in time is 7 – 9 a.m. at J&J Grizzly Store. Fishing begins at 8 a.m. and the weigh-in will be at 3 p.m. back at J&J Grizzly Store. The prize drawing will take place immediately after the weigh-in.For more information call Pato at 832-9659