The media event launched by Barb Carey five years ago, the Women Ice Angler Project (WIAP), shines the spotlight on women ice anglers throughout the ice belt. During several days on the ice, WIAP offers the sportfishing industry and WIAP sponsors media coverage highlighting strong female ice anglers. In 2019, from January 23-27, #womenonice will address finding empowerment through facing fears. The pursuit of living life to its fullest is their passion.
Photos: Shelly Holland with the biggest crappie of the day; Shantel Wittstruck with another nice crappie; mobility on the ice was the key to the day; dialed in some nice bluegills; fun for the WIAP ladies; Orion coolers kept the drill batteries warm and full-powered; Rikki Pardun with a big slab crappie.
In additional news, WIAP welcomes Fleet Farm as a new sponsor. “Ice fishing is ingrained in our culture here in the Midwest,” brand manager Erica Pendergast said. “Fleet Farm is proud to support WIAP’s efforts to share their passion and expertise while inspiring women to get out onto the ice.”
Grass Fed Cinema will be back filming the ladies. The emotionally moving qualities of the film produced last year propelled its inclusion in a Michigan film festival in the fall of 2018. The Grass Fed Cinema YouTube link is:https://youtu.be/_KZz402I4a0. “I think the Grass Fed team captured the serenity of being in the moment that I treasure in the sport of ice fishing, along with the camaraderie,” Barb said. “I trust them with this important story.”
The topic of finding empowerment through facing fears hits close to home to this nine-woman team, as teammate Hannah Stonehouse Hudson lost her husband, Jim Hudson, six years ago. Hudson died from a thin-ice accident January 26, 2013. WIAP will be back to the same location and over the same dates in 2019.
“Since the moment my husband passed away, my focus in life has been to help others address their fears and move forward from loss with the lessons they have learned from their loved ones,” Hannah said. “Returning to the body of water where Jim taught me to fish, with the group of women who encouraged me to keep fishing after Jim’s death is full circle for me, especially with the dates we will be filming. This trip, for me, is all about addressing our fears and living life to the fullest”.
“We’re welcoming Nicole Stone to the team with her younger-reach demographic,” Carey said, “and Lake Superior can be intimidating. That’s a topic both men and women following us can relate to. ‘If she can do it, I can do it’ has been my view and I know we’re having tangible results not just from what we see in the media but how women are choosing to live their lives. We’re so excited for this year and the new areas of reach we’ll be able to obtain.”
“For someone who lives and breathes fishing, joining this project is nothing short of a dream come true,” Nicole Stone said. “Lake Superior is uncharted waters for me and being able to experience it with this group of elite anglers will be an empowering experience. I can’t wait to spend time laughing, learning, and fishing with these women as we not only share our passion for the sport but also helping inspire others to step outside their comfort zones and onto their own adventures on the ice.”
WIAP 2019 anglers included founder and pro-staff ice angler Barb Carey plus pro-staff anglers Shelly Holland, Bonnie Timm, Shantel Wittstruck, Rikki Pardun; Hannah Stonehouse Hudson and Krissie Mason (outdoor writers and photographers) as well as outdoor writer Kristine (K.J.) Houtman.
Bayfield, Wisc. will host the ladies, with lodging provided by Mission Springs Resort. “We have a beautiful place with easy access to the ice at Mission Springs,” Hannah said. “I love this area and the Great Lakes are so magical to me—I can’t wait to bring the ladies up where I will always call home.”
Project sponsors include Fleet Farm, Blackfish, Clam Outdoors, Jiffy, Outdoor First Media, Larry Smith Outdoors, Grass Fed Media, Fish On Kids Books, Stonehouse Photography, Scratch+Holler, WI Women Fish, The Woman Angler and Adventurer, and local hosts Mission Springs Resort.
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The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. With a band of columnists and reviewers, photographers and female reporters, The WON engages its readers through a blog format and we invite you to talk to us.
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