2020 Women Ice Angler Project (WIAP)February 14, 2020
The Women Ice Angler Project (WIAP) recently hosted Women on Ice on Lake Minnetonka and every aspect, but one was a huge success…
Dialed in sleeping on the ice in portable hub-style shacks from Clam? Check. Safe ice with no issues or injuries? Check. Jigging up a glut of bluegills, crappies, and perch while the tip-up flags flew for largemouth bass and northern pike? Check and check. Creating community and camaraderie while enjoying mild winter temperatures? Check! So, what’s the one disappointment? “We were hoping to bring in a walleye or two,” said professional angler and one of the event organizers. “They eluded us, but everything else was incredible. It was such an amazing weekend spent with this crew of women—both the WIAP team and the women who fished with us on Saturday.”
Women on Ice
The women perfected camping on the ice without having to rely on a permanent or wheel-house to do it, all while showcasing sponsor products from camp chairs to sleeping bags to portable fire pits to all the ice fishing gear: augers, electronics, shelters, tackle, clothing and more.
The first Facebook Live video soared to more than 13,000 views in just hours. Media arrived to gather tips and storylines around camping and ice fishing. On Friday night, the VIP attendees gathered for a meet-and-greet with the WIAP Team. Each team member dug deep to share a little bit of their fishing (and life) stories. “There were goosebumps,” said Carey. “Members shared anecdotes of the fears they overcame, the heartbreak of loved ones lost, reunions with family members, and how lifelong bonds were created over an ice fishing hole. This is bigger than catching fish; we’re empowering and encouraging women through fishing.”
“This community supports growing and learning – and it isn’t just about catching fish,” Carey said. “Watching women accomplish things they never thought they could; it’s impressive to witness. Many said we gave them goosebumps with our stories on Friday night, but they also gave us goosebumps with their passion and encouragement.”
On Saturday, the public fished in Minnetonka’s newly created Phelps Bay community and met up for lunch. Some arrived self-sufficient with their pop-up shelters and all their own gear—their proficiency evident in their independence and success catching fish. Others took advantage of the warm wheel-house spots arranged through a local guide, Todd Stauffer, with Set the Hook Guide Service. The WIAP team members taught skill-building sessions on jigging techniques, mapping, electronics (sonar and underwater cameras), tip-ups, ice safety, and auger use.
Sponsors this year included: Vexilar, Clam, Jiffy, Raymarine, Women Anglers of Minnesota (WAM), Fish On Kids Books, Woman Angler & Adventurer, WI Women Fish, Outdoors First Media, Aqua Vu, GCI Outdoors, Briggs and Stratton, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, Fireside Industries, St. Croix Rods, Fish Monkey, Recycled Fish, Frabill, Life is Short Movement, Muck Boots, Vexan Fishing, Yetti Outdoors and Pursuit Energy Drink. Local partners included Todd Stauffer at setthehookguide.com, the Narrows Saloon of Navarre and Jimmy’s Lounge at the Lake Room also of Navarre.
The 2020 WIAP team included: Barb Carey, Brittany Hoffman, Shelly Holland, Kristine (K.J.) Houtman, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, Rikki Pardun, Jana Rewey, Bonnie Timm, Dena Vick and Shantel Wittstruck.
Contact Barb Carey for more information via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-692-7386. Higher resolution images are available upon request. See www.womenonice.com for additional event and team information.