Nicholson Masons hosting ice fishing tournament

Around 130 anglers turned out for the Nicholson Masonic Lodge Ice Fishing Tournament in 2011. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER

BY KEVIN WOODRUFF

The Nicholson Masonic Lodge No. 438 will put on its third annual Ice Fishing Tournament at Lackawanna State Park on Sunday, Feb. 24, starting at 8 a.m.

The group first started the event in 2010 with 80 people attending in its first year, and in 2011 had 130 anglers show up to the event which benefits the Shriner’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

In 2012, the event had to be cancelled because of lack ice safe ice on Lackawanna Lake.

In 2011, the group raised around $750 for the hospital after expenses.

Krisa said he is hoping they can raise even more this year.

“We were tickled by the amount of money we were able to raise last time,” Krisa said. “And we’re hoping even more people will come out this year.”

However, event chairman Eric Krisa is looking forward to once again putting on a family-friendly event on Sunday.

“This event is a win-win situation,” Krisa said. “It’s great for families and it benefits children.”

In addition to awarding cash prizes for the heaviest largemouth bass, pickerel and crappie, there will also be trophies for children who land a fish.

Krisa is also planning a new feature this year, and will have soccer balls, goals and some hockey equipment out on the ice for the children to use.

“It will be there for the kids to go have fun with,” Krisa said.

When asked what he hopes people will get out of the event, Krisa just wants families to have fun on the ice.

“It’s a family event and we just hope they can come out and have some fun,” Krisa said. “To see grandparents out there with their grandkids is just a great sight.”

While Krisa is worried about the weather, he is hoping a cold spell coming through this week will keep the ice safe for Sunday’s event.

“I’m going to go out there and check things out a few days before the event,” Krisa said.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the heaviest largemouth bass longer than 15 inches, the heaviest pickerel longer than 18 inches and the heaviest crappie.

All fishermen must have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license, and all Pennsylvania fishing laws will be enforced in the tournament.

All fish caught in the tournament must be brought to weigh-in area by 2 p.m. No frozen fish will be weighed.

Registration for the event begins at 7 a.m. at the main boat launch. The cost of entrée is $10 for adults and children under 12 are free.

For more information about the tournament, call Krisa at 563-2027, Frank Hares as 945-3720 or Robert Kester at 587-0214.