By Cara L. Dempski
BIRCHWOOD — As winter weekends go, it was not exactly a cold one, but no one from the Elk Mound or Colfax Ice Fishing teams seemed to mind.
The two teams took part in the 2017 Wisconsin Interscholastic Fishing Association tournament in Birchwood, Wisconsin, the weekend of February 17 and 18. The Mounders finished sixth out of 66 teams, while the Ice Vikes were 12th.
The Colfax team finished 10th in last year’s tournament and were a bit disappointed to finish out of the trophies this season. The Ice Vikes’ coach, Mike Dombrowski, said the team had a great time, despite their disappointment in leaving without a trophy.
“With so many freshman on the team, they learned how exactly the tournament is run for the future,” Dombrowski said.
While the head coach took fishers Kali Risler, Tori Hill, Phil Taylor, Jackson Hellmann, Dalton Schotter, Chace Peterson, Nick Jensen and Ricky Hoffman to fish on Balsam Lake for game fish, assistant coach Joel Steinke, Mitchel Kiekhafer, Alex Sykora and Richard Stehling went Hemlock Lake for pan fish.
The story of the tournament for Colfax was Hellmann hooking a nice, fat northern that had another hook and at least eight feet of someone else’s line still attached to it when it came out of the water.
Overall, both teams seem to have enjoyed themselves.
“The weather was phenomenal, and we represented Colfax well over the two days,” Dombrowski said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know the kids more in their element, as well as teaching life skills that will stretch far beyond some things I can teach them in the classroom.”