Ice fishers to descend on Rifle Gap this weekend |

Ice fishers to descend on Rifle Gap this weekend

Heidi Rice
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado – Here … fishy, fishy, fishy …

That’s what will be on the minds of the participants in the 12th annual Rifle Gap Ice Fishing Tournament this weekend.

The two-day event, being held Saturday, Jan. 16, and Sunday, Jan. 17, is put on by the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce, attracts hundreds of people from all over each year.

“We can have 400 people maximum and we have about 350 signed up right now,” said Annick Pruett, president and CEO of the Rifle chamber, earlier in the week.

The tournament is open to both children and adults and is a family-friendly event.

Dave Smucker, superintendent of Garfield School District Re-2, participates in the ice fishing tournament every year with his son.

“I worked it one year with the chamber but I’ve been a participant the last three years,” Smucker said. “It’s a good community event. People really like it. There’s a lot of kids out there and a lot of people that come from all over Colorado.”

Smucker personally likes to fish for yellow perch, which is one of the three species in the tournament, along with rainbow trout and brown trout.

“My son has won and I won a couple of years ago,” Smucker said proudly. “We have a good time doing it.”

The tournament offers first through fifth cash prizes in each category that range from $50 to $500 and prizes in two age brackets (youth ages 11-17, 10 and under) for each of the three tourney fish species.

First-place winners get a chance at drawing for the $20,000 grand prize. However, no one has won it yet, Pruett said.

“But even so, winners receive a $100 Shop Rifle gift certificate and $500,” she added.

The tournament is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. Awards will be given immediately following the tournament.

“It starts at 8 a.m. and it’s funny to watch 400 people running out on the ice and cut holes,” Pruett said.

Registration can still be done at the Rifle Information Center, but spaces are going fast. For more information, go to or call the chamber at 625-2085, ext. 4.

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