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Ollie's Service hosts leadup to ice fishing tournament

The 2019 Open Qualifier Ice Fishing Tournament taking place in Alexandria Sunday, Jan. 6, is being preceded by two days of related ice fishing events at Ollie's Service.

The tournament, part of the North American Ice Fishing Circuit, is on Lake Darling starting at 8 a.m. Sunday. 

Starting at 5:30 p.m.. on Friday, Ollie's Service, at 1213 Broadway in Alexandria, is hosting a meet-and-greet session where the public can meet professional ice anglers and members of Team USA, along with taking in demonstrations from them that day.

A workshop on the fundamentals of ice fishing runs from 5:30-7 p.m., featuring knot tying, bait, jigs, hook sharpening and strike detection. That is followed at 7 p.m. with a 90-minute technical education class, exploring worldwide techniques, including product demonstrations, and featuring a question-and-answer session with Team USA members.

On Saturday, the NAIFC will host the SIF high school competition starting at 8 a.m. and running until noon. Those who wish to enter that can register at the meet-and-greet Friday at Ollie’s or at www.NAIFC.com.  

After the high school competition, an ice fishing kids camp will be hosted. The camp will start indoors at Ollie’s from 1-2 p.m. where kids will get a free fishing rod and learn about jigging, ice safety, equipment and bait. They will then head to Lake Agnes in Alexandria to fish and learn from the NAIFC pro staff members.

Participants are reminded to dress for the weather. The kids camp will have food and drinks available while supplies last.

The circuit’s three days in Alexandria will wrap up with the tournament on Sunday on Lake Darling, with the top-five places automatically qualifying for the NAIFC Championship.

The NAIFC Tournament Series qualifying season begins in January and lasts into March, with the series championship held the following December.

Each of the six to nine qualifying tournaments in states across the ice belt is a three-day event, with two days of educational opportunities like those in Alexandria. The tournaments have a maximum of 100 two-person teams at each stop.

For more details on all of these events in Alexandria, visit www.ExploreAlex.com/events. Additional information on the NAIFC can be found at www.NAIFC.com.