Sunday, January 24, 2021

Wind and warm weather are affecting ice safety this year 

Anglers are urged to use caution when trekking out onto the ice. Fluctuating water levels in reservoirs, wind, and warm weather are all impacting ice conditions this winter. In planning for your adventures on the ice, please be aware of recent weather conditions and temperatures in the area and scout out the lake you wish to fish for wet spots, open water, and pressure ridges - all of these areas signify dangerous ice conditions and should be avoided. 

With variable ice conditions across the state and rapidly changing conditions, anglers are urged to check the thickness of the ice before venturing onto it, and continuing to check every 100 to 150 feet. Four inches of clear ice is usually safe for activities on foot. Much thicker ice is needed for large gatherings or vehicles. 

Remember to wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device and carry ice safety picks. Ice cleats are also a good idea. Go out with a fishing partner, let someone know your plans, and keep a throw rope handy in case someone falls in.

Anglers venturing on fishing trips this winter should also keep in mind the Fishing Regulations and the Special Winter Ice Fishing Provisions, available on the Game and Fish website, regional offices, and Cheyenne Headquarters.

- WGFD -

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Important Membership directory question

 MEMBERS: to help us communicate with each other in these times, the club will be posting the membership directory on the club's Facebook page, which is restricted to club members by invitation only. The directory includes contact information including phone number and e-mail.

If for any reason you do NOT want your contact information included, notify Bill Prater by e-mail by noon Wednesday, Jan. 26,

We will post the membership directory in the Loveland Fishing Club page under the FILES section. It will allow you to more easily contact other club members; the information should not be shared outside the club. 

If you can't get to the Facebook page from here, you probably need to contact Jim Roode at and ask to be invited

Friday, January 15, 2021

Smartphone Apps for Ice Fishing-for North Dakota anyway

 Thu, 12/24/2020 

Advancements in technology, easily retrieved on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, allow ice anglers access to more than 200 lake contour maps, providing yet another tool in the angler’s tackle box.

“Back when we first started mapping in the early 2000s, anglers pretty much had to print a paper lake contour map at home and take it with them to help navigate and find the underwater features,” said Jerry Weigel, Department fisheries production and development section supervisor.

Times have changed.

Anglers now have access to two free smartphone mobile apps on the Game and Fish website,, both of which provide interactive functionality and work with a phone’s GPS.

One option, Weigel said, is ESRI ArcGIS Explorer, which requires cellular service to work in the field.

“When you’re out on the lake and you have the app running, it literally has the lake contour lines and everything,” he said. “It’d be the exact same thing you would do with your Lowrance GPS or young Hummingbird GPS when you’re navigating open water in the summer.”

Considering cellular service is iffy, at best, on about 30% of North Dakota’s fishing waters, there are benefits to downloading maps to your mobile device before leaving home using the Avenza Geospatial PDF app.

“With this electronic fishing map information and you see there’s a sunken island out there, you can literally drive right to it on the ice using either of the two technologies,” Weigel said.

Weigel added that there is something anglers need to keep in mind when using this GPS technology on their favorites fishing waters.

“They imply they’re absolute,” he said. “In other words, when it says it’s 15 feet deep, we say that there’s 15-foot depth in that general area. But folks need to keep in mind that their GPS’s are plus or minus 10 feet at the best.”

What’s more certain, if Mother Nature allows, are the opportunities afforded ice anglers this winter across North Dakota’s landscape.

“There have never been stronger populations of fish than there is now,” Weigel said. “It’s amazing. And we literally have twice the number of fishing lakes as there once was.”

Thursday, January 14, 2021

ZOOM! online meeting set for Tuesday, Jan. 19!

It's been way too long since the club got together, and the board has set up a video meeting for Tuesday, Jan. 19. 

Peggy Gwinnup, John's wife, is setting up the meeting. We've added the event to the calendar. If you want to join us, contact Peggy for an invitation. You'll be sent a link that should allow you to connect by simply clicking on the link. 

If you're not familiar with Zoom, you can also ask Peggy to set up a trial or test meeting.
You can reach Peggy by clicking here

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

KEEP FISH CAUGHT DEEP IN WINTER- North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Mon, 01/11/2021 Keep Fish Caught in Deep Water | North Dakota Game and Fish

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists are encouraging ice anglers to keep fish caught from deep waters.

Catch-and-release fishing, no matter the time of year, is discouraged for fish caught in 30 feet or more of water, because fish reeled in from those depths have a greater chance of dying if released.

Fish caught in deep water won’t likely survive because of the extreme change in water pressure, which causes the swim bladder to expand. Fish can no longer control their balance in the water column when this happens. Other internal injuries, such as rupturing of organs and bleeding, are also likely for fish caught from deep waters.

Devils Lake ice anglers commonly catch yellow perch in 30-45 feet of water during the winter months. This practice also translates to other deep water bodies around the state.

Game and Fish recommends that anglers targeting fish in deeper water make the commitment to keep what they catch. And once they reach their limit, anglers should stop fishing at that depth to avoid killing more than their limit of fish

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Rachard Radies has passed

 Long-time Loveland Fishing Club member and former raffle chair Richard Radies died Saturday after a lengthy illness. Others will remember him for many things; we think of him as a great fishing companion and good guy, who will be sorely missed. 

Funeral arrangements are pending. Our sympathies go to his family including wife Sheilah. 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Shirley Smillie has passed away

 ShirleyLavonne (Frank) Smillie, 90, a charter member of the Loveland Fishing Club and a delightful fishing companion, died Sunday, Jan. 3; her family notes in her obituary that she passed "in the comfort of her home, with her son Kim Grummitt and faithful dog Coco by her side." 

Services will be held at Viegut Funeral Home in Loveland, Colorado on Tuesday January 12, 2021 at 2:00pm. A reception will follow at the family home. 

Those of us fortunate enough to fish with her will miss her, and smile at some shared memories. 

Following is the complete obituary. 

Shirley LaVonne Smillie (Frank), 90 years old, of Loveland, Colorado passed from this earth Sunday January 3, 2021 at 12:30pm in the comfort of her home, with her son Kim Grummitt and faithful dog Coco by her side.

A Loveland native, born November 21, 1930, the daughter of Henry J. Frank and Mary K. (Foster) Frank. She attended Loveland High School and graduated from the Greeley School of Cosmetology in 1949. She lived in Cheyenne, WY and Twin Falls, ID before returning back home to Loveland in 1970.

She was an examiner for the CO State Board of Cosmetology, Denver in 1972. She was the manager and hairstylist for the Foothills Care Center from 1972-1988. She also managed the Good Samaritan Retirement Center Hair Styling Salon from their opening in 1973 until her retirement in 2000.

Shirley enjoyed and was totally dedicated to her work and making others happy by bringing joy to your life and a smile to your face. She enjoyed decorating, traveling and gardening, Shirley’s gardens were quite something and she had a green thumb to rival any. She especially loved her last dog CoCo dearly…as she had all her furry friends over the years. She was an avid stained glass artist and enjoyed golf later in life. Shirley was also active with the Loveland Fishing Club for many years.

Her last years at home were made especially comfortable, safe and special by 3 immensely loyal, loving, dedicated caretakers and dear friends. Laurie Baker, Shannon Sheldon and “What’s her name” Stephanie Martin. You were no doubt the daughters she never had.

She was preceded in death by her father Henry J. Frank, mother Mary K. Frank Foster, brother Wyburn L. Frank, 3 sons; Dwayne D Gregory, Randy W. Hicks and Carey E. Grummitt, nephew Bill Frank and step-father Earl Foster.

She is survived by her youngest son Kim L Grummitt; grandson Joshua Gregory; niece Carol Rose; and several cousins.

Services will be held at Viegut Funeral Home in Loveland, Colorado on Tuesday January 12, 2021 at 2:00pm. A reception will follow at the family home.

In lieu of flowers please make contributions to The Aids Foundation c/o Viegut Funeral Home, 1616 N. Lincoln Ave. Loveland, CO 80538
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Tuesday, January 5, 2021


 Bass Pro Shops has reached an agreement to acquire Sportsman’s Warehouse for $18.00 per share in cash.

With about 44 million shares outstanding, the deal values Sportsman’s Warehouse at about $800 million. On Tuesday, shares of Sportsman’s Warehouse closed at $17.66, up $5.01.

The retailer operates 112 stores while Cabela’s and Bass Pro combined operate 169 stores.

The acquisition is being made by Great American Outdoors Group, the newly named parent company of Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, White River Marine Group, and a number of nature-based stores. The company said in a statement, “The Great American Outdoors Group will remain a private company with a long-term view to do what is best for its customers, team members and conservation initiatives.”

Great American Outdoors Group said the driving force behind the partnership is the two companies’ similar histories, complementary business philosophies and geographic footprints. Both entities share a passion with their customers for fishing, camping, hunting, boating, and other outdoor activities. Likewise, both are “highly acclaimed retailers with well-deserved reputations for a broad offering of outstanding brand name and proprietary products, customer service, deeply knowledgeable team members, and an unwavering passion for conservation. Uniting together represents an unprecedented “win-win” opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts.”

Sportsman’s Warehouse CEO Jon Barker, said in a statement, “We are excited to be joining the Great American Outdoors Group. This merger brings together the greatest brands in the outdoor industry. As we look to the future, the combined entities provide our passionate associates with greater opportunities to serve the outdoor enthusiast. I couldn’t be more proud of the nearly 8,000 Sportsman’s Warehouse associates and their success in building our brand over the last 33 years. We look forward to a smooth transition and building our partnership.”

The acquisition will allow Sportman’s Wearhouse to widen its product offerings online and in-store with an expanded selection of fishing tackle including Bass Pro Shops and other premier brands, and hunting gear, including the  Cabela’s brand. Sportsman’s Warehouse will also offer the Great American Outdoors Group “low price guarantee,” which promises the lowest everyday price on its full assortment and will match, or beat, any qualified competing offers in store or online.

“Today is a happy day for our companies, outdoor enthusiasts and for the cause of conservation,” said Bass Pro Shops Founder and Great American Outdoors Group Leader, Johnny Morris. “As outdoor sports specialists with an unwavering dedication to people who fish, hunt and enjoy the outdoors, we greatly admire the passionate team at Sportsman’s Warehouse for their commitment to their customers and the sports we all love. By combining our best practices, our aim is to give our customers a best-of-the-best experience while further uniting them to support conservation.”

The merger agreement was unanimously approved by Sportsman’s Warehouse’s Board of Directors. The transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of 2021, will be completed through a cash merger and is subject to approval by Sportsman’s Warehouse’s shareholders, as well as regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is not subject to any financing condition. The entities will continue to operate independently until the transaction closes.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as lead financial advisor, Moelis & Company served as an additional financial advisor to the Great American Outdoors Group and King & Spalding LLP served as the Great American Outdoors Group legal counsel with assistance from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Baird served as exclusive financial advisor to Sportsman’s Warehouse. O’Melveny & Myers served as legal counsel to Sportsman’s Warehouse.