Ice Fishing Contests in Minnesota

Ice Fishing Contests in Minnesota
Minnesota hosts many ice fishing contests that attract thousands of anglers every year. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, records indicate that the state is fast becoming the ice fishing contest capital in the United States. Ice fishing contests also benefit many charities and are great for anglers to socialize with others who share enthusiasm for the sport.

Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza

The Brainerd Jaycees Annual Ice Fishing Extravaganza is held every winter on Gull Lake in Brainerd. Approximately 20,000 ice fishing holes are pre-drilled for the event at the lake, which spans 9,918 acres. The event is a charitable ice fishing competition that attracts hundreds of volunteers and thousands of anglers each year. This over 20-year-old event also attracts anglers from all over the world. The lake has a maximum depth of 80 feet and walleye is the most popular winning game fish at the event. Event prizes range from ATVs to trucks, ice fishing suits and fishing augers.

Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing
Brainerd, MN 56401


International Eelpout Festival

The International Eelpout Festival is held annually at Leech Lake. The festivities last for three days and have various events, such as polar plunge, dance, car race, local band concerts and rugby tournaments on ice. The game fish to lure is the eelpout, an eel-like fish that is also a food source for walleye and northern pike. The festival attracts thousands of participants who also set up elaborate ice fishing encampments on the lake. There is an awards ceremony at the end of the event for the 10 largest weights for eelpout and for other competitions.

Annual International Eelpout Festival
Walker City Park
Walker, Minnesota

Viking Sportsmen Ice Fishing Challenge

Viking Sportsmen Ice Fishing Challenge is held annually on February at Lake Le Homme Dieu in Alexandria. The event is the state's largest ice fishing tournament and is held on the lake near the Krueger's Creek public access. The lake is 1,744 acres and has a maximum depth of 85 feet. Fish species include bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass and northern pike however panfish is the most popular for ice fishing. The event's prizes include a truck, fish house, ice auger and underwater camera.

Lake Le Homme Dieu
Alexandria, MN


Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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