Youth fishing tournament attracts big crowd

Anthony Christianson was curious to see what the reaction was going to be for the Steinaker Youth ice Fishing Bowl Jan. 21.
This was the first time the wildlife recreation programs specialist has put one together for the youth in the Uintah Basin and the surrounding counties.
“We have a lot of tournaments that are structured for everybody,” Christianson said. “We wanted one that specified kids only, so they could get out there to have an even playing field.”
Christianson was extremely pleased with the response when 129 kids competed in the one-day event. The ages were 4-17.
“That was a really good number for our first try at this type of tournament in our region,” he said. “I think everybody wanted to get out and do some ice fishing.”
Most of the participants came from the Uintah Basin.
“We had some kids coming in from the Salt Lake City region or from Logan,” Christianson said. “We had a good mix of people from Vernal, Roosevelt and Duchesne.”
The competition lasted from 8 a.m. to noon.
“It was a real cold morning,” Christianson said. “We were surprised that many people showed up because it was sub-zero when we started. It was centered directly at the kids.”
Christianson liked how many fish were caught by the youth in the tournament.
“We probably had 60 to 70 fish turned in out of the 129 participants,” he added. “That is what we were hoping it would be. We were happy with our fishing results.”
Kyler Martinsen pulled in the heaviest fish during the tournament at 2.30 pounds.
“It was a brown trout fish that was pretty good size,” Christianson said.”He caught it at 8:45 a.m. It was right after we started.”
Christianson said Jan. 21 was the perfect time for the tournament to be held.
“This is probably right in the middle of good ice fishing,” he added. “Late December or early January is really when there is enough ice to fish safely at Steinaker. We also have a lot of ice fishing tournaments going on. This was a free weekend when there weren’t any competing things so parents could bring their kids out instead of go fishing somewhere else.”
Christianson said this event would not have been possible without great local sponsors from our local businesses to individual outdoor enthusiasts who donated prizes and money to ensure every participant walked away with a prize.
“This was such a good event that we are hoping to do more events just like it in the future,” he explained. “We are hoping to make this an annual thing for the youth in our area.”

Youth Ice
fishing results

8-and-younger – 1. Cruz Brunson, 1.67 pounds; 2. Cedar Swett, 1.66 pounds; 3. Aria Pope, 1.62 pounds. Smallest fish – Cooper Smuin, .31 pounds.
9-13 – 1. Parker Smith, 1.81 pounds; 2. Wyatt McCurdy, 1.73 pounds; 3. Connor Perez, 1.65 pounds. Smallest fish – Lucy Gale, .125 pounds (blue gill).
14-17 – 1. Kyler Martinsen, 2.30 pounds (brown trout); 2. Karston Carroll, 1.67 pounds; 3. Tobyn Karren, 1.65 pounds. Smallest fish – Kade Richens, .31 pounds.