2016 Women Ice Angler Project (WIAP) is Successful Event
Getting my camera shutter to stay functional when the air is cold enough to freeze water can cause me to think twice about heading out to ice fish in winter. No matter how long many of us have been trying to fool finny critters in winter, we normally don’t find advice from lady ice anglers. Why? Until now we could not find any. Those days have changed!
Today, thanks to the leadership of a few adventurous women folk, we have found ladies that provide effective example and clear communication with great video and still photography for all of the rest of the ice fishing world. All I can say is, WOW!
Led by Barb Carey, founder of the WI Women Fish (WI stands for Wisconsin) and organizer of the Women Ice Angler Project (WIAP), fellow women anglers included CLAM Ice Pro, Shelly Holland; Kristine (K. J.) Houtman, outdoor author of many outdoor books including a children’s book series (visit http://www.fishonkidsbooks.com/); photographer, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson (http://stonehousephoto.zenfolio.com/); Clam Power Stick pro’s Bonnie Timm and Rikki Pardun; and long-time fishing instructor, Holly Hanson.
These ladies challenged themselves, the weather and the fishing from a lady-owned ice fishing headquarters location, Cyrus Resort, on Lake of the Woods near Baudette, Minnesota. Gathering great photos of women in the sport of ice fishing, the ladies carried the message that ice fishing is an outdoor winter fun sport for gals to enjoy. Eater-size walleye and sauger provided great meals and one monster northern pike were among catches made. The big, nearly 40 inch water wolf was successfully released to spawn and fight another day.
Carey says, “If we can encourage new women to try this sport and at the same time raise the bar and mentor women who already love ice fishing, but would like to take their passion to the next level, then we’ve succeeded.”
The ladies, all excellent professional communicators, wanted to meet a second objective to provide quality ice fishing photos that showcase ladies in the outdoors, especially on the ice, for tourism and product promotions. Award-winning photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson of Stonehouse Photography is part of why sponsors signed on.
I learned something about taking better pictures in the cold when Stonehouse shared, “The colder it is, the happier I am. I know that sounds weird, but often the light is just better when it is really cold.” Go figure! Yep, we never stop acquiring a new focus from others that understand more about what they do best in the professional world.
Host lodge for the event was Cyrus Resort, a woman-owned outdoor resort that provides year-round access for visitors to Lake of the Woods. Owner Lori Vinje said, “We were very happy to have this project here and the fishing was great. There’s so much to offer in our area along with fishing year round, including golf courses, small gift shops, snowmobile trails and Zippel Bay State Park. We were happy to see the Public Relations side of this kind of project to talk about our wonderful area. We want folks to know they’re welcome here all year.”
Vexilar appreciates the quality of photos available to sponsors. “We want to encourage anyone to get into fishing; whether different cultures or different ages. We want to support more women getting involved and empower them,” Corey Studer said, promotions manager at Vexilar. “I’m married to a beautiful wife and have two wonderful twin daughters who like to fish. This is a great fit for us.”
Joe Henry, Executive Director with Lake of the Woods Tourism, provided additional support for the project and said, “These ladies do a great job sharing their special message to a group of people I might not be able to reach. “They’re capturing real life and it gives great return on investment, helping us continue to build Lake of the Woods business down the road.”
Outdoor First Media (OFM) with Keith Worral filmed the event and will continue to post photos and stories about the on-ice lady adventure at facebook.com/womeniceanglerproject, IceFishingFIRST.com and theiceangler.com.
All lady anglers are encouraged to post their ice fishing photos and share their stories with #womenonice. “Our sponsors are totally behind the message that women can and do enjoy this great ice-fishing sport.” The Women Ice Angler Project sponsors include Clam Outdoors, Chevrolet, Vexilar, Jiffy, Aqua Vu, Outdoor First Media, The Great Wild Radio Show, Fish on Kids Books, Stonehouse Photography, WI Women Fish, Cyrus Resort, and Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau.
For more information, contact Barb Carey at email@example.com or call 608-692-7386.
All photo credits in this story: ©Stonehouse Photography.
Nice job ladies!