Stone Lake Ice Fishing Bowl set for Jan. 29

Published 9:34 am Monday, January 10, 2022

CASSOPOLIS — Organizers of an upcoming winter event are hoping if the ice is right, community members will be ready to get left out in the cold.

Pending weather conditions, the Stone Lake Ice Fishing Bowl is set to take place Saturday, Jan. 29 at Stone Lake in Cassopolis from 6 to 11 a.m. There will be $1,500 in total cash prizes, $500 each to the winners of longest bluegill, longest perch and longest crappie.

The event, hosted by the Cassopolis Main Street Committee, is in its fourth year but has only been successfully completed twice due to insufficient thickness of the ice. To safely proceed with the event, organizers said there must be at least 6 inches of ice on the lake

The first successful year of the event was in 2018, with 16 people competing. The 2021 event saw 125 anglers sign up and compete.

“The nights are getting colder, so we’re crossing our fingers for some good ice formation in the coming weeks,” said Main Street Committee Member Rick Drews. “Last year was our best year since resurrecting the tournament … and we are hoping to build on that this year.”

Fellow committee member Alexis O’Flynn said she is looking forward to seeing the new Stone Lake Beach area being used in the winter.

“The Stone Lake Ice Fishing Bowl is unique in the way that it provides a great opportunity for people to come together, have fun, and enjoy our natural resources in the winter,” she said. “We are very fortunate to have Stone Lake in our downtown corridor, and it’s awesome to see people utilize it year-round.”

O’Flynn added that this event, as well as other Main Street Committee events, serves as a way to unite the community and keep alive area interest in Cassopolis.

“The events we host are an integral part of our mission,” she said. “They strengthen community connection, increase awareness of all the great things Cassopolis has to offer and provide funds for our Facade Grant Program. In the past 18 months, Cassopolis Main Street has awarded $25,000 to six different downtown businesses through our Facade Grant Program, and we want to keep the momentum going this year.”

The fee to enter the competition is $30. Tickets may be purchased online through eventbrite.com or at the snack shack on the day of the event until 11 a.m. The snack shack is located on the beach promenade, near 203 S. Disbrow St. Check-in and registration will also take place at the snack shack.

If there is not enough ice on Jan. 29, the backup date for the event is Saturday, Feb. 5. In the case that there is not enough ice to hold the event on either date, all entry fees will be fully refunded.

On event day, participants will be able to set up their gear on the ice prior to 6 a.m., however, lines cannot be dropped into the water until 6 a.m. Entrants will gain access to the lake via the beach.

Fish will be judged by length, with the weight of the fish being the tiebreaker in the event of two fish being the same length. For more information, rules for the event and registration information, visit cassopolis-mi.us/government/main-street.

Because of limited parking available at the beach, street parking will be available on Disbrow, Jefferson and Broadway streets.